April 06, 2020

I feel compelled to write this letter, as though a tremendous redwood tree is about to be felled, and the good people of Bangor stand watching in silence.

One of our finest treasures is the gift of music, packaged lovingly and delivered enthusiastically by Daryl and Neia Rhodes at the Northern Conservatory. Never before have we seen our children respond so eagerly to instruction and produce such amazing results after four short months of lessons. Each child is doing much better this year scholastically, as well. As for practice, it is a chore to keep them away from their instruments!

Forgive my ignorance of all the politics and due process involved in getting municipal backing for a community project. All I know is that Daryl and Neia have wonderful vision and plans for a performing arts school in the downtown Freese’s building, and, in letting the city councilors sidestep commitments made in favor of a more lucrative deal, the people of Bangor are about to miss:

A beautiful, community-focused new high school that would develop the artistic talents of so many of the area’s children.

An institution that would undeniably add monumental torque to the movement to revitalize downtown.

Celebrity draw to perform and teach right here in Bangor.

The beauty, adventure and growth of self-esteem added to their children’s lives through music, drama and art that Daryl and Neia generously ladled into the lives of ours.

Please, people of Bangor, it is your city and your move. Urge your councilors to make the School for the Performing Arts happen. All is possible if there is enough support. Kathleen Rae-Lawson Green Lake

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