You may or may not have noticed that for the past couple of weeks, we have not been Living Arts. We decided to rename ourselves, in the true spirit of the section, Entertainment. We will still continue to offer arts-related pieces, but we will also cover happenings on campus and general-interest pieces. In the spirit of our name change, we started a four week point-counterpoint series on the merits of Theatre, Dance, Music, and Visual Arts at Andover. We ran our Theatre point-counterpoint on September 29, and this week we continue with music. Let us know what you think about our new image or our point-counterpoint. Email any comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org ———————————————————- I like playing music. I do. I even enjoy playing music in group ensembles. Unfortunately, the role of group ensembles here at Andover is not one that caters to my enjoyment. The Music Department’s goals for the group ensembles do not reflect the students’ goals as much as one might hope. The department policy requires students involved in group ensembles to participate in two ensemble rehearsals per week, regardless of the students’ wishes or otherwise busy schedules. As an oboist, I play in Symphony Orchestra on Tuesdays, while being required to go to Concert Band on Thursday nights. Since I was only interested in participating in Orchestra, I was not particularly thrilled with the music department’s requirement. I understand the Music Department’s stance that students must participate in group rehearsals at least twice a week to improve on their group playing skills. Nevertheless, I think this is unreasonable. It is unreasonable to expect us to devote an extra hour and forty-five minutes of rehearsal time, in the case of Concert Band, including the time it takes to practice the additional pieces, not to mention the numerous performances. All this time, while the requirement perhaps helps instrumentalists or singers, it is time spent on an activity that is not necessarily enjoyable. Considering the lifestyles we lead at PA, it is inconsiderate of the Music Department to tax our time in this way, especially if we are volunteering for the ensembles. Volunteers should not be subjected to this kind of time drain. Wind instrument players are required to go to Concert Band, even though some of them are also in Chamber Orchestra. Students in Fidelio are also required to go to Chorus rehearsals once a week on top of their Fiedlio rehearsals. Students in Cantata are required to go to both choruses’ rehearsals. The assumption seems to be that if on a given night your ensemble does not meet, you are required to go to a separate group ensemble. As much as students may love making music, students just do not have time for all required music making. Why are students not allowed to make just the music they enjoy? Just because someone enjoys singing in Cantata does not necessarily mean that he or she will also enjoy Chorus. Even if gratification is not the goal (which I think it should be), the fact that this student makes time in his schedule for Cantata does not mean that he can also make room for Chorus. If he or she cannot find such time, he or she cannot be involved in group ensembles at all. Therefore, he or she would lose great experiences working with the fabulous music faculty. All students, especially those with busy schedules, should be given a much more reasonable opportunity to work with Andover’s prestigious music faculty. This ought to be a basic right. This policy often discourages many students from getting more involved in music at Andover. If you cannot play 20 hours a week, then you cannot play in group ensembles at all. Is this kind of black-and-white logic that the Andover community believes in?