Neglect of Performing Arts in HCST

Dear Editor:

My name is Sofia Waldron, and I am a junior music and audio tech major attending High Tech High School in Secaucus, New Jersey. Recently, shocking news was received by myself and many others within my school.

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News of a “Performing Arts Enhancement” was announced effective next year, but upon closer examination as well as a meeting with the principal herself, this is far from an “enhancement”. They will be transferring all Performing arts students from our sister school (County Prep) but moving the Music & Audio Tech major (MAT), one of the four performing arts majors we have here at HTHS into County Prep (CPHS).

First of all, this makes no sense to myself and many others to separate the performing arts majors, we rely on each other and we all coexist, and essential part of the curriculum in MAT is working with the other PA majors, which is impossible to do when we are in a separate school. Another essential part of MAT is working in our theatre, with the other majors, which again is impossible with us in a seperate school. For all of the performances, within the Performing Arts Academy and out, the MAT program is essential to allowing these to happen, as we are always the stage hands, lighting directors, sound engineers, and so much more. My classmates and I learn all there is to know in regards to the music world, the ins and outs of backstage, performance, and this decision is further hindering my education.

It is another example of a poor decision made by HCST further hindering the education of not only the MAT major, but all performing arts majors in this school. With the amount of budget cuts, the firing of an MAT teacher in my freshman year, it is clear to see that HCST has a history of neglecting the Performing Arts program, one in public they seem to value so highly, and is publicized as a high profile program to attend. All I have said above is just a few of the issues that are arising out of this decision soley based on money and funding, not the wellbeing and family the Performing Arts community has cultivated.

Sofia Waldron,

Junior MAT major at High Tech High School