I first wrote about the holiday controversies over religious music when a local school district and the supervisor of fine arts Nick Santoro became vilified (the school district deserved it... Nick did not) for the banning of certain music deemed to be religious during the Christmas/Hananuka/Kwanza/Rhamadan/Comsumer Holiday period that runs... oh say... from the third week in September until sometime during the first quarter of a new year. Hey... there are folks in my neighborhood that STILL have their Christmas (or are the kwanza) lights up... AND IT IS JULY 11th... but I digress. Here is what I wrote in 2004:
When Does a Musical Note Become A Religious Symbol? Is it when words are attached that infer religious meaning? If the words are detached from the music does the music retain the meaning of the words? If music programs cannot perform instrumental versions of any music that may have religious lyrics... is it possible to divorce the music and lyrics to any song? Should we no longer use the Star-Spangled Banner as our national anthem because the original words were tied to the consumption of alcohol? Can the Messiah no longer be seen as a great work of art. Read full commentary(Yes... I know I need to convert my 120 articles from the old blog to this blog) So... just when you thought it might be safe to bring out those instrumental favorites another superintendent... clearly afraid of her own shadow... bans the performance of "Ave Maria" at the high school commencement. SO what is the next logical step in this story?
Teen sues district after "Ave Maria" silenced By David Bowermaster For years, seniors in the wind ensemble at Henry M. Jackson High School have selected a favorite piece of music to play during commencement. For last month's ceremonies, the 17 students chose an instrumental version of "Ave Maria," which they had performed at a school concert in December 2004. But their choice was vetoed by Dr. Carol Whitehead, superintendent of the Everett School District. Instead, the ensemble played a selection by British composer Gustav Holst. Now Kathryn Nurre, an 18-year-old who played alto saxophone in the ensemble before graduating, is suing Whitehead, claiming the decision violated her First Amendment right to freedom of speech. She believes "Ave Maria" was nixed by Whitehead because she felt the song was too religious for a school-sanctioned event.The full story is: The Seattle Times: Local News: Teen sues district after "Ave Maria" silenced But my FAVORITE part is the readers reaction. Take a look!