This excellent New York Times video profiles the Newark Ohio High School Sinfonia and its trip to New York for a national orchestra competition. The piece reminded me (yet again) of how fortunate I was to have grown up in Alaska in the 80’s, when a lot of oil money went to schools, the arts, and extracurricular activities.
Anchorage had a great orchestra program in the schools, and a city-wide Youth Symphony, with which I traveled to Australia, New Zealand, Washington, D.C., and New York. It’s good to see that much of that continues, but the fact remains that these programs are under constant threat from those who question their value. The difference between the value of a thing and its cost is subtle. Well, it’s not subtle to those who understand and appreciate value.
Yes, we’re in an economic downturn. But if we let these programs disappear now, our society will pay a much higher cost in the future. Also see the companion article.