Editor: Aaron Copland and George Gershwin were each born in Brooklyn about the same time and had the same music teacher.
Copland laid the foundation for his long career by studying in Paris with the famous teacher, Nadia Boulanger. He felt he had to appeal to a larger audience by using folk song material in the brilliant orchestral suite of ''El Salon Mexico'' in 1936, and cowboy songs in ''Billy the Kid'' and ''Rodeo'' ballets.
The two cowboy ballets will always be remembered for rekindling American interest in ballet from early in the century to the halcyon days of the Anna Pavlova tours.
Aaron Copland's work and counsel influenced many young American composers during his long and distinguished career.
Editor: I've no doubt that Stephen M. Kranz is sincere in his support of David Duke and the citizens of Louisiana. This is what frightens me and those who oppose the ''principles'' heralded by David Duke -- the fantastic anomaly, or is he an anomaly?
My criticism lies in the fact that this former klansman, now a state representative, has gained prestige anywhere in this county. Sadly, Kranz states this anomaly has become an accepted norm for all classes (but not races) in the state of Louisiana. For some reason, Kranz expects me to be impressed with the support given to Duke by tradesmen, single mothers ''and, yes many, many doctors and lawyers.'' It is bad enough that many citizens of this country can so readly overlook the indecency of this man. It is more appalling that even the formally ''educated'' give credence to a former grand wizard of the klan.
Are we supposed to feel sorry for Duke because of his ''excess baggage problem''? Excess baggage? Do we now refer to prejudice and denial of basic human rights to abiding multi-ethnic citizens as excess baggage? Certainly, greater men than David Duke have fallen for lesser reasons. Aside from political preference, I venture to mention Gary Hart, Robert Bork, Ollie North to name a few. So, perhaps there is hope.
Are Americans so bad off that we consider the economy, taxes, etc. more significant issues than the guiding principles of humanity? Tyranny is born from such notions. Let us not forget the Hitlers of this world who prey on those who would sooner forget the malignancy within than pay higher taxes.
Money or Life
Editor: If a gunman held someone up on a street and said, ''your money or your life,'' he would be branded a criminal. Apparently this is not the case with an institution such as Duke University Hospital as Michael Olesker outlines the case of cancer patient Judy Marsh. How can an institution receiving research funds from Duke alumni, taxpayers, the American Cancer Society and others, founded on the principle of healing, refuse to take a desperate patient referred by another hospital without up-front payment? Granted, Duke is not a charity hospital, but a bill of $152,000 is a scandal.
My heart goes out to Judy Marsh as I am also a cancer patient at University Hospital. I can only pray that I will never be referred for such expensive treatment.
ane B. Wilson.
Editor: Pride in my Garrett County heritage has again been reinforced by the recently published report by the Maryland Department of Education as to how the state's 24 school systems rate (too often, not well) in a variety of categories.
I note with no amazement that Garrett County ranked second in the state in the category of ''citizenship,'' with a grade of 89 against a statewide average of 75, only Howard County being better with a firm 90.
Obviously, the values of those who originally conquered the mountains of Western Maryland are being passed on to the current generation and the teachers of Garrett County are apparently succeeding in keeping the values of those very sturdy people alive and well.
It is appropriate with this performance to salute the Garrett County Board of Education, which incidentally also produced a performance by its students in excess of the state average in math, writing and attendance (not too shabby in view of Garrett County winters).
H. K. Russell Smouse.
Editor: It seems Saddam Hussein has found the allies he has been searching for. Turns out they were lurking in the good old U.S. all of the time.
Mr. Hussein's divide-and-conquer plan is getting a big boost from the least likely quarter.
If our armed forces are to get the same kind of support they received while in Vietnam, it would be best we brought everyone home, retreated into our bunkers and let the chips fall where they may.
Dictators be damned.
Charles S. DeLuca
Identify That Call
Editor: C&P Telephone's "Caller ID" service is an idea whose time has come. I applaud it. As for the critics who say the service intrudes on the privacy of callers, I think they have it backward. It is the caller who is the intruder.