Cutting NU choir post a woeful idea |

Cutting NU choir post a woeful idea

Nevada Union High School’s internationally acclaimed choir is a source of great community pride.  With the planned cut of the choir’s piano accompanist position, Nevada Union’s school board is giving the deep six to a great choir program and a part of local history.

Ten percent of the students at Nevada Union are enrolled in the choir program. That’s more than the total number of students involved in all of NU’s sports, from golf to varsity football.

While there are many paid sports coaches, there are only two paid positions connected to choir: director Rod Baggett, and accompanist Laurie Gautney. Gautney’s position is among the lowest-paid positions in the school district. If Gautney’s position is terminated, union rules forbid her replacement with a volunteer.

N.U. choir classes range in size from 55 to 120 students. Without an accompanist in the classroom, not only will choir quality be compromised, class sizes will have to be cut and the extra students will have to go elsewhere. Another teacher would have to be hired, at much higher cost, to teach these students in other classrooms.

Cutting the accompanist won’t save money, and it will kill our choir.

Allison Blackham

Penn Valley

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