Great Display Of Talent



This past Saturday evening we attended the Tonto Community concert and we witnessed a great display of talent by the Payson High School jazz ensemble, or if you wish, band. The music chosen was to impress we senior citizens (aka old folks), which it did. I knew that it was a pitch to support the override. I didn’t hear any sour notes or missed notes and they played without a director except at start and finish.

It was very obvious that these musicians spent a lot of time practicing. Were I to be assured that when it came time to cut activities due to money problems, that the programs that eat the biggest chunks of the budget, such as Interscholastic football, basketball, wrestling, softball, baseball and tiddley winks be the first to be reduced, you would have my vote.

Why three or four coaches in football? When I played many years ago, my coach (former guard on the old Buffalo Bills) taught English, mathematics and civics as well as coached jr. varsity and varsity basketball. Most of us played both offensive and defensive positions for the whole game. Our interscholastic athletics was intended to teach us sportsmanship, initiative (the quarterback called the plays, not the coach), not groom us for a career as a professional athlete.

Why is it considered more important to produce athletes than an equally talented trumpet player, (I saw four such trumpet players Saturday or the French horn players? Or, to deny teaching a budding artist how to develop his talents, or the potential carpenter the fundamentals of building, the future farmer or rancher of good agriculture procedures ... Why should science lab funding be sacrificed for sports?

Show me that none of what I fear, will have happened happened until interscholastic athletics is reduced to intramural athletics and I will be the first to vote yes. A world without music of any sort — including rock music would be a sad world, as is America when it becomes filled with illiterates.

Jim Gier


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