The high school concert band has spent approximately two thousand eighty minutes (almost thirty-five hours) giving up our LEAD period in order to prepare for the entertainment we would provide on March 14, during get-out-of-class-free time for the rest of the student body and teachers.  What thanks did we get for all of our intense efforts? A talkative, disrespectful concert that not only did no one pay any attention to, people also talked through the entire thing. But, let’s face it, we’re high schoolers. Do we really care if all the attendees pay attention or at least have the common courtesy to be quiet?  Not really. But the youngest student that performed on March 14th was nine years old. Maybe this student has dreams of growing up and being the next Taylor Swift or Post Malone and perform in front of millions of people. This was their first time performing in front of someone that wasn’t their parents or teachers. And you know what happened?  They were ignored and talked over. Now, that young kid with so many dreams and so much potential believes that they are not good enough to fulfill those dreams.

A typical scene during a Welcome Back Assembly or Pep Rally, the high school concert band in the auditorium. Due to the success and growth of the music program, the band is tight on space on the stage. Moreover, the school simply can not fit grades 7-12 in the auditorium, moving Music In Our Schools to a venue not ideal for music – a school gymnasium.

As a marching band, we never flinch at being asked to do anything for the school: pep rallies, pep parades, basketball games, football games, soccer games, and so much more.  Even when these things are thrown together last minute, we are there, playing and hyping up the crowd. We asked everyone to be there for one hour, and they were uncultured and irresponsible and frankly rude. Remember this the next time students are juuling at the top of the bleachers during the one concert that we asked them to sit at.  That’s literally all everyone had to do: sit there. We are the soundtrack to every student’s high school career; they should learn to appreciate that.

And while I was bashing the student body, I remembered that the teachers and administration are far from innocent. Most of the teachers hid in the corner as if held there by force, or like the students were some kind of disease that needed to be avoided at all costs rather than controlled.  I understand that when you put over 1000 9-19-year-olds in one room together, it is going to get chaotic. It was the teachers and administrators job to keep the event under control but that clearly did not happen.


The next time you have the opportunity to get out of class and sit and enjoy some beautiful music (because not one person performing on the 14th was untalented), sit there quietly instead of interrupting and disrespecting everyone’s hard work.

Thank you for showing me and everyone else involved in the music program that we are unappreciated.



Maya Berg, speaking for many in the music program at Avonworth

9 Replies to “Music in Our Ungrateful Student Body”

  1. I don’t understand on why you grouped everyone together as talking and not listening, because I actually did listen and loved it!!! It’s so unfair that you’re putting everyone in one group and just assuming everyone together, it’s so disrespectful. And as for the teachers not caring, they placed teacher in the bleachers to keep people quiet, SO FACT CHECK. You don’t hype up people at games anyway period, you’re just there to be there for no reason. The only times you show up to the basketball game is when it’s heard to be a good game, and half of you don’t even show up, so don’t say you support everything. You get the exact same treatment as every other activities in the school so don’t act higher than everyone else. And practice for every other sport, IS AFTER SCHOOL, NOT BUILT INTO THE SCHEDULE.

    1. I’m sorry, if you don’t see the amount of dedication we put into the work we do that’s fine. We stand in the rain, and in the snow to cheer on the football team every friday night. Where were you in the fan section? Not everyone is going to support our program and we respect that but the next time we go to an event, we will talk the entire time and see how you feel. It’s embarrassing. We have one of the top music programs in Pittsburgh. Please be respectful. Leave school next time ? I don’t care. I’m not saying this was a great idea to have this assembly but be considerate. I invite you to come to band camp this August 🙂

  2. First, please consider the idea that while *you* may not have been disrespectful during the concert, *many others* were indeed disrespectful and talking. It’s much easier to observe if you are among the students playing, as I was, attempting to find a student who actually paid attention, a student who actually cared about what I was playing (while also playing at the same time), depressingly, in vain. Sure! You actually paid attention and your attentiveness may or may not have been ignored by my half-focused, depressed mind, and sure, you may find Maya’s truthful words above to be disrespectful to you as it does not describe the actions that you have done, but the actions that your peers have done. Hooray! Go you! You have officially earned the Moral High Ground Certificate™, with which you can avoid all of the blame of the student body’s attention problems and also anonymously oppose all action to draw attention to these problems that need to be fixed.

    Next, consider if you had revealed your real name when you posted this. Do you wish to exploit the anonymity of the internet so that you may say such ill-mannered comments with impunity?

