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Letter: Norwalk Band Kids Already Pay to Play

NORWALK, Conn. — accepts signed, original letters to the editor. Letters may be emailed to

To the Editor,

I have been the president of the Norwalk High School Marching Band for the past two years. Let me explain the issues that most of the public as well as reporters do not understand. BAND is a MANDATORY credited course (for students who are studying music) as part of the Board of Education curriculum. With that being said, let me enlighten everyone who may not know:

  • BAND is a credited course and it is GRADED!
  • It costs $450,000 per year to run the Norwalk High School Marching Band.
  • ONLY $20,000 comes from the BOE to cover buses for band trips. This does not even cover half of our cost – our buses cost $45,000 per year.
  • We the parents raise every other penny to cover SCHOOL custodians, uniforms, props, most instruments. (It costs the band, NOT THE SCHOOLS, to replace our drums. We buy used ones – last year it cost US $11,000.
  • Each student pays roughly $1,000 per year to participate in Marching (A SCHOOL GRADED COURSE), not to mention JAZZ, WINTER GUARD, WINTER PERCUSSION and SCHOOL MUSICALS.

To say our kids need to pay to play is completely ridiculous and absurd! We already do pay a tremendous amount of money.

As a side note at Norwalk High, we have honors math and honors history! Only one student this year went on to be an educator in the field of math and history. This year seven of our 24 seniors are going to college for music education. My daughter is one of them. It saddens me to find so many people who think they know what they are talking about voicing uneducated opinions, which in fact are not only incorrect, but they minimize the impact that music has in our schools.

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