Due to the ongoing union negotiations between the Princeton Board of Education and the teachers union (the PREA), the cancellation of the upcoming annual district wide elementary school orchestra concert on April 23rd is eminent. This would be a huge loss for the students. This concert is the culmination of the music teacher and children’s entire year of practice and rehearsal. It is a brilliantly put together and orchestrated event that brings together the strings students from all four elementary schools to perform at Princeton High School’s main auditorium. This concert is the pinnacle of achievement for the teacher and students for the academic year.
During my 24 years with McCarter Theatre, I have seen how a performance experience on our stages can transform a child. Artists practice their craft to ultimately share, perform and enrich an audience’s hearts and minds. A huge experience is being taken away from more than 150 elementary school students in Princeton. The children lose the anticipation, experience and celebration of performing in a large venue and hearing the applause of an audience of hundreds. The children lose a leap in building their poise, confidence and pride. The children lose being part of an extraordinary collaboration with their peers from the other elementary schools. The children never get to reach the goal they have practiced for all year, which negatively impacts their motivation. The children lose.
Taking this concert away from the children is equal to telling a winning sports team they cannot play in the championship game; they never get past the playoffs. A resolution to these negotiations by both sides must be made so activities, such as this concert can take place.
Parent of a Little Brook 4th Grade Student
Resident Stage Manager
Production Stage Manager
McCarter Theatre Center