Band mistreatment needs response from chancellor

By Joe Roman

On Saturday, Oct. 13, thousands of high school musicians descended upon the University campus to perform in the (supposedly) prestigious U of I Marching Festival. Unfortunately, these fine young performers were treated like second-class citizens.

During the performances that took place at Memorial Stadium, two concrete saws were being used for construction inside the stadium.

In many cases entire portions of the programs being presented by the various high school bands were completely drowned out by the sound of the saws.

In my 31 years as a high school director, I have never seen invited guests treated so rudely by the host of an event of this nature.

For my school alone, the cost of attending this competition was considerable.

In addition to the $300 entry fee, there is the expense of traveling with four school buses and a trailer, along with the salaries earned by the drivers for the day.

Had I known we would be forced to deal with this ridiculous situation, we would have attended the wonderful contest hosted by Metamora High School on Saturday instead, where we would have been treated as honored guests.

I have written University Chancellor Richard Herman concerning the situation. I do not know anything about Chancellor Herman, and I certainly don’t know how he could offer an explanation for this treatment, but I hope he has the courage to respond to my letter and offer all the participating high school bands a refund of the entry fee for the day.