Dear Editor,

Do you know that we have an orchestra program? If you do, I’m surprised, because apparently most of our school population had no idea. This isn’t implemented by the musicians, the music directors, or even the general student population. This is implemented by the administrators.

At MSHS, we have a blossoming music program. It includes Symphonic Band, Jazz Band, Mixed Choir, Chamber Choir, as well as the Orchestra and Advanced Orchestra. That’s right, there are two of each program within the music department. So, why am I asking about orchestra? Because the orchestra’s access to opportunity is incredibly limited.

This year, the pandemic became a relevant obstacle in the way of performances, as well as athletic games, plays, shows, World Language and Culture Night, and a number of other extracurricular clubs and activities like Muffin Topz and Robotics. This is something that we have no control over, however, we can control our response to the situation. In some ways, we have done this.

Athletics have started up again. That’s great for the athletes. But what about everyone else? Why isn’t the school initiating the start of other activities along with athletics? From an outside perspective, the reason seems to be simple: funding. The school makes money off of sports, not music. Why is that? Well, that gets into an issue bigger than just our school district. ​This is a national problem.

When it comes to school spending, athletics bring in more money than the arts do. Generally, the arts are more expensive too. This isn’t something that can be solved overnight, but I do think it is something more communities should be aware of. Especially since it directly impacts a majority of our student population. The first step to spread awareness about a topic is talking about it. If we can find solutions for sports to continue in the midst of the pandemic, then we can find solutions for other extracurriculars to continue. It is important that the school fairly organizes opportunities for all students.

The orchestra is seven years old now, and it’s tired of being unintroduced. This is just one example of the school’s lack of interest in other activities, and the simple fact that the entire arts program is treated this way is disappointing on its own.

All we ask is for your support. We can be a team, if we so choose.

Lauren Boyd, senior