Many points of view are pointed out to the public through various different means. The media pushes forth it's views like a mother feeding their infant - shoving them down the public's throat, no matter how vile or nasty they might be. In the news, there is little censorship. Museums, displaying their art for the public to see, show off their painting and pictures, no matter what the subject matter is. Again, censorship is not the issue. Music is art, and art can be presented in a manner that is not damaging to the piece itself. Sadly, however, music is edited immensely when it is put out for the public to see - on the radio, at dances, in clubs. The true meaning of a piece of music is often lost in the frenzied attempt to make the music suitable for children's ears, and so crazy right wing-neo conservative zealots will not think that this music is "causing our nations children to be a menace to society". The responsibility of the musician is not to water down their words for a society to afraid to accept the truth - it's for them to put forth a meaning that gets their point across. Art is art - no matter how it is presented.

Take this for example - a teenager draws a picture of someone getting murdered. The picture is well drawn, refined, but presented as it is - a raw, violent act. It is accepted as it is - art, and is put on display as such. However, the Dixie Chicks released a song entitled "Goodbye Earl" about them murdering someone, and it was banned from the radio. Two pieces of art, about the same subject manner - one embraced into society, and one turned away. Does this make sense? Do people actually think that by keeping it off the radio that it is not going to be heard?

The responsibility of what is out as art belongs to the artist. Everyone has their own definition of art, and only they can say whether or not their piece can be accepted as such. Once the artist states that they would like their piece to be out for everyone to see, it should also be presented as it is - uncut, uncensored, and raw. Life is uncensored - why should music be?

The same applies to high school musicians. While they are presenting their work to a community of their peers and their parents, they are still trying to keep the original integrity of the artist and should be allowed to without fear from authority figures. Unfortunately, freedom of speech is something that is denied children in school as a right, and the stranglehold of censorship and power is something that is always going to be stifling the views of students. Music has to be carefully selected in order not to offend members of a religious community, and heaven forbid if it contain a single naughty word. The idea that we, as students, have to cater to everyone else when we are trying to perform is rather annoying, indeed.

An example here is from the May 16 concert, when we were scheduled to perform Bohemian Rhapsody, by Queen. While it was irritating that the most controversial part of the song was cut out, it should have been enough for the easily annoyed people of the community to keep their mouths shut. Of course, however, this was not the case. A letter came in, demanding that we, the students, should not sing this song as it was offending the said people who were annoyed because it was against their religious beliefs. I'm sorry, what was that? Someone is complaining about religion when school and religion are completely SEPARATE from one and the other? Religious affiliation should absolutely play no part in the selection of songs, and overbearing, snippety parents should definitely not have a role in what the students who are actually performing the song are doing.

It is not our responsibility to censor ourselves to please the masses. If people don't like it, they can get up and leave. It's absolutely ludicrous for every performing artist at every high school to accommodate themselves to a group of people that really has no say in what goes on anyway. If a band is having a concert, people who don't like their music simply do not go. I suggest other people who do not like the program for a concert to do the same.

In conclusion, the people performing and creating the artwork should be the only ones who have the right to say if it is art or not. As stated before, art is different to everyone who sees it. To some, Picasso's works are masterpieces - to others, they are simply deformed figures on a piece of canvas. It's all what people make of it - and having to refrain oneself from speaking one's mind through a piece of music is something that absolutely no high school student should have to endure.