Memorable Winter Concert
by Annie Wang, 2018 (posted 12-23-16)
On December 15th, the Cheshire High School band and orchestra held their annual winter concert in the Thorp Auditorium. However, the events that would unfold throughout the night were not exactly “annual”. String orchestra students were expected to arrive at the school at approximately 5:45 p.m for a routine warm up and run through of their four pieces. However, as.they finished tuning, the sound of a fire alarm abrupted from the speakers.
Students were directed to put their instruments down, grab a coat, and quickly vacate the building through the back door of the basement. Soon enough, around 100 dazed high schoolers stood huddled together outside the fire zone near the baseball fields in the frigid 19° weather. Those that were lucky and had driven to the rehearsal ran to their cars to escape the excruciatingly cold air. At approximately 6:15, after perhaps 20 minutes of standing outside, students were then directed to go to the front of the school and wait in the commons. The rumor was that a faulty fire sensor had gone off causing the chaos. Music department head and orchestra and band director John Kuhner told the students to quickly move back to their seats in order to efficiently utilize the small amount of time that was now left. Hundreds of parents, grandparents, friends and other relatives of the musicians had already began funneling into the auditorium at this time. However, around 10 minutes later, the alarm had come back once again. Because of the previous false alarm earlier in the night and the day before, an announcement by Principal Mary Gadd was made for audience members to remain in their seats while the problem was determined. She explained that if the alarm was not shut off in 10 minutes, then everyone would be required to evacuate and thanked the audience for their patience and cooperation. Luckily, the alarm stopped five minutes later and the orchestra members were able to have a quick warm up and start the concert. “Although the issues with the fire alarm continued to plague us from the dress rehearsal the night before, we weren't dazed and went on to have a great performance,” says Jason Han, 2018, a member of the Cheshire High School Marching Ram Band. Overall, it was certainly an unprecedented “memorable” night to say the least. Nonetheless, the Cheshire High School students remained composed and gracefully executed their performances of the night despite the challenges.
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