To the Editor:
On Saturday, Feb 2, Pilgrim High School celebrated its 50th anniversary with a retrospective gala performance by its Band, Chorus, and Drama Club. In a word, it was fabulous and the auditorium was packed.
The Drama Club performed skits representing each decade since Pilgrim’s opening and the Chorus and Band followed with musical numbers from each decade. Kudos to Principal Marie Cote and her staff, particularly the efforts of Mr. Pratt, the Band director, Mrs. Soares, the Chorus director, Mr. Denningham, the Drama Club director, and Mr. Callahan, one of the creators of the skit scripts.
Of course, it was the students who stole the show. Their passion, dedication and talent are to be admired and acknowledged. Equally admirable is the Warwick Schools’ dedication to, and support of, the arts in our public schools. Our teachers, administrators and school committee members know the value of the arts as part of the overall curriculum at all grade levels and more importantly, so do parents, and it is my hope that the community never loses sight of that. Even in the toughest of fiscal years, we’ve been able to preserve the arts in our schools and for good reason because studies show that students who study the arts have higher grades, score better on standardized tests, have better attendance records and are more active in community affairs. While there are many who find it easy to criticize our schools and compare us to neighboring communities for their justification, they simply lack an understanding of the variety of programs that our schools offer its students. One can look at those same communities and find little or no music or drama programs.
I’m sure that had the nay-sayers been in attendance, they surely would have changed their minds. Well done, Pilgrim High School, and well done, Warwick Schools!