Students at the Kwantlen Polytechnic University school of music in Langley are planning to demonstrate their skills at a Sunday afternoon protest rally against budget-cutting that has seen the university cancel all new admissions to the program.
Held at Douglas Park in Langley City, the Sunday, March 24, event will feature performances of symphony and choral music by students and teachers between 2 and 5 p.m.
Third-year music student Emily Hernandez, one of the event organizers, said the goal of the rally is to raise awareness about the “injustice” done to the music program.
“Of all 21 departments in the Faculty of Arts, the music program has been targeted the most, with a 40 per cent program budget cut,” Hernandez said.
“These proposed cuts effectively cripple the program and represent a serious blow to the Fraser Valley’s musical community.”
“We’re hoping to see lots of members of the public,” Hernandez added.
Emmo Dotto, president of the Kwantlen Music Students’ Association (KMSA), said they would to know what to expect next year, when another round of new students would normally be admitted.
“We haven’t really had our questions answered,” Dotto said.
Meanwhile, an online petition at change.org petition “Reconsider Cuts to KPU’s Music Program” petition was nearing the 9,000 mark in signatures as of Wednesday.
KPU president and vice-chancellor Alan Davis told the Langley Advance Times the university is looking to find savings by increasing the total average number of students in a class from 22 to 24 over the next five years and trimming class sections.
“The proposed 2019-20 budget includes a 2.2 per cent reduction in the number of class sections offered by KPU across its seven faculties,” Davis said.
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