From September 2009, in an attempt to save money, the school's management has decided to cut the 60,000 pound budget that the music department had for peripatetic music lessons. Meaning that any pupils that are currently learning to play an instrument, and are learning on a Pembrokeshire County Council owned instrument, will no longer be allowed to use this equipment. In the current economic climate many pupils will simply not be able to afford to purchase their own instruments. Also any pupils who do own their own instruments will not have an orchestra/wind band to play with, as the school orchestra will also have to return any county-owned equipment. Where are these pupils going to be able to develop their musical ability
We are one of only a handful of Comprehensive school that have competed in the National Music for Youth competition in London, coming second on two occasions. This competition is very prestigious with alot of private collages, who specialise in Music, competing. Thus for a run-of-the-mill Welsh comprehensive to have succeeded in beating private music schools is a tremendous achievement. We have also won the Urdd National Eisteddfordd many times over the years.
Young people have a lot of negative press in this modern age and are constantly told to make better use of their time and energy by finding constructive hobbies to partake in. At present there is over 100 members of the Greenhill Orchestra, surely taking away this hobby will be detrimental to them.
I, and many other past members, are certain that we would not be in the positions we are today, nor have developed into the characters that we are without the music department and orchestra of Greenhill School and the presence of our conductor Mr. Paul Rapi. This man has put his heart and soul into his department and has worked tirelessly throughout the years to achieve the status that the orchestra has today and has been a finalist in the Music Teacher of the Year competition. This financial cut back is an insult to all his, and his staff's, hard work. Without instrument lessons, G.C.S.E and A level participation would drop dramatically and anybody wanting to study Music at a higher level, at university for example, would most likely not be able to. These cuts are destroying any possibility for Greenhill pupils to go on and forge a career in music!
I'm aware that the school does need to make cut backs; however, it seems extremely unfair that music has to bare the brunt of this. Greenhill School is known across the country as one of the best secondary schools for music and our orchestra is one of the best school orchestras in Britain.
In a meeting on Monday March the 30th 2009, the current Headmaster of the school, Mr Christopher Noble, stated that the cuts were necessary as the school budget had not increased accordingly with inflation. The suppliers of this insufficient budget are the Welsh Assembly Government, yet it is the school that has decided where the cuts should be made. It seems hugely unfair that a large proportion of the money that needs to be clawed back is coming from the music department. Particularly when it is the music that has put the school on the map, so to speak. Without the music department Greenhill School is just another Welsh comprehensive school with nothing extraordinary to offer.
Please help us to save and keep the music in Greenhill School!!!
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Also see http://www.westerntelegraph.co.uk/news/4247743.Music_cut_would__rip_heart_out_of_school_/ this is a local newspaper article on the matter it explains what the happen to the county in terms of Music should this plan go ahead.
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