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DLHS musicals should feature live orchestra

Thursday evening, November 5, I attended a performance of "West Side Story," this year's DLHS musical. Part of the reason I attended was to report to our son William (2003 DLHS graduate), who is always interested in DLHS performances as he was active in the band (All State Band two years), in USMC Band for four years, and is currently part of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Concert Band. The performance was very enjoyable. Sadly, it was only half there. I was very disappointed to find that what I thought was a pit band was only recorded music.

It is unthinkable in my mind to have a high school musical without high school band members accompanying in the pit. I personally played in the orchestra pit for all three musicals at St. Paul Park Senior High (Cottage Grove, Minn). Yes, it takes dedication by both students and instructors. and many hours both in school and in the evening. I played music from "Sound of Music," "Brigadoon," and "Unsinkable Molly Brown." I find it hard to believe the music from "West Side Story" could be more difficult than these.

As the people in our school district recently voted for an increase in operating funds for our District 22 schools I would encourage our school board to adequately fund our instrumental program/staff so the other half of the performance can be heard.