Cincinnati Enquirer’s Michael D. Clark reports:
Despite high notes in recent years that include performing in California’s Rose Parade and last week at a prestigious music event in Chicago, Lakota Schools’ band programs may be headed for a downbeat next year due to pending budget cuts.
The heralded band and orchestra programs at both Lakota high schools may be targeted soon in another round of budget cuts as part of $9 million in planned reductions for the financially struggling school system.
This school year already saw elimination of sixth-grade music education classes, a loss that staffers say will have repercussions for years as students are delayed from matriculating through Lakota’s bands and orchestras.
“My biggest worry is how many seventh-graders will not sign up for band next year and if they do, how far behind will they be,” says Lakota West High School band director Greg Snyder.
On Jan. 1, 2008, Snyder led the marching Firebirds of Lakota West High School, one of the largest bands in Southwest Ohio, as they earned the distinction of being the first from this region to perform in the annual Rose Parade on New Year’s Day.
Later that year, the Lakota East High School band performed during parades and memorial services in Hawaii marking the anniversary of the World War II attack on Pearl Harbor.
Lakota’s music programs and its wide travel have attracted fund-raising support and special public performances in its schools by both the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Ballet.
Just last week, Lakota West’s band earned kudos from music directors from around the world during its performance at the internationally attended Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago. (more…)