April 22, 2015

Cancellation of School Orchestra Concert April 23 Would Be Huge Loss for Students

To the Editor:

Due to the ongoing union negotiations between the Princeton Board of Education and the PREA, the cancellation of the upcoming annual district-wide elementary school orchestra concert on April 23 is imminent. It is a huge loss artistically. This concert is the culmination of the music teachers and children’s entire year of practice and rehearsal. It is a brilliantly orchestrated event that brings together the strings students from all four elementary schools to perform at Princeton High School’s main auditorium. This concert is the pinnacle achievement of the teacher and student’s academic year.

During my 24 years with McCarter Theatre I have seen how a performance experience on our stages can transform a child. Artists practice their craft to ultimately share, perform, and enrich an audience’s hearts and minds. A huge experience is being taken away from over 150 elementary school students in Princeton. The children lose the opportunity to perform in a large venue before an audience in the hundreds. They lose a chance to build their poise, confidence and pride. They lose being part of an extraordinary collaboration with their peers from the other elementary schools and they never get to reach the goal they have practiced for all year, which negatively impacts their motivation.

The children lose.

Taking this concert away from them is equal to telling a winning sports team they cannot play in the championship game; in effect, they never get past the playoffs. A resolution to these negotiations by both sides must be made so that activities such as this concert can take place.

Cheryl Mintz

Franklin Avenue, Parent of a 4th Grade Student,

Resident Stage Manager McCarter Theatre Center