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Letter: Don't cut band director

As a 2009 Willmar graduate, I am very concerned about the budget cuts in the Willmar public school system. A major concern of mine is the potential removal of Mr. Bryan Mara's position as band director.

One of the things the high school prides itself on is its musical excellence. If one of the two band directors is removed, that excellence will rapidly decline. With his arrival in 2005, a great many changes came to the music department. A few of the most notable were the growth and improvement of our pep band, the resurrection of a competitive marching band program (after a 15-year hiatus), and overall renewed vigor and further musical growth within the student body.

His position is vital within the department. Not only does he provide fresh ideas, but he helps to bear the considerable work load. With the sheer number of students participating in band, a second director is necessary.

The program is split into three bands of different levels. While one instructor directs and teaches the band as a whole, the other is able to give lessons and more localized help to small sections. Without this extension of learning, the program would suffer irreparably. A single director with three full bands is madness. There is only so much he can do to reach and help them, and then they are on their own.

Without the support of Mr. Mara, Willmar's musical excellence and musical pride would deteriorate. I know well that, for many students and alumni of Willmar Senior High, it is the music department that we cherish most about this school. It is a part of my past that I am surpassingly fond of. I would hate to see it so tarnished.

Kelsey Hansen