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Letters to the editor — Tuesday (9-13-2016)

Symphony marks 50 years, deserves 50 more

Imagine a small town like Salisbury having a large symphony orchestra of 75-85 paid musicians, making it the Charlotte area’s other professional orchestra.

Budget concerns continue to hinder marketing the aura of this group of very skilled artisans in our hometown.  The result is that locals seem to devalue or just ignore the real importance of its music and also its special attention given to the direct funding of “after school music lessons,” the hiring of the full North Carolina Symphony to introduce all of the area’s fifth graders to the instruments and sounds they generate joyfully; and let’s not forget the very professional December “Nutcracker” with both music and dance treats — thrilling to both young and old  wide eyes and all. For many, it’s their first and only adventure into the music and dance arts.

In all, this incredible 50 years has delivered much of what we can be very proud.  Fifty years deserves the support in attendance and funding by Rowan’s “affectionados” and “just plain curious.”  We should also recognize with pride one of only six small town professional symphony orchestras in the entire USA that have continued for 50 years or more.

Applause is needed, and funding is appreciated, but applause does make it seem worth another fifty years!

Buddy Farnan

Salisbury

Improvement requires more than cheerleading

Karen Lilly-Bowyer’s very moderate note of caution regarding unjustified euphoria over “improved” ratings of schools in Rowan County should be taken seriously rather than accepting the emotional pablum that appeared in the My Turn column on the 8th.

No, Ms. Lilly-Bowyer does not refer to all parents nor to all students in the schools but rather to a general problem which she reiterated in today’s on-line forum.

So poverty exists and affects children in the classroom? What a discovery! And how long will this be used as an excuse for the pathetic knowledge levels of American students?

Backwardness and a low standard of living didn’t prevent South Koreans, Singaporeans and Taiwanese from advancing, and they shouldn’t for any others, unless there are dysfunctional aspects to their cultures and environments that hold them back.

Digital conversion is another example of the failed American system of throwing money at a problem rather than approaching it from the human side. The people and not the money will, if willing and led, make the changes. Learning is learning, regardless of how it is labelled. Although, in America, I see very little of it and an enormity of trivia in lieu of knowledge. It has grown to the point of mental vacuousness and intellectual nullity.

And what of home environments? Do the schools have to provide remedies for the failures of families or do changes start where they always should have? Loving, nurturing, freedom and trust!

Fine talk, full of saccharine emotion, but where is the reality behind all this feel-good talk? When will students perform, not to the best of their ability but perform period?

This will be wonderful and the start of something life-changing, but it will involve much more than cheerleading; it will mean lots of work learning and getting away from the world of trivia that pollutes life.

Richard Nash Creel

Salisbury

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