    Seriously, though, if you weren’t part of the problem during the concert, then why are you becoming one right now? What makes you feel the need to, even though you had otherwise not needed to speak up for yourself (as you weren’t personally being attacked, unless somehow the rest of the student body collaborated to write one pitifully whiny paragraph), defend those who were being disrespectful and rude to those who had given up, as Maya stated at the beginning of her article, 35 hours of their LEAD time, and the teachers who were, as *you* stated, placed in the crowd to keep order but ultimately stayed out of the way and just let the students be rowdy and disruptive.

    Halfway into your paragraph, you’ve immediately confused concert band and marching band. While almost all of those who play in marching band also play in concert band (and vice versa), they serve different purposes. Marching band spends all of their practice time outside of school; they are an after-school activity; however, marching band still starts long before school does, starting with band camp in the middle of the summer and having semiweekly practices, and then one-weekly practices and weekly football games.

    The marching band did not play for you today, and your own disrespectful comments (turns out you weren’t the deferential, considerate student you thought you were) are an entirely different conversation.

    Concert band cannot happen after school as it is a year-long class that takes about 40 minutes every single day. Moving those 40 minutes from LEAD to the end of the day would have many consequences; getting home later, not being able to use the credit (as it does not happen during the school day), and students often have other clubs to attend, which would result in them missing class once every single week because of this; sometimes weeks at a time if practices or rehearsals are daily (like the Avonworth Swim Team or Avonworth Drama who are going through the high-stress, low-sleep tech week right now). LEAD is the time set aside for band so that students are able to attend the class normally. I couldn’t normally imagine a person so arrogant that it comes out as a high-pitched wail, but you have captured a simple three-word phrase so perfectly that I just have to use it myself.

    In fact, when you say “You get the exact same treatment as every other activities [sic] in the school do don’t act higher than everyone else,” you are treating band like it *isn’t* a class. It *is* a class; students have to actually work in this class in order to succeed and play well at concerts for the community’s entertainment. The only mechanical difference of concert band and other elective classes is that the work we do for 40 minutes every day is not only intended for learning but also intended to show the community what we can create if we devote our time towards practicing and learning the language of music. You can’t put on a concert for criminal investigations or tax returns.

    It’s just blatantly boorish of you to ignore the the hard-work and dedication for which concert band students reject a guaranteed free period, instead mocking them and treating them like they have made an uneducated decision of commitment that only appears that way because you feel that one shouldn’t do anything if they don’t have to do anything.


  3. For the most part, I do support the article. I am a huge music lover, and music certainly plays a crucial role in my lifestyle and happiness. Therefore, I was excited to hear that there was an assembly for all of the grades regarding music by our peers. I find it absolutely amazing that people are so dedicated to chorus, concert band, and marching band. Each one employs an important aspect in our school spirit, entertainment, and happiness.

    I did find it disconcerting and annoying that students and teachers alike did not pay the utmost respect to the talented musicians of our school. Though not my favorite genre, I did enjoy the music played, and by incorporating modern pop culture into the music, it should have provided an engaging, happy experience.

    However, I also acknowledge that not every student in our school appreciates the type of music that was performed. The level of discomfort in the gym also plays a role, as people are generally going to be very cranky. Personally, I think it would have been wiser of the school to split up the grades and have two performances, so everyone could be in the auditorium.

    This leads me to the second main issue: The sound quality/sound system in both the gym and the auditorium is absolutely atrocious. The auditorium has something like two small-sized speakers for an entire auditorium. In addition to the sound not being terribly accurate or audible, the sound is rather distorted. Instead of spending half a million dollars every 10 years on a new football field, I think the school should devote more spending and attention to arguably more important means, such as a better sound system, new smart boards that are actually smart, more reliable and more accurate HVAC systems, and others of the like.

    Though I digress, I also think it would have been better if teachers actually controlled the students and provided a better sense of crowd control. In addition, the staff should have spread more awareness of the event going on, to potentially generate “hype”. Although it is “get out of class free”, it’s not the type of entertainment a variety of students would enjoy.

    I am not dissing the music or the talented members of the musical aspects of our school, but I do think changes need to be made to further enhance their impact on our school.

  4. WASSUPPPPPP, this is lit YO! Lots of powerful “discusssionnnnnn!” We lit DA Club, the AVONEWS CLUB AYEEEE. Aight, byeeee 🙂

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