Fine Arts Classes Adjust to Construction


Luca Desiderio

In his fifth block Orchestra class, Luc Schwalm ’22 plays the harp. The harps are currently stored in the Java City location while the orchestra hall is under renovation.

Since the start of the spring semester, Westwood has undergone many changes. With the construction on the new D-Wing completed, math classes have moved back into the building from the portables where they were previously being held. However, this does not mean that the updates to the school building are complete. 

Construction has moved on to a new goal: the renovation of the fine arts wing, which is expected to conclude by the spring semester of 2023. As a result, most fine arts classes have been temporarily displaced, with band classes being held in the Warrior Studio, orchestra in the Lecture Hall, theater and choir in the portables, and dance classes moving to the Small Gym and Orange and White studios. 

“I think we had a much smoother transition than I honestly anticipated,” orchestra director Mr. Joshua Thompson said. “We’ve gotten used to the room, and we’re still getting used to violins and violas having to go get their instruments elsewhere, but besides that, I think we’ve adjusted very well. There are certain challenges in both [the band and orchestra] rooms acoustically, but I think we’re doing okay, and we’ve adapted as well as we can to this environment.” 

With the choir, orchestra, band, and theater rooms all being renovated, the goals of the construction include increasing the amount of space for each program. In addition, piano classes, which have almost always been held in the portables since opening, will receive a new space within the fine arts wing, in the area where the Black Box Theater was previously located. 

“I think one big benefit is that we will be in the [main] building,” Mr. Thompson said. “Before, we had to leave the band and orchestra building to even just go to the bathroom, or go to the office, or go to any other classroom. I think [being back in the main building] is a big benefit, but we’re also all getting newer and slightly larger spaces as well.” 

Along with this prospect of new beginnings, all the fine arts are adapting relatively well to challenges brought about by the move and undertaking projects as close to normal as possible, from the musical theater’s show Anything Goes, to concerts throughout the semester as well as UIL competitions in early March for band, orchestra, and choir.