New concert hall coming soon

Minita Layal, Reporter

Northshore’s Capital Projects Bond passed on the February 2018 ballot and, as a result, a new concert hall on campus will open in fall of 2021 for current freshmen to enjoy as seniors. According to School Board Director Sandy Hayes, construction of the new building will start in the spring of 2020, and it should be completed in time for the 2021 school year.

“It will be similar to the NPAC (the Northshore Performing Arts Center at Bothell High School),” Hayes said. “Northshore will have first access to it and then the public can rent it.”

To plan the concert hall, a committee of several students, teachers and other stakeholders meet weekly with architecture firm Hutteball & Oremus.

Choir Teacher Ailisa Newhall, a member of the committee said that the new concert hall will have 750 seats and will be bigger than the Northshore Performing Arts Center at Bothell High School.

Newhall also mentioned her hopes for the future of the NPAC.

“We are hoping that all the music performances move to Inglemoor and all the drama performances are at the NPAC,” she said.

The concert hall will be the first venue in the Northshore School District focused primarily on music. All four high schools currently have some form of a performing arts theater, but there is nothing built specifically for music performance.  

According to Newhall, the new concert hall seems to be a much needed addition to the school and the music program.

According to Newhall, the current music rooms and performance spaces are often difficult to work with when it comes to space and acoustics.

“We will have bigger and more music rooms,” Newhall said. She went on to describe how the band in particular needs more space to practice.

Freshman Zoe Starikov is also part of the planning committee. She was selected to represent the choir by Newhall.

“She picked me because I have a lot of experience performing in different places,” Starikov said.

She has been performing for ten years and has performed in venues such as Benaroya Hall, the Broadway Performance Hall and the Manhattan School of Music.

“We looked at what the space needed acoustically to accommodate all three music programs and possible music programs in the future,” Starikov said.

As a part of these considerations, the new concert hall will include a balcony.

“It will be acoustically built for beautiful sound so we don’t have to mike the choir or the band or the strings…” Newhall said. She went on to add that this will save a lot of money on microphones and equipment.

As a freshman choir member, Starikov will be in the first class to perform in the concert hall her senior year. Sophomore  Lucy Toner, another member of the planning Committee, represents the orchestra. Although she will graduate before the hall is complete, she said she’s excited for the classes below her to have new opportunities.

“It’ll be really cool and I think it will help students get the most out of their music education,” she said.