Johnny Keib and Marcus Payne
When you walk into Jamesville-DeWitt High School, you may notice several changes. The cafeterias and bathrooms were redone and the large group room is still being remodeled. But possibly the biggest change is the auditorium. The whole auditorium has been gutted and is in the process of being reconstructed. The reconstruction of the auditorium is affecting the music program in many ways.
Due to the loud construction noises, the classes in the chorus room have been disrupted. “Sometimes the noise gets pretty loud during classes,” said chorus teacher Annie Park. The band has an entirely different problem. The practice rooms are part of the reconstruction, so if a group of people need to practice, there is nowhere for them to go without disrupting another class.
The reconstruction of the auditorium also affects the Jamesville-DeWitt Middle School. The middle school chorus, orchestra and band performances are usually in the auditorium, so they will have to find a new venue to perform as well.
One of the biggest questions raised about the construction was where the where the band, orchestra, and chorus would perform. Instead of altering schedules, the school was able to find an alternative. The performances will be held at the Redhouse Arts Center in downtown Syracuse as well as Eagle Hill Middle School in the Fayetteville-Manlius District.
Although it will have taken a year for the construction to be finished, Mr. Blumenthal thinks it will be worth it. “It’s going to be a lot nicer,” said Mr. Blumenthal. Despite having to overcome numerous obstacles due to the construction, the music department remains optimistic about about the end result.