WASHS auditorium hosts 1st concert

December 14, 2008|By CHRIS CARTER

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- Students said that performing for the first time in the new auditorium at Waynesboro Area Senior High School was like having a makeover.

"Like when a person gets new clothes or dresses better," said Katy Martin, a junior choir singer. "It just makes you feel a lot better."

Waynesboro students and faculty put on the first concert in the school's new auditorium Sunday, opening doors to hundreds for the annual holiday show, "Christmas on Broadway."

The auditorium currently has 1,200 seats; 400 more seats are to be added when its balcony section is finished.

The 1,600 seats will be 100 more than Shippensburg (Pa.) University's H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center, which was completed in 2005.


There are still some "finishing touches" to be made, like the installation of acoustic panels, but the students are happy to have the angst of waiting to use the auditorium behind them.

"I think it's great. It's nice to actually have an auditorium that does dress the school up, that we can show off," said senior Chad Reichard, who got an inside look during the planning for the facility as student representative to the Waynesboro Area School Board.

"I just kind of observed all of it because it was already decided on before I was (a student representative)," he said. "I'm glad it's finished. It was in everybody's best interests to go through with it and be done."

Ground for the project, which includes a new gymnasium and cafeteria, was broken in January 2007. Band and choir students practiced for the first time in the auditorium on Saturday.

"It was awesome. ... Huge," said junior Corey Chick. "It's pretty exciting. This is probably the biggest stage I've performed on."

That said, it wasn't all that difficult to improve upon the previous venues in which Waynesboro students have performed. Just ask sophomore Mary Shoop.

"The last time I performed, it was in the middle school gym, so it's really different," she said. "The stage is so much different, so much bigger."

The stage itself is 5,000 square feet, according to Band Director Patrick McNamee. Backstage are choir, band and music tech rooms, as well as offices and storage areas.

"The adults have seen everything, but the kids were kind of in awe when they first saw it," McNamee said. "But at the same time, they also knew what they had to do. They had a concert to put on."

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