The evening of May 24, I attended the Mount Royal Youth Orchestra's final concert at their elementary school, directed by Kenneth Whitley and Jane Cromwell.
The students delivered a concert that was well-organized and in tune. They showed pride in their accomplishments and a confidence that was complemented by the audience's intense and lengthy approval.
There is strong scientific correlation between music and math. An understanding of this is reflected in the addition of music to next year's curriculum at Baltimore's Polytechnic High School. Can our school system afford not to have such a program in every school?
The orchestral program has brought a gratifying sense of order to the children's lives. The school performances of many are improving and they are being nurtured as future performers and audiences.
Corporate and private contributions are needed to pay for instruments, salaries and music. Among the orchestras' sources of income are the annual Christmas tree sale and parlor concerts at which leading musicians donate their time.
I suggest donors call the school for the dates of the 1995-96 parlor concert fund-raisers and other efforts to fund this wonderful enterprise.
Robin R. Gaber
Need Evening Sun
This is to express my disappointment with the announced curtailment of The Evening Sun. Why am I upset? I like to read the latest sports stories about Baltimore teams.
Past history shows that sports articles about any late games, especially those played on the West Coast, will automatically be delayed. When games are played late Saturday night you will see nothing in print until Monday at best. And the stories will be abbreviated.
Unless the morning paper is held up or they make a delayed edition for residential delivery we will have to wait an extra day. Reading news two days old is a joke, but what recourse will we have? It's like everything else. The public keeps getting less and less and we can't do anything about it.
Rec centers educate and inspire
Many people associate Baltimore and other large cities with drugs, crime, racial tensions, family breakdown, single-parent families and alienation.
That is why we were so pleasantly surprised when we attended a dance recital in Baltimore City recently.
We were impressed by the obvious talent and skills exhibited by the approximately 70 four- to 17-year-old students.
Families, including parents, grandparents and an assortment of aunts, uncles and cousins, were beaming with pride at the accomplishment of their children. Several camcorders were filming the entire show.
No one seemed to mind that some of the 4-year-olds were more interested in waving to their families than in dancing.
It was all part of growing up, and the students' families, whatever their background, seemed more united by what they shared in common than separated by their differences.
What was so unusual about this? This happened in the Baltimore City-funded Hamilton Recreation Center. Don't you just love it when stereotypes are shattered?
Center director Rose Velenovsky said the center offers also offers senior citizens bridge and canasta card groups, chess clubs, ceramics, pool, ping-pong, art groups and, for the more agile, social roller skating.
Any of these can help break down a sense of isolation, loneliness and alienation.
For the youth, her center offers tiny tot play groups, summer day camp, a Kung Fu group, roller skating, tumbling lessons and a boys club that includes skating and other games.
How are these for alternatives to "hanging out" and waiting for trouble to happen?
I am glad that about 280 adults gathered to encourage 70 children to perform.
I like to think that this sort of thing is happening in the two dozen or so recreation centers scattered around the city of Baltimore.
The highly publicized issue of how long a mother and newborn should stay in the hospital after delivery was tackled by the Maryland General Assembly with the passage of Senate Bill 677/House Bill 888.
There is some confusion and misunderstanding, suggesting that this Mothers' and Infants' Health Security Act calls for a mandated 48-hour hospital stay for mothers and newborns after delivery and that it negates the 24-hour discharge guideline for healthy vaginal deliveries.
This is not true and I would like to clarify any misperception.
The Mothers' and Infants' Health Security Act requires a health insurer or health maintenance organization to cover a 48-hour hospital stay after childbirth, if there is no benefit for a home nurse visit for a healthy mother and newborn who might otherwise be discharged after 24-hours.
The purpose of the home nurse visit is to monitor the health of the mother and infant, to answer any questions or concerns the mother may have and to allow for the collection of an adequate sample for the hereditary and metabolic newborn screening, when indicated.
Sometimes, a longer hospital stay is medically necessary, a decision that only the obstetrician or primary care physician can make. However, it is generally accepted that the more appropriate environment for a healthy mother and infant is in their own home.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland and its HMOs supported the Mothers' and Infants' Health Security Act as it was amended and are pleased that our medical policy is in compliance with the guidelines set forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology for perinatal care.
We do, however, remain committed to a 24-hour maternity discharge, if the delivery is without complications and meets the guidelines set forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology for perinatal care.
Robert N. Sheff, M.D.
The writer is a senior vice president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield.