Thanks to The Times, reporter Bernice Hirabayashi and staff for the article about the Santa Monica High School symphony orchestra (Times, Nov. 21) and the important invitation it has received to represent the United States at the international music festival in Vienna.
This invitation is not a matter of luck or chance, but a result of years of consistently high achievement. It is the kind of success we are looking for from our schools. This event should be celebrated and promoted. I think your readers might like to know the factors that have led to this success.
The Santa Monica High School Music Department has been very fortunate to have had extraordinary teachers throughout its history. The director of orchestras, Jeff Edmons, and the director of bands, Terry Sakow, work extremely hard. They begin the school year two weeks early. They arrive early every weekday morning. They rarely leave before 6 p.m. They hold after-school rehearsals almost every day. They devote some lunch periods to music education clubs. They lead the marching band at Friday night football games. And of course, they are with the bands and orchestras at their performances, many of which are on weekends and out of town.