Discontinuation of marching band is a sad but sensible move

Senior+Anu+Vaishnav+looks+longingly+upon+her+uniform.+The+move+to+terminate+Marching+Band%2C+while+perhaps+an+economic+necessity%2C+has+inflicted+casualties.+Hopefully%2C+the+optimism+Vaishnav+and+Fey+have+faced+the+unfortunate+circumstances+with+will+rekindle+the+fire+and+allow+the+organization+to+re-emerge+in+a+more+practical+form.+
Back to Article
Back to Article

Discontinuation of marching band is a sad but sensible move

Senior Anu Vaishnav looks longingly upon her uniform. The move to terminate Marching Band, while perhaps an economic necessity, has inflicted casualties. Hopefully, the optimism Vaishnav and Fey have faced the unfortunate circumstances with will rekindle the fire and allow the organization to re-emerge in a more practical form.

Senior Anu Vaishnav looks longingly upon her uniform. The move to terminate Marching Band, while perhaps an economic necessity, has inflicted casualties. Hopefully, the optimism Vaishnav and Fey have faced the unfortunate circumstances with will rekindle the fire and allow the organization to re-emerge in a more practical form.

Senior Anu Vaishnav looks longingly upon her uniform. The move to terminate Marching Band, while perhaps an economic necessity, has inflicted casualties. Hopefully, the optimism Vaishnav and Fey have faced the unfortunate circumstances with will rekindle the fire and allow the organization to re-emerge in a more practical form.

Senior Anu Vaishnav looks longingly upon her uniform. The move to terminate Marching Band, while perhaps an economic necessity, has inflicted casualties. Hopefully, the optimism Vaishnav and Fey have faced the unfortunate circumstances with will rekindle the fire and allow the organization to re-emerge in a more practical form.

Pranav Parthasarathy

Monta Vista Marching Band, an organization which previously won awards in many local and state competitions, had declined in terms of student interest for several years. Seeking to rejuvenate the ailing program, the Music Department mandated freshman band students’ participation in Marching Band, a move which opposed its intention.The resignation of numerous freshman band members followed suit, sealing the group’s fate. Administration’s pragmatism in cutting Marching Band should be applauded, but an appropriate reconstruction should be in order to appease saddened senior ex-members and fill the vacancy.

Senior Anu Vaishnav looks longingly upon her uniform. The move to terminate Marching Band, while perhaps an economic necessity, has inflicted casualties. Hopefully, the optimism Vaishnav and Fey have faced the unfortunate circumstances with will rekindle the fire and allow the organization to re-emerge in a more practical form.

Senior Anu Vaishnav looks longingly upon her uniform. The move to terminate Marching Band, while perhaps an economic necessity, has inflicted casualties. Hopefully, the optimism Vaishnav and Fey have faced the unfortunate circumstances with will rekindle the fire and allow the organization to re-emerge in a more practical form.

The demise of Marching Band reinforces a dangerous stereotype: that MVHS students care about academic and athletic performance to the point where they asphyxiate the arts in comparison. Band teacher and former Marching Band Director Jon Fey reiterated this common concern when he said that student’s parents fail to allocate enough time to the activity, preferring their children partake in sports or SAT prep classes.

 

Placing academics ahead of the arts is good in a sense: Scholarly success  paves promising prospects, as evidenced by the growing income disparity between the well-educated and the not-so-well-educated, with post-graduate degree holders bringing home a paycheck twice as large as those with only a high school diploma on average according to the National Center for Education Statistics. But to shun opportunities because of such desire for academic success  is a narrow-minded and dangerous doctrine which numerous students (including myself to an extent) prescribe to. In addition to its  therapeutic benefits, the arts encourages creative thought and expression— skills critical to success in the twenty-first century with the rapid growth of entrepreneurship and. The elimination of a creative activity, albeit one declining in popularity, reduces future students’ choices, constricting opportunity during a time  exploration into the arts should be a necessity.

 

The opportunities lost aren’t just theoretical: they are tactile. Former members seniors Anu Vaishnav, Mike Thomas, Melinda Yang, and Connie Guan were deprived of their fourth year of competition. Something should be done to console them and the others who have lost well-deserved opportunities as a result of the abrupt end of Marching Band. With  initiatives already underway to resuscitate Marching Band, such as recruitment meetings being held by Marching Band alumni who have graduated from Stanford, odds are in favor of a substitute emerging to fill this role.

Although prejudices may play a part in the picture, to insinuate that MVHS students as a whole loathe the arts thanks to the the lack of interest in Marching Band would be a gross generalization. Marching Band disbanded as a result of declining popularity, not due to any sort of stigma students hold against the genre as a whole. However, the annulment of yet another creative venture does diminish the plethora of activities this school provides to incoming freshman, and should be compensated for. However, with the wonderful optimism Fey and Vaishnav exude in response to this sad situation, a solution shouldn’t be far from their grasp.