The future of the band and drama programs
By Delilah Spence, Reporter
For the past few decades, the VHS band and drama programs have provided entertainment and enrichment for many students. From concerts to plays to half-time performances, they have become a staple of the VHS community. But, these programs are more than just entertainment, they have become safe spaces for students.
“[The band program] creates a community around school that produces an environment in which people who ordinarily probably wouldn’t hang out together, get together,” sophomore Rowan McBennet said.
Sometimes a space where students can practice the arts can help people express themselves in unconventional ways and greatly influence a student’s time in high school.
“Band has impacted my time in high school in a positive way since I can play music with others that love music as well,” band student Everett Hatfield said.
However, this form of self-expression has taken hits in the past from budget cuts.
“[There has been] the removal of a second year ensemble at McMurray. We used to offer concert band for our second year players, but we have had to absorb that class into symphonic band,” Britt Dahlgren said.
Cuts like these have sometimes made it hard for students to thrive in class. Although, if proposed cuts are implemented, theater students wouldn’t have to worry about being held back in class, because the class might not exist at all.
“Classes must have a minimum of 15 students in order to be considered a viable class,” Principal John Erickson said.
If there isn’t a theater class next year, it would be the first time in decades that this has happened, and it could have a very negative effect on students.
“[If the] theater arts class were to be cut…it would be a huge loss to those kids who resonate in that way,” Andy James said.
This possibility that these programs could be cut or minimized is unfortunate because of how much the arts can help people get over their fears.
“Most people are afraid of being onstage; the people in theater class have a taste for it,” James said.
Theater, like band, can also allow people who can’t express themselves normally to express themselves.
“A lot of times, people just can’t use their words but [self-expression] really shows through different types of art,” Junior Shai Gefkovicz said.
James also hopes to expand his program into a space where everyone feels comfortable enough to take risks.
“You know, being in Theater Arts is exactly the kind of good kind of risk we always talk about,” James said. “It’s not playing in traffic risk. It’s playing with yourself risk, playing with your own skills risk.”