An oft-sung LDS hymn is “Choose the Right,” which has won a place in the hearts of Latter-day Saints, and a place on their ring fingers. One stanza tells us, “There is a right and a wrong to every question.” It is with great consternation that a large contingent of KBYU listeners awoke to the Monday morning news that BYU Broadcasting had, in my opinion, chosen the wrong by eliminating KBYU’s Classical 89 programing by June of 2018.
In a double whammy, school boards are also chosing the wrong, opting to eliminate music and other arts as a required part of youth education. KUER made the same misguided choice several years ago. Only then we had a recourse. We could flee to KBYU to hear Mozart, who discovered God’s music and wrote it down, or Bach, who said all he wrote was for the glory of God. Now, instead of Mozart’s Requiem, Bach’s Matthew Passion, Handel’s Messiah, Beethoven’s Ode to Joy and Mahler’s Resurrection, we learn we can ennoble our spirits listening to a family game show.
There is much evidence that great music has great character-enhancing effects. I know of no evidence that listening to another game show ennobles character. How ironic that Utah, taking pride in its world-class symphony, opera, ballet, theater and visual arts, which allow Utah living to be culturally enriching, will soon offer not a single classical music radio station. Yes, we are told of alternatives — high tech, digital sources for the electronically sophisticated and those upper crust who can afford to outfit their cars and homes with Amazon Prime and Google Home. That leaves out a large share of listeners who will no more have the option of pushing the “on” button, setting the dial to FM 89.1 and experiencing “Life Elevated” while commuting to work.
Listen, KBYU management. Hear thou our cry? It is not enough to offer us a condescending “There will be some hurt people and feelings.” I will be sending my annual KBYU donation to the Utah Symphony instead.
Salt Lake City
Editor's note: A previous version of this letter mistook KUER for KUED.