Deep in the bowels of the Seward County Community College Shank Humanities building, a room can be found where people scarcely tread, mainly due to the convoluted route to get there. The room, H146, is known as the Music Cave.
The music cave is where most music majors, band and choir students tend to spend most of their time. To these students, this room is like a home away from home.
Darin Workman, instrumental music instructor, has an office that is part of the Music Cave. Years ago, someone made a street sign to label the space. Workman and fellow music instructor, Magda Silva, have called this area the “play zone” on occasions because there is always something going on just outside their offices.
The Music Cave is a place that feels like home, with plush, and comfy couches that are just yelling at you to take a nap. Magdalis “Maggie” Ibarra, a.k.a. The Couch Bat, is one of the students that can regularly be found calling the music cave home.
Another one of the students found in the music cave is James “Daniel” Rodriguez a.k.a stalagmite, as he is commonly found in his spot on the couch. Maggie Ibarra gave him a rude awakening as a joking payback to a prank he pulled on her earlier this school year.
Noah Horinek pulls out a Nerf gun jokingly on music major Manny Villalobos after a quip was made at his expense. Moments like these are a common occurrence in the music classes; though not many of them have a student making a physical jest, mainly just the witty comeback.
Despite the pressure that music classes put on students, there isn’t a lack of times where Workman shares anecdotes, or jokes to later hit the student with the punchline. The relaxed nature of the professors of the Music program makes any class an easy atmosphere to adjust to.
Workman teaches a music theory class in a room just off the Music Cave. While the atmosphere is normally relaxed, students and instructors are serious about their music and the quality. They spend hours studying and practicing.
Although classes like Sight Reading and Ear Training (SRET) can be difficult, and at times have tedious tasks, the students can find comfort in expressing themselves. Whether it’s a sigh when feeling worn down, or the freedom to crack jokes with the professors, it is not something you can experience with every class. Rebecca Irby, freshman music major from Liberal, can be seen looking tired after practicing dictation for what feels like the millionth time.
After having to repeatedly re-run through dictation, Irby made this pose to Silva after getting a rhythm correct on her first try. This perfectly shows the family style dynamic that music students, have not only with each other, but with the instructors as well.
When Manuel “Manny” Villalobos took to the front of the band, band members felt it was an easy adjustment for him to make, as most students don’t just see Workman as a professor, but a peer as well.
This was one of the first times Villalobos led the SCCC concert band, practicing for his debut in the spring concert later this semester. This allows a rare chance for Workman to use his tenor saxophone in a concert setting for SCCC.
This year’s homecoming court featured three band student nominations, Manuel Villalobos, Maria Herrera, and Nicole Niedens. Pictured is Manny nominated by the concert band walking with Celia Gutierrez, nominated by the cheer team. Music students are found all over campus in other clubs and volunteering their time around the community.
After playing a singing bowl, students laughed when Workman finally found where the source of a high-pitched tone was emanating from. The Music Cave fosters the students to feel like a close-knit family through not only joking around but by helping each other survive college and life.
*Editors note: This photo essay was part of a class project for Photography II.