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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : opinions May 25, 2016

2/16/2013 1:01:00 PM
Letter: Mingus musical more than a great show


There have been many kudos written about the recent “Broadway Across the U.S.” musical put on at Mingus High. Yes, it was a fantastic show, great singing, great dancing. But it’s way more than that.

It’s a fantastic learning experience for the kids and proves that the arts are an integral part of the educational curricula that is presented in schools. Just think how many types of learning experiences went into creating that musical.

Besides learning choreography for the dance numbers and words and music for the vocal numbers, there are the backstage activities for the students. Some are working the sound equipment, some are working the lights. All have to be in sync with what’s happening onstage.

And when Mr. Ball puts on a theatrical play, we have set design, construction as well. Hey this is beginning to sound like preparation for life, isn’t it? Not to mention the important skill of working together to complete a project. This is what builds “community.”

Isn’t that what you want for your kids- to feel part of a community? And that’s just what my point is. Don’t let anyone tell you that the arts are “superfluous” to the educational process. The arts are the nitty-gritty of learning skills that can be transferred to the outside world just as well as math and science do, therefore, an important adjunct to the academics.

However this access to “art” is greatly undermined by the reduction in state allocations for school funding, and by the loss of the 1 percent tax extension. We citizens are responsible for this. We need to remind our legislators that education comes first, first, first; even before jobs (since you have to be educated to get a good job).

We have to let them know so programs like Theater, Band, Choir, at Mingus or any other school, don’t go kaput! Call or email our State Reps: Andy Tobin (atobin@azleg.gov 602-926-5172); Karen Fann (kfann@azleg.gov 602926-5874); State Senator Steve Pierce (spierce@azleg.gov 602-926-5584) and don’t forget the federal guys: Sen. John McCain (www.mccain.senate.gov 202-224-2235); Sen. Jeff Flake (www.flake.senate.gov 202- 224-4521) and Rep. Gosar (www.gosar.house.gov 202 225-2315)

Right now those programs have to raise money on their own, often relying on people to take advantage of the school tax credit, or by staging fundraisers.

Speaking of fundraisers, there are two coming up within the next ten days. Verde Valley Concert Assoc. awards scholarships to young instrumentalists and vocalists every year in the spring.

Many of Mr. Ball’s students have won these, most notably Gloria Alcala and Jessica Reinhart, two of the singers you may have seen in the “Broadway “show and who will be featured at the Wed. Feb. 20th fundraiser at Country Bank along with an internationally famous Recorder Trio from Denmark.

Wine, cheese, and hors d’oeuvres will be on the menu for a $20 admission fee. Call 639-0636 for tickets.

The Mingus theater arts fundraiser will be a dinner featuring a variety musical show “Patchwork,” Fri. Feb. 22 and Sat. Feb 23 at 6:30 to 8:30 in the cafeteria.($12 for adults, $10 for high schoolers, and $8 for children. (Call 634-7531) Here are two chances to do your part to ensure the arts do not disappear from our schools.

Lee Cali


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