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Achievement of Students Makes the Sweetest Music

June 29, 2002

"Students Reach for High Note" (June 21), on the incredible job that conductor Christopher Schwabe did for the Santa Monica High School Symphony students in inspiring them toward their Carnegie Hall performance, and the subsequent fund-raising work, should really make the rest of us want to reach into our purses because music programs in most schools have been cut to the bone.

It's all there for us, folks. The "Mozart effect" theory indicates that music helps to increase brain power, and now the accomplishments of these young students are our perfect reward.

Having been personally lucky to observe how others can reach out in their own way (e.g., Roger Williams, who inspires kids by giving special concerts and programs to youths in school assemblies; and David Benoit and the remarkable Asia America Symphony, to name just two), there's a lot to be said for concerted and dedicated effort.

It doesn't take a village, just a little generosity and enthusiasm from the rest of us to fuel the passions and endow the dreams of young people so they can focus on their studies and develop their potential.

Jacque Heebner

Long Beach

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Your inspiring story was a day-brightener. Thank goodness there are still areas of culture in some of our school systems, although the future, even in Santa Monica, doesn't look too bright. Sports are great, but how many 70-year-old pros do you see on the soccer, football and baseball fields or basketball courts? Music is a lifetime achievement; many of its pros are in their 70s or 80s.

Perhaps one of those Santa Monica students will make music a career. But every one of those musicians will remember the hard work and the euphoric feeling of a concert well done. They will enjoy classical music all of their lives. Sports are touted as promoting teamwork, but to play in a band or orchestra is the ultimate in teamwork.

Margaret Morgan

Downey

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