Fine Arts departments adapt to VST power outage


Grace Sanders.

As part of the repairs to the VST, wires and cables trailed throughout the hallways of the building.

SJ Lasley and Sinclair Mott

The VST, normally a vibrant place on campus where students can express themselves, lost its light earlier this week. A transformer went down on Jan. 28 in the VST, causing fine arts groups to cancel rehearsals or practice in abnormal circumstances until the building regained power on Jan. 30.

“Students took everything in stride,” choir director Scott Bonasso said. “The darker rooms seemed to have a calming effect on the kids.”

The Upper School orchestra, which met for rehearsal on Monday, Jan. 29, needed to practice in the hallway because the orchestra room was too dark to read sheet music. Sunlight from windows illuminated the space so that the group could have rehearsal as normally as possible.

Other ensembles were unable to practice throughout the power outage. Band director Darrell Parrish cancelled jazz band rehearsal because the electric guitars did not work without power.

“Most of the band didn’t have to show up to practice, but the sax players went in and worked on their individual parts,” sophomore drummer Jackson Heijmen said. “I’m sure they made a lot of progress without the distraction of the rest of the band.”

Grace Sanders
Staff were able to restore power to the VST after just two days.

Like the orchestra, choir held their practice in the hallway.

“We still practiced and sang a capella in the hallway,” sophomore Amelia Williams said. “Without the piano, we got the chance to focus on improving our sound.”

Along with the sunlight, the mild weather allowed for comfortable rehearsing outside.

“The fine arts department responded to the outage with gentle, good-natured laughter,” Director of Fine Arts Bill McDonald said. “We are going full steam ahead, teaching in our classrooms or finding alternative spaces.”