I was saddened to read in The Herald that Cedarcrest Middle School in Marysville will no longer offer choir (“Cedarcrest choir: Students being denied musical opportunity”). I have attended numerous performances by Cedarcrest’s students. Under former choir director Richelle Tripp and band director Larry Philpott, these students presented exceptional programs.
The elimination of the choral music program is a loss to both the students and the community. As a former (private) high school drama teacher and director, I have seen the value an arts education plays in the lives of young people. I can only conclude that the importance of an arts education is not being considered by those making the decisions. This is a disservice to the students. Replacing choir with a “sing along” class is the educational equivalent of replacing a live performance with karaoke. While it may be fun, it has no educational value and no cultural depth.