Letter: Band backer president opposes music cuts

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To the editor:

Music is everywhere, and music is part of everyone’s life. So, when I recently heard about the possibility of the elementary music program getting cut, I was immediately disappointed.

“Mr. Holland’s Opus,” a movie about a school music program sadly getting cut (a story line that I never thought would be part of Southington’s own music program), entered my mind. Although I totally understand the need to find ways to do more with less, I feel that cutting the elementary music program is less than unacceptable.

When I joined the band at South End School back in fourth grade, I learned so much, even when I didn’t realize I was learning. In band, you learn how to work with others and how to perform in front of audiences, which then builds confidence. That confidence oozes over into other facets of your life.

In addition, music is math. It’s logic. It’s history. It’s common sense. Music is part of everyone’s life.

This confidence was evident at a recent Board of Education meeting. It was standing room only, due in part because of the dozens of current Southington High School band members who attended. Mrs. O’ssias, an SHS band alumnus and the SHS director of bands, pointed out how the award-winning SHS band program may suffer if the elementary band program was cut.

A number of students spoke from their heart about their experiences in the music program and how much it has helped them in their lives. These kids are amazing people, and they are all connected to music in some way. Why? Because music is part of everyone’s life.

I ask the people of Southington to reach out to their elected officials, and support the Southington music program from the elementary level through high school. If the elementary school music program is cut, we have truly done a disservice to our community, our kids, and the future of our schools.

Dave Pestillo, SHS Band Backers President

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