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Keep the streets alive with the sound of music

Editor,

Savannah is filled with many things; Beautiful scenery, gorgeous Victorian homes and high-end boutiques. Yet its most charming and enduring quality comes in the form of the street side musicians that graze Savannah daily.

Some local, some not, yet every single musician seems to have something to offer. Be it a beautiful sound of a trumpet in the distance, or a light strumming of a guitar in the square.

Sadly though, these musicians are being forced out of their “work place”. In the past few years laws and regulations have made it very difficult for these musicians to play. Savannah has made sure that these street musicians are forced in spots that do not generate good traffic (almost eliminating chances at an already slim earning) and if you’re caught on the wrong side of the street, you’ll be looking at a hefty fine.

Street musicians as of now are allowed to play on the opposing side of River Street (nonbusiness side) which if you have ever been on River Street, you would see why. No one generally walks in that area! Of course musicians in front of businesses are not a plausible. Speaking as someone helps run a local business, I understand this better than anyone. But there are nooks and crannies everywhere in Savannah.

Perhaps I’m stretching my democratic string a bit thin here but could we ease up Savannah? To all the greedy ones out there, tourist LOVE hearing the music, and LOVE seeing street musicians. I know this for a fact considering I work with tourists. So if we push these guys out, you may even push your money out the door.

The street musicians give that special something to our city. Could we take care of the rapists, murderers and ease up on our wonderful musicians who are doing no different than what you do every week day. Going to work.

My proposition is this: Leave street musicians alone; let them play unless they are truly impeding something and for goodness sakes, enjoy the music!

Mandi Carvatt

First Book alert

Editor,

In this season of giving, we have a great way for our community to spread the magic of reading to children who desperately need new books in their lives. First Book (www.firstbook.org) and Borders stores are teaming up again for a holiday giving campaign. From November 1 through December 24, Borders and Waldenbooks customers can make a point-of-sale donation to benefit First Book. All funds raised during this period will be given in the form of gift cards to community groups that serve children from low-income families, so they can get books directly into the hands of the children they serve.

First Book is a nonprofit organization with the mission of giving children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books.

First Book – Savannah/Chatham County works with local groups such as Greenbriar, Union Mission, and St. Mary’s to reach children in need and provide them with free books and educational materials. To date, we have distributed more than 10,000 books to the children of Chatham County.

Bernice WesterFirst Book – Savannah/Chatham County

Don’t forget Youth Orchestra

Regarding: “MusicAlive! spreads the joy of classical music,” by Jim Reed: Thank you for this article and thanks to Connect Savannah for all your great arts reporting.

These young artists of Music Alive are to be commended for the time and energy they put in to share their music with children here in the Savannah area.

It is surprising, however, that no mention was made of the Armstrong Atlantic Youth Orchestra, which gave its fall concert on Tuesday Nov. 20. The article implies there is no program in town for young musicians other than what is offered by Music Alive.

Perhaps Mr. Reed is not aware of the AAYO and the two other groups for younger musicians, which are sponsored by Armstrong Atlantic University and The Savannah Friends of Music.

These youth orchestras meet on Saturdays during the school years, and are led by local professional musicians. Many of the students in these youth orchestras study privately with professional musicians in the area.

There are approximately 20 musicians living here that used to play with the Savannah Symphony, either full-time or part-time. As one of these musicians, I find it surprising that the article does not refer to the valuable training young musicians in Savannah receive from local professionals.

Music Alive provides a valuable complement to the efforts of those who live in the area in bringing the joy of music to young people.

Peter Berquist
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Connect Today 12.09.2016

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