Teacher/coach/musician encourages yes vote for Pentwater bond proposal.

October 16, 2021

Teacher/coach/musician encourages yes vote for Pentwater bond proposal.

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Dear Editor:

I have been living, teaching, and coaching in Pentwater for 34 years; I have truly enjoyed my career here.

As a musician, I was thrilled that both our boys were musicians and played in the Pentwater band. I am one of the small number of parents who has had the opportunity to hear our band perform in an auditorium. A musical performance is not meant to be enjoyed in a cement-block gymnasium. To hear the notes float and soar and separate and combine in melodies and harmonies and dynamics–this does not happen in a gym. I heard our band play at Carnegie Hall and in Hill Auditorium– exquisite. I was filled with joy when listening to them perform in various school auditoriums for district and state festivals over the years. I was lucky.

I am saddened that so many parents never had the opportunity to hear what their young musicians were capable of doing, never had the opportunity to appreciate what their instrumentalists were being taught. And the power and joy of performing in an auditorium does something to the soul, to the self-esteem of the performer. To see the faces of the students during a stage performance is so powerful.

Both boys were also athletes. They were never asked to play basketball games in a driveway or to play baseball games in a parking lot. They were never asked to play soccer matches in the street. However, they did run into the end walls in our home court, tore up uniforms and skin on our baseball field, and did run on the cinder/grass track, practicing high jump in the parking lot.

I truly believe that having a proper place to perform– academically, artistically, and athletically– is important. It is all part of a true education.

In many ways, Pentwater is like a “private” public school because of the family-like atmosphere. The relationships built between students, staff, and community are priceless. An auditorium is certainly a place that would benefit the entire student body and our community: student concerts and elementary programs, visiting artists and musicians, and summer arts programs. It’s exciting to contemplate! And even as my boys have moved on, and I am approaching the end of my teaching career, I feel it is my civic duty, my honor, to support the future of this school and our kids. I’ll Vote YES!

Richard Magrath


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