Letters to the Editor: July 21, 2016
Music has life-long values for our youth
As a resident of Quincy for 19 years and one deeply invested in the musical growth and heritage of students (grades 4-12 during that time), I am disturbed and disappointed that decades of work and passion, dedicated to the musical training and experience of life-changing experiences, has been allowed, perhaps even directed, to such a low point. Chris Sherman showed his heart and his disappointment, realizing he’s facing several obstacles to accomplish what he’s been hired to do.
I remember my first year and the discouragement I felt because the task was so daunting. However, in little time, as I became acquainted with the wonderful, hard-working, visionary people in Quincy, together we came to the conclusion that we could accomplish what was only dreamed of elsewhere.
With visionary and supportive school boards; the decisive encouragement of principals such as Bob Gorman, Dave Rossing, Jim Culp, Sam Willsey and Steve Dal Porto; a very supportive staff; and an incredibly supportive business community and service clubs, we did seven concert tours to areas that included San Francisco, British Columbia and Washington D.C., and a three-week concert tour and competition of Central Europe. The community helped us raise over $400,000. While we sang our way to places “over our heads,” students learned values and virtues they carried with them their entire lives.
Let me attempt to translate Sherman’s heart for you: He’s trying to say music has life-long values beyond teamwork and entertainment. Performing arts teach the brain to connect in ways that foster vision, entrepreneurship, risk-taking, character, commitment and follow-through. Sherman is correct — excellence is not an act or event; it is a culture. If it was dropped, those who know better must step up, or the heart of those tasked to build excellence will see themselves isolated.
The solution is not difficult: 1) Determine where you are. 2) Decide where you want to be. 3) Envision and plan how to get from No. 1 to No. 2. If you need help, I offer 45 years of experience and my heart. Quincy changed my life. I deeply love and revere the valley and the people. When the torch is dropped, the flame flickers and can die. With vision and outside-the-box thinking, it can burst back into flame in a short period of time.
Sherman was correct; this sleeping giant can and should rise and grow again. The pieces are there. Is the vision and desire?
Stuart Hunt, Quincy
QVAA provides us with a wonderful summer break
With terrible situations on the world scene and the stress of politics, Quincy Valley Allied Arts provided theater-goers with a “break” with the wonderfully hilarious production of “Nunsense” this past weekend. Even Quincy’s wind couldn’t adversely affect the acting and the audience’s happy approval of the outdoor show.
The gifted and musical cast included: Patric Connelly as the Mother Superior, Nancy Connelly as Mistress of Novices, Vonna Harris as Sister Mary Amnesia, Tom Harris as Father Cicillian, Melissa Martinez as the “ballerina” novice, and Sherri Kooy as Sister Robert Anne, a streetwise tough character. Plus “off-stage stars”: Marcia Streich on the piano; Keith Kooy on lights and sound; Josh Buys on set building; Holly Petersen on set decor; Sue Gregory and Sherri Kooy with props, and Sherri Kooy and Mandy Ottley with costumes.
Thank you, Quincy Valley Allied Arts!
Roxa Kreimeyer, Quincy