UPDATE: Tues 12:06 PM, Oct. 15, 2013
The Wausau West Master Singers are back to rehearsing with their director Phil Buch leading the way. The group had temporarily stopped practicing after Buch was told to limit religious music in their holiday performances, setting off a firestorm of controversy.
"I met with the Master Singers and just indicated temporary postponement of Master Singers because central office had not approved of the music”, Explained Buch.
Master Singer, Alana Witter has been singing since she could make a sound. She says it was a devestating conversation when Buch told the group they had to postpone their practices.
"I was so crushed because I waited my whole life to be a master singer. Now, everyone is happy and energetic about getting back on stage and being together. Its like a second family for many of us."
Buch said he knows his singers need adequate time to rehearse, memorize music and be fully choreographed.
All he needed was a more solid direction on what to do. The school board has decided to have each choir director meet with their building principal on music selections.
The Master Singers will perform at the Grand Theater for the districts holiday concert on December 10.
Buch said they will be singing a wide variety of music everything from secular to ethnic and sacred selections.
ORIGINAL STORY: Mon 11:08 PM, Oct. 14, 2013
At it's regular meeting Monday night, the Wausau School District board voted to hold the review next week.
The superintendent Dr. Kathleen Williams has been feeling the heat after her decision to change policy for music selection for school concerts.
Transparency, truth and communication were three things people pleaded to the board as they challenged them in the John Muir Middle School's Auditorium.
With all the conflicting views and confusion discussed, it was clear when one parent voiced his opinion that this is "about much more than just Christmas carols."
"It (the Wausau music controversy) started out as a mis-communication between administration and the board," Mike Fisher said, a parent who attended the meeting Monday night.
The Wausau District's music controversy about choosing religious music has opened a lot of discussion and the Monday night meeting brought light to the confusion that erupted late last week at a closed meeting.
"We hadn't made any final decisions," Williams said. "So a big question for me was when we're in the middle of the process and no decisions have been made how did this erupt into the fireball that it did?"
"We had a Thursday night outcry at Wausau East," Fisher said. "We're not trying to do a witch hunt, we're trying to fix what's wrong with the board."
On Monday night the board proposed a number of solutions to move forward, one being that the superintendent Dr. Kathleen Williams's performance will be reviewed Oct. 21.
"I am suspecting it was because of the nervousness of the situation," Williams said.
She said she doesn't know what the review will entail and no one on the board has told her what it will. Also, she said two months ago the same board unanimously gave her a performance merit award and she expressed that in her final statements in the meeting.
"Dr. Williams' statements at the end (of the meeting) were really troubling because as we read in a newspaper message received, I don't think there's any message received."
One of the board members Matt McKee proposed four things to put on the agenda for the next meeting.
One, having to allocate money to broadcast the committee meeting, two, being that all conversations be recorded between the superintendent and the board president, three, that Williams should write an apology for the music controversy and four to amend her contract if she were to resign.
NewsChannel 7 will continue this coverage as it continues.
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