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Letter: Music cuts would be devastating

The Willmar Senior High Band Department has received a great deal of attention in the last four years. In a three-year span, the WHS Marching Band went from being non-competitive to winning first-place trophies against top schools.

In addition to the marching band, hundreds of Willmar Senior High School students have been able to participate in the amazing pep band now present at WHS. The band was so loud that announcers at previous high school state championships felt compelled to comment on the band and how good it sounded on air, even showing images of the band "rocking out."

I know from personal experience that the entire music department at WHS is a very integral part of education for many students. One fellow classmate stated that "marching band was one of the most rewarding aspects of my high school career." The music department became a central part of numerous students' lives in their four-year career at WHS.

During the annual commencement concert, countless students are brought to tears with the realization that they will no longer be able to participate in a music program of such high caliber.

If the senior high were required to cut a music teacher, the effects would be devastating; many students would be denied an important opportunity to connect to something meaningful. The thought of one director managing three top-notch concert bands, pep band, marching band, and multiple jazz bands, as well as pit orchestra for the annual musical, is absurd. It is not feasible to ask one person to manage so many ensembles.

Mr. Bryan Mara has added enthusiasm and inspired many students to step out of their comfort zone and try something new. I believe it is very important for his position to be kept and for the community to step up and support a program that has been a source of great pride to the area. If you care about the future of the community please contact your school board members and let them know that music is important!

Ellie Holtz