“Where words fail, music speaks”

Those words on the power of music are attributed to Hans Christian Andersen.

So, when music is cut from schools, hundreds will turn out, like they did in Buffalo yesterday. Here’s an excerpt:

City Honors School student Ana Blatto presented a box of more than 700 letters from students protesting music cuts. She said she visited several schools to discuss music cuts and came across scared and confused students.

She recounted a student at Herman Badillo Bilingual Academy who said she was bullied in school and burst into tears when she heard that instrumental music would no longer be her refuge.

“So don’t take it from me when I say that the music program played a huge role in my life,” Ana said. “Take it from the children at Herman Badillo whose lives were completely changed because of music in a way mine never could be.”

NYSUT’s Secretary-Treasurer Lee Cutler noted “music education is one of the many casualties of the lack of adequate funding and the undemocratic property tax cap” in a recent memo announcing the latest round of winners in NYSUT’s Music On Hold contest.

Five years ago, NYSUT started this program of featuring students’ musical performance when callers are placed on hold. If you call headquarters between now and through the next two weeks, and are put on hold, you will hear the following original student pieces, which placed first, second and third:

  1. “Mesmerize” by Madison Faraut, Grade 8, Honeoye Central School
  2. “Where I’m Going” by Carly Hand, Grade 10, Grand Island High School
  3. “It’s Wrong Tonight” by Chad Hylton and Olympias Juke Vox, Grade 12, Greece High School

If you would like to hear all of these music selections uninterrupted, hit “7” when you call here (and that number is 518-213-6000 locally and (800) 342-9810 for long distance) and you will be automatically put on hold.

You can also here them online at www.nysut.org/musiconhold.

Through the summer and into September ,additional winners of additional rounds of the contest will be featured.

It’s our hope the music inspires us all to fight to keep the arts in our schools.

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