Open Letter: From a La Serna Band Member

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Dear Faculty and Students of La Serna:

Like many other band members, I am disappointed in the fact that our marching band is greatly overlooked by the school, and by the students within. In this day and age, it is rare to find a music program that isn’t belittled by football or by any other sports. Our band is another example of this occurrence.

A result of this is the little to no recognition our band receives. It is absolutely absurd that over 100 students dedicate their time and put effort into the program, with barely any recognition for what they do. Not only does this lower the morale that the students within have, it makes some feel as if what they’re doing is pointless. With assemblies that the school holds, and daily announcements the school does, the band is usually never mentioned in them. A specific example of this was a football rally held during lunch last year, where organizers let certain people from football thank groups for participating in their games (Cheer, ASB, etc.). With no surprise, the marching band was not included in the thank you’s other groups were receiving even though they perform at every home football game for La Serna.

Another result of the lack of appreciation for band is the funding the band receives. Although I have no specific numerical values, I have confirmed that the funding that other sports receive is only a little bit more than the funding marching band, concert band, orchestra, Jazz bands, color guard, and drum line receive for the whole year. This means that several groups have to share the funds that is meant to be spent on one group. Not only is the amount inadequate for a group of this size, it is not enough to cover the costs of shows/music that is needed.

However, there are many changes that can be made. Before I get to those, I’d like to point out causes for our group being overlooked. One leading cause is that football is a traditional sport for Americans, and it leaves groups such as ours in the shadows. Another cause is not many people respect our group due to conflicting opinion of if it is or isn’t a sport (which is not what I’m here to argue). This issues, however, negatively affects us because it changes the way we are perceived in the eyes of the school. Some changes that could be done are giving more recognition for our group, increasing the funds that we receive, and overall just improving the common view of what marching band is.

I would appreciate it if this was to change the way some students think about band, and most importantly for the faculty of La Serna to react in a way that would benefit both sides of this. As a recurring member of the band for what is now going to be my third year, there are few instances of when I have felt we have been properly recognized/respected as a group. On the contrary, there have been many instances where I have felt unappreciated and that there is no point to what I’m doing. I hope that this letter helps people realize what is wrong with this situation concerning band, and I hope change is foreseeable in the near future.

Sincerely,

Jonathon Gonzalez
Junior

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