Extra Curricular Activities Add Value to EL

by Bilal Hussein, ’18

Here at Edward Little, extra-curricular activities do not get as much of the attention as sports do. From band, to drama, many students embrace different activities that they enjoy and yet it seems they get little to no attention compared to sports.

“I see a resurgence for the excitement for the band,” band teacher Bill Buzza said. After the All-City Band Concert on March 22, many of the audience members were amazed by the professional demeanor and talent the children from grades 5 to 12 had to show at Edward Little High School. The high school’s band was lead by Buzza, who explained “there’s a lack of interest” in the band, which “is not as popular as it used to be.” With all the negatives, there must be some positivity for the band.

“We’ve started by looking at the elementary school, and what we can do to help the elementary kids,” Buzza said. “We do concert tours for them, and try and get them excited about it. For middle school students, we let them play in the pep band for basketball and the marching band so they can get their feet wet with what music is like in high school and give them a bit of an extra challenge. We also provide a lot of instruments for kids to borrow from the school, so if they can’t afford it, it’s possible for them.”

Buzza had a very strong sense of pragmatism. With sports always staying on top, many people forget about the other extra-curricular activities such as Band. “At the girls basketball championship game in Augusta, they wanted the student body to sing the school song, but the band wasn’t there and they said no, we aren’t singing without the band.” Buzza sees a strong school pride for the band and for Red Eddies as a whole. Maybe some day, extra-curricular activities will be treated as equal as sports are.

Many activities, from Drama to Speech and Debate lack student interest. I sat down with Deb Bishop, head of the Drama Club. “It’s always great to see a large number of kids interested in some of our extra-curricular.” The Drama Club currently has about 40 members. The interesting thing about this is that many of the participants are apt to excel in other areas, and Bishop has learned to pull people with different expertise to participate in the Drama Club. “I had a student that I found out was extremely artistic,” Bishop said, “so I solicited him to do some set painting and he had really enjoyed it.”

What Buzza and Bishop and many other curricular-heads have done for our school in terms of spirit and participation is just outstanding.

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