Legendary jazz artist, Phil Woods, wrote the following letter to President Welsh about keeping all music alive at East Stroudsburg University (ESU), including their choir. If you have not done so already, please consider signing the change.org petition to Save ESU Music. Also, you can find up-to-date information on the Save ESU Facebook page.
This is an appeal for James Maroney and the American Songbook.
I know that ESU can exist without a military band marching around urging young brutes to inflict concussions on each other. And terminating the jazz department is understood – it will be extinct soon due to a lack of interest and extreme fossilization. But it seems rather short sighted to cut a program that is America’s only original art form.
And a school without songs is doomed. Amusing aside: music schools don’t have school songs or football teams.
But a University without vocal music would be barren indeed. I cannot imagine no Gershwin, no Porgy, no Bess? No cowardly Lion? No Ellington sacred music? No Chanson d’amor? No Sondheim? No “America the Beautiful” by Irving Berlin? Just the awful “Star Bangled Banner”? No Bernstein “West Side Story”. No “Carousel” or “Oklahoma”? No Judy singing “Have Your Self a Merry Little Christmas” and “Easter Parade” is a deal-breaker. I for one need calendared reminders.
So what is left but a bunch of hip-hoppers and rappers with guitars turned up to 11!
The bebop grapevine says you are firing all music people then re-staffing when needed. I would suggest keeping Prof James Maroney. He is one of the finest vocal teachers I have ever known and I have met many. He recently took his ESU choral group to the White House. D. C. loved it.
Please keep Jim Maroney