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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000936.txt from 2004/10

From: (Ormondtoby Montoya)
Subj: RE: [kl] Appealing to the superficial
Date: Sat, 30 Oct 2004 20:54:33 -0400

Matthew=A0Lloyd wrote:

> Do American schools not have orchestras?
> [snip] Is there no equivalent to our County
> Music Service Orchestras - taking the best
> students from the County (ours are larger
> than yours) and forming an orchestra? The
> one from my county, Bedfordshire, played
> annually at the Albert Hall.

Matthew, here are two points of information --- no editorial implied.

Our situation in America changes dramatically when children graduate
from high school (our grade 12) and enter the university level.

Some high schools schools do have orchestras. But, for example, the
'orchestra' at my daughter's high school last year (approximately 1200
kids in the school) was a dozen or so young folk who volunteered during
jazz band class to attempt some classical music.

My town does have a couple of 'outreach' programs which bring orchestral
and classical artists into the high schools and junior high schools
(middle schools, I think you call them). These programs also borrow
teachers from the local university and from visiting professional
orchestras to do 'outreaches'. Such 'outreach' events are usually
well-attended by high school and junior high school students, but they
are usually only one-day or two-day events. During the summer, one
'outreach program' lasts for a full 7 days, I believe.

....anyway, in my area, band students (both marching band and jazz band)
and choir students **far** outnumber orchestra students. I'd guess
that the ratio is 50-to-1.

The other point: You mentioned "taking the best students from the
County" and forming an orchestra. This is completely different from
what Adam Michlin was discussing. Adam was discussing programs at
school in which every kid in the school, good or bad, can take 'band'
(if they have or can borrow an instrument) unless they are so terrible
that the band director must say "Sorry, you'd ruin it for the others."

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