For decades, sports has taken precedence over music and arts in school. You don't see many 80 or 90 years old playing football but it's amazing how many of the same age are still playing a musical instrument of some kind in bands and orchestras. Many of today's church organists or pianists range in age from 70 to even the 90s. Yet, if you have ever attended some of the band or orchestra concerts in various schools in this area you would be amazed at the musical talent our children have. Yes, it's rather hard on the ears when they first start playing an instrument or piano, hitting sour notes or high squeaks from clarinets, etc., but by the time they are in high school the metamorphosis from young, inexperienced musicians to almost professional in performing is unbelievable. Pequot Lakes has reaped benefits from the auditorium for years. We could do the same at Pine River-Backus except sports seems to be of greater importance. Yes, we have a gym, which seats large crowds, but when I was still able to attend events there they were usually spoiled by rude people who insisted on tromping up and down those wooden steps literally drowning out the performances. School plays were held in the old gym with hard folding chairs to sit on. The quality of lighting and sound systems left much to be desired. Despite all odds, the students did a fantastic job, but again people are questioning the cost of an auditorium. Why aren't there any objections to the cost involved in keeping well-groomed football fields, baseball fields, track, bleachers, broadcasting booth, light and sound systems that are rendered unusable under snow and ice for three or four months of the school year? Think about it.

Dolores Zaske

Pine River