I could be wrong about this rant. But I’ll throw it out there anyway and you can tell me if I’m off target.
Last week a choir from a high school right around the corner from here performed with a Washington-area professional chorus on stage at the Kennedy Center in DC. But this wasn’t one of the free concerts the KC offers every day (which is not a knock on the Millennium Stage program!).
The high school group was part of the final performance of the adult choir’s regular subscription season and the audience paid the usual high prices to be there. They were even given a prominent place in the advertising. During the concert, the kids performed three numbers with the adult choir and was featured on five pieces on their own.
A pretty big deal you might think. However, not one member of the school administration bothered to attend.
Not the principal or the associate principal. None of the six assistant principals, activities director, or guidance director. Ten school "leaders" and no one came to support the students.
It isn’t that this was a last minute deal. The invitation was accepted and the date was approved by the administration back in October. Free tickets were available. No other school events were scheduled that night. If this were the football team playing in district finals, do you think the principal would be there?
Ok, so maybe this isn’t on the same level with an athletic championship game. Maybe a Kennedy Center performance by a high school music group has taken on a ho-hum, been-there-done-that Washington kind of attitude. Maybe I’m just biased because my wife is the high school’s choir director.
However, this is not an isolated attitude at this particular school or in this area – or I suspect in many high schools elsewhere. Unless it involves a high-profile athletic trophy or high-stakes testing, most school administrators are just not interested in anything students are doing. Just one more reason why music and arts programs are gradually being drained from American schools.
But then I could be wrong.