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Jazz band broke Insufficient funding for high school group

Students’ view
By: Kenneth Marlow and Josue Ayala Special to The News Messenger
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Recently, the Lincoln High School Jazz Band was cut as a class because of monetary difficulties that envelop the educational systems today. According to the Western Placer Unified School Board, the instructor of the jazz band is no longer able to legally teach the group as an actual class due to the issue of money. Because of this issue, the jazz band can no longer stay afloat as an actual class. Last year, students would meet daily at 6:50 a.m. to practice jazz and learn music theory. However, as Lincoln High School’s band Instructor, David Hill was not actually being paid as a full-time teacher for this class, the school board could not allow Hill to legally teach it; he already had reached his capacity for classes. The principal of Lincoln High, Dr. Jay Berns, said that “the teacher (Mr. Hill) basically did the class out of the goodness of his heart.” Berns also said that credits the students have earned from previous years would not be taken away, despite jazz band no longer being a class. This year, the class is being run as a club. However, jazz band members believe that this is not enough. The “class” was meeting five days a week at 6:50 a.m., but now, as it is a “club” by law, the jazz band can only meet three days a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. They can still, however, meet at the same time. When students were asked about the issue, student Nathan Nguyen said, “Three days a week is simply not enough because, well, jazz is complicated. It isn’t like normal music where you can practice it three times and have it down. Jazz takes time and effort to truly master a song.” In addition, another student, Niccolo Scozzari, stated that, “Three days is enough to get by but having jazz band five days a week really allows us to excel musically with the music that we practice.” As well, Berns noted, “These kids want to get up early and they want to compete. I am very proud of them.” Residents interested in helping support the jazz band can send checks made payable to Lincoln High School with the note “jazz band.” For more information, call Kenneth P. Marlow at 521-5657. Kenneth Marlow and Josue Ayala are Lincoln High School journalism students.