Pageant of Bands has much to offer
The Laurens Band, under the direction of Mr. Dan Martin, has once again been recognized as the best band overall at the Sherburne Pageant. They have done this for so many years that it has almost become a non-news event.
I imagine that the reporters who covered John Wooden at UCLA or Serge Corbin at the Clinton Canoe Regatta were faced with the same challenges. How do you report sustained excellence? Perhaps a few photos of those talented kids and their director would tell part of the story.
As a band director who has participated at the Sherburne Pageant for over 20 years, I have witnessed many great moments and been told many entertaining tales. Some of my recommended highlights would include listening to the Worcester band directed by Andy O'Dell and the Gilbertsville-Mount Upton band directed by Matt Oram. These two bands are always among the best at the pageant.
I would catch Oppenheim-Ephratah, a large band with a small enrollment under the direction of Diane Mott. Kerri Hogle of Milford, Cindy McCracken of Charlotte Valley, and Kelly Oram of Cherry Valley send fine-sounding bands to the pageant every year, and Michelle Schmitt is creating quite a buzz in Edmeston with her high-energy marching band and drumline. I look forward to hearing them all again next year. There are too many great programs to mention in one letter.
As a final note, I would like to congratulate all of the bands and their directors who prepared for the pageant. Your hard work has produced wonderful results for thousands of people to witness at Sherburne and raised the level of your music program for your communities to enjoy.
True Christians won't vote Republican
If you are a Christian and a Republican, you must choose which side you are on when you vote this year.
Some Republicans want to do away with food stamps, Medicare, Social Security, unions, minimum wage, women's right to equal pay for equal work, money for schools and just about every advancement we have made in the past 100 years.
Republican thinking seems to be based on the Old Testament rather than the New Testament. Jesus brought "The Good News" from a benevolent God. He taught love, forgiveness, and giving to all who are less fortunate than you ... "for whatsoever you do for the least of my brethren you do for me." He brought aid to the poor and troubled, not the rich and powerful. His only act of violence was to drive the money lenders out of the Temple. He was the original advocate for the 99 percenters.
By Republican standards, Jesus was a troublemaker and a Socialist. Go back to your Bible, read the Gospels and apply Jesus' teachings to your world. If you are really a Christian, think carefully about which side really represents what Jesus would want for the people of this state, our country and the rest of the world. Whatever changes that are made by our government will affect all of us, but the ones in need, the sick, the homeless and most important, our children stand to lose the most under the Republicans.
Unless you are one of the top 1 percent, you really cannot support the Republican agenda and call yourself a Christian.