Letters to the Editor: June 1

Song sheets and song books; Beauty and the Beast; Gender Issues.

Song sheets and song books

There must be hundreds of people in the area who recall with pleasure having sung with or listened to the Cranbrook Community Choir years ago. Led by such dedicated directors as Edna Gilmour, the choir, whose membership reached eighty at one point, gave many fine concerts over many years.

When the C.C.C. folded several years ago, I agreed to store, temporarily, all of the music. Hundreds of song sheets were handed over to Mt. Baker School and the remainder — song sheets and song books — are still in my garage which needs to be emptied as I am moving. I need to find a person or a group who can provide a home for all of this valuable material.

In addition to boxes of sheet music, the collection includes the following choral song books, all in good condition, and the number of copies in brackets:

• FRED WARING: Golden Oldies (33), Song Fest (43), Song Book (50), Music Men (12), Christmas Song Book (49), Gentlemen Songsters (5), The Folk Singers (43), Come Sing (22), A Singing Bee (28);

• HARRY SIMEONE: Let’s Sing The Old Songs (44), Musica Sacra Choral (52);

• PETER TKACH: Vocal Technic (17);

• MARIE POOLER: Descants on 16 Traditional Songs (Unison and 2 part) (33);

• HAWLEY ADES: Twentiana (36).

Can any of your readers help?

Bud Abbott/Cranbrook

Beauty and the Beast

Thank you for responding to a very disgusting decision an adult made about girls playing the part of males in the Beauty & The Beast. I am disgusted at the way a parent teaches her kids intolerance of others. And if this parent had read the paper before buying her tickets to an absolutely wonderful production she would have known girls played the part of boys in the play and then she wouldn’t have had to “support” the Selkirk Production at all.

I think that the Selkirk production was fantastic and to think that kids from aged nine  to 17 took the opportunity to put on a fabulous musical should be CONGRATULATED not humiliated!

Obviously this parent has never been involved with putting on any kind of artistic production and is not willing to teach her kids that you can play a “part” whether it is male or female as after al,l relax, it is just a musical.

Does this parent feel the same about all the “plays, recitals whatever” that the people including kids, teachers and parents are wrong because the kid play a part of a male? What about the dance kids, the girls play lots of male parts. What does it matter whether a kid is playing a male or female part as long as they play it well which the kids in Beauty & The Beast DID.

Whoever this parent is, should take the paper bag off her head and personally apologize to all those involved with the Production including the people she is so upset with playing a male part. What would she say if her kids played a part in a play that someone else reacted to, like she did? She no doubt would not like it at all. Her reaction is not appropriate at all and if she feels so strongly about her decision well then lady don’t humiliate anyone else and do Kimberley kids a favour and not attend any other artistic production again. Hey don’t need your kind of “support”!

Annie Johnston/Kimberley

Gender issues

There’s a tempest in Kimberley’s fair teapot about the male villain in our recent Selkirk school production, Beauty and the Beast, played by a girl! Well, I read the prior news articles, and heard at the show that the word “man” had not been changed in the lyrics. In fact, gender seemed unimportant. In fact, chatting about the show with locals young and old, I never heard it mentioned.

It’s true that many gender issues are at the fore today — even a move to drop gender from identity documents. But whatever one may think, why raise such a fuss out of a school production — especially when I’ll bet there just weren’t enough male singers? Musical history is jam-packed with cross-gender role singing and nobody cares.

Immense shifts do surge in our society. They ignite fury and debate, then rightly die away. A mid-’60s Dance Magazine cover-photo showed a white ballerina and her black male partner in loving gazes. Stormy letters and subscription stops flooded in! Not until 1967 was cross-racial marriage made law by the USA Supreme Court. Now it’s a non-issue right into our little EK region.

Back another half-century, women were fighting to be persons in law with the right to vote. I have an amazing book, “Shoulder to Shoulder,” about that struggle in England. Protests, prison terms, damning from Parliament … and it all calms down over time.

This local tempest will boil itself out. Let’s congratulate Selkirk for giving students a great musical experience, and thank the students for a Beauty of a show.

Arne Sahlen/Kimberley

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