Letters to the Editor 4/27

April 27, 2001

Letters to the Editor 4/27

Instruments come first

To the editor:

I read with great interest the article about the middle-school band students at Clear Spring possibly not marching anymore. I had the pleasure of teaching with Mr. Wine at Clear Spring Middle from 1987-1996 as the choral director and general music teacher.

When the elementary band program was cut I remember thinking how in the world is a band director supposed to teach beginning band and one year later have them marching in the seventh grade? I thought is was unbelievable that band students who were still very much beginners would need to take time away from learning the instrument to learn marching band skills.

Teaching a musical instrument is a complicated thing which requires great attention to technique and musicianship elements. As Wine stated, music education must come first. I wholeheartedly agree with his opinion. He is a veteran teacher with great experience and he is one of the reasons why we can be so proud of our high school Blazer Band.


The high school band has always been part of an excellent community musical outreach and they ably represent Clear Spring's marching band pride.

I realize that marching bands promote all kinds of positive things for the band student and the community. But there truly is nothing more important for the young band student to learn than his instrument. If you don't believe me, watch "The Music Man."

Taking the middle school years to spend progressing past the beginner stage into early intermediate would be a tremendous gain for these young musical beginners. We owe them that committment as music educators. Then when they are more mature in every way, both physically and musically, the band student has four years to display his solid musicianship through the marching band.

In the same paper there also was a wonderful article about the Clear Spring High jazz group and how excited they were to be performing their music at Doub's Wood Park this weekend.

These fine young music students are discovering how many wonderful and exciting things can result when you are a dedicated and hard-working music student. Being in the concert band and marching band is just the start for a young music student who loves his art!

Ruth Stenger


Stop the raid on Social Security

To the editor:

We senior citizens demand that Congress stop spending our Social Security money on unrelated government programs. Franklin D. Roosevelt created Social Security and wanted it held in our name and repaid when we retired.

I worked 42 years at public work for mine. Our retirement funds can go to pay foreign aid, congressional salaries and any pork barrel scheme the politicians want to help them get elected.

That is not what President Roosevelt intended it for. His vision was for a stable, secure fund that would provide a guaranteed pension for every American. Over the next two years our surplus will grow to $353 billion. We now have no law saying the politicians cannot spend it on pork-barrel projects.

Today we have $1 trillion owed to Social Security by Congress. We need new legislation to force the government to stop looting Social Security and use the budget surplus to repay the debts that threaten the future of Social Security and our children and grandchildren.

We need a law to stop them from wasting our Social Security money on wasteful pork-barrel projects. Instead of strengthening Social Security, some Washington politicians are even discussing future benefit cuts in Social Security.

It's been 10 years since Sen. Daniel Moynihan and the late Sen. John Heinz first brought up the Social Security Trust Fund scandal. They called it embezzlement and thievery. Congress has still not done anything about it so they still can loot the Social Security Trust Fund. We need passage of legislation to wall off Social Security from the money hungry politicians and stop the wasting our money and protect the future of our Social Security. This should be our top priority to get this passed.

Anna Lee Burker


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