Letters to the Editor

Courtesy: Use etiquette at concerts

I moved to Whidbey Island seven years ago, courtesy of the Navy. Having lived in San Diego most of my life, I was pleasantly surprised by the homey feeling and friendliness of a small town.

While I largely still feel that way, I have to say that common courtesy seems to be sadly lacking, at least as it pertains to school performances.

I have three children, two in middle school and one in high school, who perform in school bands. At every single performance that I have attended since 1997, not one audience has observed proper concert etiquette. While I can attribute some of this to ignorance, common courtesy should have prevented the more egregious behavior.

Common courtesy dictates that you do not leave (or try to find a seat) while the band (or chorus) is playing. You do not talk above a very low whisper, if at all. You especially do not make derogatory comments about the performance. The person you’re sitting next to probably has a child in the band or chorus. You do not bring very small children who are unable to sit still. If you do and they fuss, you remove them.

These children deserve your attention and respect. Yes, sixth grade bands are notoriously discordant. However, anytime you can get 50-plus sixth graders to do anything together, it is a laudable event. And those who continue on usually contribute to noteworthy eighth grade and high school bands/choruses.

I have had children under all three conductors in the district. Their dedication to these kids is unquestionable. Don’t they, and their students, deserve our respect and consideration?

Jennifer Osburn

Oak Harbor

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