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Letter to the Editor: May 22, 2013

Tigard musicians blew my mind

When I was in high school, I played the guitar, acoustic — mostly folk songs but some rocka’n’ roll. Then I heard Jimi Hendrix play the electric guitar, first when he brought down the house at the Monterey Pop Concert in 1967, and again in 1969 at Woodstock, and everything I knew, or thought I knew, about playing the guitar went right out the back door.

This past Wednesday night, the same thing happened, but at Tigard High’s Deb Fennel Auditorium, when about 50 of Jerry King’s guitar students — and a few outrageous percussionists — performed their end-of-the-year gig. Jessica, Joshua, Tanner, Nick and Irvin, and a whole raft of other amazingly talented and dedicated kids re-defined “smoking.”

The very lucky audience who attended experienced, first-hand, five-star musical literacy and technique (like “tapping”), musical interpretation and pure artistic skill. What the audience hopefully saw, that caught my eye and attention, was enormous growth of individual student self-esteem through accomplishment on stage in front of 500-plus people. That’s what public education, when the arts are firmly woven into the tapestry, is really all about.

Barry Albertson, Tigard-Tualatin School Board member



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