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A New Chapter in CHS Fine Arts

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Students are curious and have a lot of questions over the layouts of the new school building. Questions range from “How big are the parking lots?” to “How big will the media center be?”.

As a recent student survey concluded, the second-most interesting subject to students and teachers was the layouts of the Auditorium, Choir and Band rooms. With 36.19 percent of student respondents curious about the auditorium and 20 percent having the most questions over the Band room and Choir room, this is one major concern that demonstrates CHS commitment to fine arts.

The Auditorium Acts as Community Gathering Point

Guest speakers, band and choir concerts, one act performances and musicals are all hosted in the school auditorium annually. Because so many community patrons frequent this space, it was one of the primary concerns for the community when talk of a new school building started last fall.

One Act members practice for their upcoming performance of "Voices From the Titanic." Drama sponsor Melissa Casper is excited for the changes of the upcoming new auditorium.

One Act members practice for their upcoming performance of “Voices From the Titanic.” Drama sponsor Melissa Casper is excited for the changes of the upcoming new auditorium.

Band, Choir and Drama club are the main activities that use the auditorium and it took the three teachers/sponsors to work together to figure out what the school needed most for this space.

“The biggest change is the actual stage,” Drama Club Sponsor Melissa Casper said. “It will be a flat audience set up. The audience will be in front not at an angle as the auditorium is now.”

The current auditorium seats 448  people, which is not enough for the growing numbers of students in the high school to all have a seat at school-wide convocations or for parents and families for district music concerts. There will be be 650 seats in the new auditorium, which will accommodate for current growth rates according to Moore.

“It will accommodate; it’s hard to predict the growth rates, but it is way bigger than what we need right now,” Casper said.

“If we would’ve wanted more seats we would’ve had to put balconies in the auditorium which could’ve been over budget and made us take money out of somewhere else for the school,” Fahrlander said.

Casper, Purdham and Fahrlander are both very excited and looking forward to having curtains on the stage for new auditorium.

“With scene set up, you can hide everything behind curtains. With curtains everything is more closed,” Casper said.

Drama club members are excited to have more useful resources to use for their practices in the new Auditorium.

Drama club members are excited to have more useful resources to use for their practices in the new Auditorium.

There will also be a real backstage area with a makeup room and two separate girls’ and boys’ dressing rooms, in addition to a workshop room where students will be able to build the props and flats they need for scenes and sets.

There will be a new up-to-date technology for a lights and sound system for the auditorium which would include new lights and logging features, wireless microphones, and permanently-mounted LED projector for presentations.

“If you can’t hear the lines or (the) band, the entire purposes is defeated,” Casper said.

“There will be an entry area into the auditorium that will allow people to go in and out without disrupting the performance,”  Activities Director Jim Moore said.

When students enter the auditorium, they will be in a separate entry area almost like a foyer. To get to the auditorium, they will have to open another set of doors that are smooth flowing and won’t clank or make noise, which can be disruptive during performances and concerts. The seats will be divided by a number of aisles and  will include handicap-accessible areas with spaces for wheelchairs.

“We wanted to make it as public friendly as possible,” Moore said.

“To all of a sudden have a traditional setting that a theatre has will be very exciting,” Casper said.

 

New Band Room Will Help Instrumental Musicians Tune Up Skills

“There isn’t enough space for students to walk though in this band room,” Band Teacher Eric Fahrnlander said. Fahrlander met with the architects in February to start the design for the new band room in the new building. One idea initially discussed was whether or not to tier the room as the current band room has four tiers of floor staggered down to the bottom of the room where the conductor directs.

“The problem with tiers is that it doesn’t give us flexibility,” Fahrlander said. The new band room will have flat floors which will help students move about and it won’t be as crowded. The band room will also have windows which is something many students are looking forward to in the new high school.

Some additional features in the new band room will help with the acoustics include suspended lights and acoustical tile on ceilings and walls.

“The lights will be suspended, which will help the sound go over the lights, hit the acoustical tile on the ceiling and come back down,” Fahrlander said.

With new band students each year, more instrumental storage is taken up and more is needed; Fahrlander explained that instrumental storage will be in a separate hallway outside of the band room.

“I went to Elkhorn South and took a tour of their facilities and asked them what they liked and what they did not,” Fahrlander said. Taking the pros and cons of what other schools like helps teachers determine what they can bring to the table when deciding what they want for their new classrooms.

 

New Choir Room Will Allow Students to Belt Out Notes

The present Choir room has tiers and acoustical carpet on the walls. In the new choir room, there will be flat floors.

The present Choir room has tiers and acoustical carpet on the walls. In the new choir room, there will be flat floors.

Like the band room, the choir room will also have flat floors and a rectangular layout with a mirror in the front of the room to help students match vowel shapes and placements.

“We wanted to make sure the choir room had mirrors in the front of the room as well as the flat floor so that we would be able to use the room for swing choir rehearsals and regular choir rehearsals,” Choir Director David Purdham said.

There will also be acoustical ceiling tiles and wall tiles to enhance the acoustics in the choir room, much like the band room.

In conclusion, the three spaces designed for the arts at the new Crete High School building are being created to enable the students to enhance their talents and performances. Through  the process isn’t over, the start to a new chapter in CHS fine arts is about to begin.

“The administration was really good in listening to everyone’s input on each and everyone’s territorial needs,” Fahrlander said. “They were very fair on that.”

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A New Chapter in CHS Fine Arts