Column: Musicians deserve recognition


The Newtonite

by Jared Perlo

Seldom silent during the school day, the theatre wing brims with the sights and sounds of talented artists, musicians and performers working hard to improve and refine their craft. Theatre Ink is known school-wide for its dazzling displays and performances, and artists’ creations can be seen on display throughout the hallways and even at the Newton Free Library.

However, this school’s music program goes largely unnoticed within the school community, with an overwhelming lack of enthusiasm and spirit when it comes to the music produced by dedicated students.

Students should take pride in their classmates’ talents and reserve one or two hours several times a year to hear them voice their musical passion. Just as pupils attend their classmates’ sports games or go to see Theatre Ink productions, students in the musical program deserve to have their efforts and talent heard by their classmates.

Most of the mainstream music programs take part in three concert series every year: Harvestfest, Winterfest and Springfest. These events are usually split into two nights, featuring both instrumental and vocal groups which showcase many weeks’ worth of both in- and out-of-school preparation.

Despite the immense talent possessed and exhibited at each of these concerts, these concerts are sparsely attended, and the audience usually consists of devoted parents and family members. The quality of music, as well as the simple opportunity to hear students show off their talent and hard work, warrants more than a half-full auditorium littered with empty seats.

Several times a year, the Jubilee singers hold specialized concerts that should be attended by scores of students. In addition, this school’s relatively new jazz program, including several instrumental groups and the Tiger BeBop jazz choir, has exploded in popularity and deserves more than a minimum capacity audience.

Despite possible reservations about going twice a year to hear hundreds of their fellow Tigers play their instruments and belt out chords, the discovery of a whole new genre of talent far surpasses the slight inconvenience of losing a couple of hours on a weeknight.

All too easily unnoticed, this school’s powerful music program does not deserve to slip under students’ radar and should never be taken for granted.