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Allow private school students in Gifted and Talented orchestra [Letter]
I read Gina Eichman's letter praising parents' and teachers' commitment to their children's musical pursuits and in particular praising the efforts and ingenuity of the Howard County Gifted and Talented (GT) High School Orchestra. I second her praise and am an avid music supporter, as are my children. Unfortunately, the opportunity she references is not available to all young musicians in the county: Those students who attend private schools are prohibited from joining the county GT group. Nearly every teacher, student or parent I have talked to over the years has agreed with me that this is an irrational, unfair policy that deprives children of tax-paying parents the opportunity to practice and perform with fellow talented young musicians. Moreover, since many private schools have a much smaller student body than their public school peers, these schools are unable to support the formation of large musical ensembles that provide musicians with an opportunity to share expertise and joy with like-minded peers. It is time for a re-look at this exclusionary policy: too late for my children, but for those children who could still benefit. I know many of them.
March 6, 2013