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12:52 AM Mon, Dec. 17th

Kingman Letters:The value of music education

I just read the letter to the editor in the Miner dated July 22 - the comments of Jerry Gardner in which he referred to band as a "do nothing" class and lamented over "wasting his time" in it. Like Mr. Gardner, I was in high school band some 40 years ago. There were a few do-nothings in the band who, I guess, were wasting their time. They were, in reality, wasting our time. The rest of us worked hard at it and I personally have never forgotten, and still take pride in the musical skills I learned at that level. I have enjoyed music throughout my life and my enjoyment was greatly enhanced by learning music within the school system.

Here is just part of what the band students do each year: They begin rehearsing, for at least six hours a day, for two weeks before school starts. When school starts, in addition to rehearsing every day during school, they rehearse two to three hours, three to four days per week, after school. Then, on Friday nights they perform at all home games and at some away games. Then, in October and November, they travel to competitions in which they always do well. Two years ago, the marching band placed seventh in the state championships. Last year, at the state festival, they swept the competition by winning all possible awards and receiving a rating of "Superior with Distinction." Also last year, they placed third in the state championships.

Along with all of this, the band students stage numerous fundraisers for these activities. They keep up with their other classes to be eligible to participate in band, and they spend many hours practicing on their own.

Then the concert band season starts. Many of the students begin preparing for regional and state concerts. Once again, the students do a fantastic job and represent our school and community honorably.

There is also the pep band, which plays at home basketball games. Part of the band performs during the spring musical, which requires two months of preparation. The jazz band plays at community events and competes admirably at the regional and state levels.

This is the Kingman High School Bulldog Band. The school and the community take great pride in their accomplishments.

When you see the dedication, character, and personal growth of Kingman High School band students, you realize the immeasurable value of music in public education.

If you are in band now, be proud of it and thankful for it. If you work hard at it, 40 years from now you will still be proud of it and thankful for it.

Tom Jennings