By Erle Grubb
SC Contributing Writer
It is appalling that the existence of the Music Department at ESU is being threatened by the university’s president and its administrative officials, as brought to our attention in John Reed’s front page article, “Retrenchment Letter Retracted, Music Headed for Moratorium,” in “The Stroud Courier,” October 16, 2014.
“The administration plans to move forward with its intent to place the music program in moratorium at the end of the academic year,” the article says.
Ironically, in this same issue, in the Arts & Entertainment section’s lead story, Dr. Eugene Galperin, professor in ESU’s Mathematics Department, very sensibly makes the case for music and its influence in today’s society, using opera as an example: “When music was joined with words, the emotional and dramatic meaning of the words was deepened one hundred fold.”
Dr. Galperin is correct, and I wonder if President Welsh doesn’t know better or is afraid to admit it? If she were to go forward with terminating the Music Department, it wouldn’t surprise me if the marching band would continue to be funded, however, so as to still provide that attraction for home football games.
When I began my college musical training at LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University Agricultural & Mechanical College had a superior Music Department with a notable faculty in all musical fields.
If an A&M college could support its Music Department then and still does so now, which it does, certainly ESU can decide to maintain and expand its Music Department, which would deepen, many times over, the value and meaning of attending its university — and remain one of truly higher learning.
Let’s nourish the Music Department at ESU.
As Dr. Galperin, other faculty, students, and thoughtful members of our community clearly know, and as President Welsh, herself, is quoted as saying, this approach would truly “…best serve student interest and Commonwealth need.”
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