ALERT: Just a reminder that this Saturday afternoon, the top-ranked Youth Orchestra (below) of the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras (WYSO) will perform under conductor James Smith at 1:30 p.m. in Mills Hall on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus in the Mosse Humanities Building, 455 North Park Street.
Also included are the winners of the WYSO Concerto Competition. Trumpeter Noah Mennenga will perform the Trumpet Concert by Alexander Arutiunian. Pianist Theodore Lau will play the third movement of the Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, O;. 37, by Ludwig van Beethoven.
Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for young people 3-18. For more information, call (608) 263-3320 or visit http://wyso.music.wisc.edu/dianne-endres-ballweg-winterfest-concert-series/
By Jacob Stockinger
Spring Break starts tomorrow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
So The Ear wants students and faculty to leave on a positive note and then return with renewed energy and dedication, knowing that the UW-Madison School of Music still ranks relatively high (No. 24) among the nation’s top 30 public and private schools for overall programs and even higher (No. 10) for music education in an informal blog survey.
To be sure, the UW-Madison School of Music is facing a lot of complex challenges.
Those challenges range from finding enough scholarship money to compete in recruiting outstanding students to finding enough money to recruit and retain outstanding faculty.
And some of the challenges look to be made worse through budget cuts and policy changes proposed by the Republican-dominated legislature and Republican Gov. Scott Walker (below), though we will have to wait to see the final outcomes.
But the politicians sure are sending out signals that they want to treat the world-class university more like a trade school than a star player in the liberal arts, the arts and the humanities. They just don’t see those fields as adding much to economic development.
As if economic development is the bottom line for everything of personal and social value.
Besides, study after study shows the relevance of music education to success in other fields. (Below are the UW Symphony Orchestra and UW Choral Union.)
So before anyone starts fooling around and making major changes and cuts, it is good to be reminded of what a precious educational, cultural and economic resource the UW-Madison remains, as a world-class learning institution.
But it won’t take much negligence or wrong-headed tinkering for the UW to drop out of the ranking.
So here they are to read and then think about how to best protect the great university that the state of Wisconsin has.
First comes the overall ranking (No. 24) among private and public Schools of Music, which, if The Ear recalls correctly, has dropped over the past decade:
And then comes the ranking (No. 10) in the specific area of music education in a less prestigious blog poll done by an individual:
The Ear wants to hear.