That copyright infringement case involving the BHS Vocal Music Association only highlights our long-time observation that these alleged violations are mostly in service to putting on over-synthesized reproductions of bad or mediocre material that has already been compromised by a complete lack of creativity and artistic judgement in the originals.
We’re not talking about technical or imitative skill here, we’re talking about taste and knowledge of the material as well as a measured consideration of what else is out there. Almost everything these music programs do now is just so drippy and faux showbiz. And of the worst, 21st-century sort.
By contrast, have the drama departments been taking IQ pills lately? Unless this has been announced as an upcoming movie project for Beyonce and we haven’t heard about it yet, it’s quite an imaginative choice:
The John Burroughs High School Drama program presents its final play of the 2015-16 season with George Washington Slept Here on May 6, 7 and 8 in the school auditorium.
A Broadway hit which debuted in 1940, George Washington Slept Here chronicles the comedic antics that ensue when some New York City folk buy a fixer-upper in the pastoral Pennsylvania countryside.
The promotional stills even show one kid doing a pretty good Jack Benny imitation. That would be like the Show Choir going out of its way to honor Betty Hutton at length (who, they say?)
Why the discrepancy? Is it because drama students have to be able to read?
This VMA debacle gives our school board and school administrators a great opportunity to completely revamp the high school vocal music programs. Get rid of the cheap, stupid commercial pop stuff and start bringing in some — shall we really call it this (?) — quality material.
The stuff they’re doing now is just horrible, and — apparently — quite expensive.