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Requiem for Deanna Maran

April 18, 2002

In "A Westside Story of Death, Denial" (Opinion, April 14), about the murder of Deanna Maran, a Santa Monica High School sophomore, Michael Cieply makes mention of an event called "Stairway of the Stars." He takes issue with the seeming omission of a mention of Deanna's death at the performance and insinuates that she is being forgotten by the music department. Until that unfortunate moment, the article was strong and raised many excellent points.

I am the choral director at Santa Monica High School, and Deanna sang in my class. Her murder completely crushed us. A chair still sits empty in class and her picture, with other student work, still hangs on the bulletin board at the front of the class. We are collecting money for a tree to be planted on campus that will be dedicated to all students who have died while at Santa Monica High.

Two weeks before the Stairway concert we performed the entire Mozart Requiem in a memorial concert. So, even though her death--or the other six deaths we experienced last year--was not mentioned at Stairway, none of these students has been forgotten. We also did not mention Sept. 11.

Christopher Rhodes

Santa Monica High School

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