Music Matters in Our Schools


I’m writing, gratefully inspired by the final concert conducted by Gary Fagan at Western Albemarle High School on May 28. It was a beautiful event that showcased this most talented band teacher who has led so many of our children for the past 34 years to the gift of music. Music talent can be shared and enjoyed for a lifetime, as evidenced by the return of some 53 alumni who played valiantly and beautifully for their beloved conductor and teacher. As Gary said at the end of the concert, “I will never forget this night.” Nor will I.

This leads me to the topic of Music Matters Advocacy. Several months ago, a group of music-minded advocates began to gather support and campaign for outstanding programs for band, choir and orchestra in Albemarle County Schools. A petition will be presented at the School Board’s regular meeting on Thursday, June 11, in Room 241 in the Albemarle County Office Building, and we invite all our community to join us at that meeting. Gary and Phyllis Fagan will be difficult to replace, but there are even more serious issues to address to keep the commitment to music in the schools, especially in the Henley to Western Albemarle feeder pattern, alive and thriving. Please go online and sign our petition at before June 11. We are calling for action in providing appropriate staffing, scheduling and offerings to encourage outstanding programs of excellence in band, choir and orchestra and to grow a vibrant performing arts culture for all children. Please join us in our campaign.

Martha Wallin Redinger

Letters reflect the opinions of their authors and not necessarily those of the Crozet Gazette.