Archive for Thursday, October 9, 2003

Wildcat Band builds bridge between city, district

October 9, 2003

Relations between the city of De Soto and De Soto USD 232 have often been rocky.
Disagreements can be expected with the City Council and School Board as each attempts to protect their respective taxpayers. But there always seemed to be a bit more to the quarreling. Some in the city seemed a bit defensive of the school district's growth and the prominence it afforded the district. That attitude was countered by some in the district who seemed to relish pointing to city shortcomings.
It is to be hoped last week's decision by the City Council to contribute $5,000 to the De Soto Wildcat band's Cotton Bowl trip fund will go a long way to erasing past attitudes. It perhaps reflects that new personalities on the Council understand the strength district schools represent to the city. It is hoped that those in the district will recognize and acknowledge a change in City Hall, not only in elected officials but in city staff as well.
The Council chose to make the contribution to the band with money from the city's transient guest tax. That money can be used to promote tourism or economic development efforts. At first glance, that may seem a strange decision. But few things can increase the reputation of a community than motivated youngsters engaged in a difficult pursuit at which they excel.
The Cotton Bowl trip was by invitation. The band earned it and another one to Europe -- which was turned down -- from its performances at festivals. It was the only metropolitan area band to be invited to the Cotton Bowl Festival. The festival is more than just the New Year's Day parade and football game. It includes other venues at which De Soto students will demonstrate their musical talents and make new friends for the city. Having heard the Wildcat Band play on numerous occasions, we are confident it will continue to impress.

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