continue at Sheboygan Press
Phil Buch, who has directed Wausau West High School’s choral programs since 1981, said the decision to halt rehearsals for the Master Singers was made after a meeting Thursday with district officials and Frank Sutherland, an attorney who represents the school district.
Buch said district administrators gave music educators at Wausau schools three options for December concerts, which typically contain a significant amount of religious music: choose five secular, or non-religious, songs for each religious song performed; hold a concert and have no holiday music whatsoever; or postpone any concerts in December. Because the 20-member Master Singers group is invited to sing at nearly a dozen holiday concerts each year, Buch said, those options were unacceptable.
“This group sings at Christmas programs,” Buch said. “We sing for nursing homes, grade schools, businesses. To do that without Christmas music doesn’t make sense.”
Buch said the annual Wausau West music concert, held at The Grand theater each December, will go on but without the Master Singers.
District administrators did not return calls Friday seeking information about the rules, but Wausau School Board President Michelle Schaefer said the change in direction stems from legal concerns over the amount of religious music performed in the schools. The decision will not eliminate religious music altogether but will give teachers a better idea as to how much religious music is “too much,” Schaefer said.
That last sentence is one of the mindlessly idiotic things I've ever heard. At least go to the whole separation of church, state thing. What does that even mean? At least they can vote the school board off at the next election. There must have been some clashing prior to this, maybe a way to push out the music director.