(UPDATE: I’ve noticed that many folks are still being routed to this post. I put this post up the day of the incident before any official reports had been made. It does not accurately reflect the incident given what we’ve learned since. I welcome you to link to my most recent posts on the matter, including my reflection on why this was a big deal, words of support from alumni, and videos from the vigil. If you are just looking for details of the incident, here is a news report with video from News Channel 9 WSYR. Thank you!)
Everything in this post is UNOFFICIAL (word of mouth) as of 5:30 PM, but nobody (not Ithaca College, not The Ithacan, not The Ithaca Journal) has yet reported on this story, so I thought I’d offer what I know for those who have questions.
Apparently, last night, the practice rooms in the Whalen Center for Music at Ithaca College were vandalized in a massive way. From student reports, it seems that 70 pianos have been destroyed. They were flipped, their sound boards and hammers were torn off, and their strings were cut. Some of the practice rooms were unaccessible because the flipped pianos were blocking the doors. I’ve heard speculation that damages might be over $500,000. In addition, some marimbas and a vibraphone that were in unlocked percussion rooms were also destroyed. Below is a picture of one of the destroyed marimbas taken from the Facebook event for tonight’s vigil:
At this time, the ground floor of Whalen is apparently taped off so that students cannot access the practice rooms. This will likely need to be somehow remedied soon as students are still preparing for their juries and other final exams this coming week.
I’ve heard that some of the fraternities, including Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and my own brethren of Mu Phi Epsilon have opened their lounges to students to use their pianos, but I have also heard that ResLife is concerned about maintaining quiet hours in the residence halls. This does make sense given that it is finals week.
The vigil is taking place tonight at 9 PM at the clock on the academic quad. Hopefully soon we will hear some official reports about what is taking place.
To all my fellow School of Music alums, this is an important time for us to remember the time we have spent together and the amazing educational experiences we’ve had at Ithaca College. Hopefully, whoever is responsible for this atrocity will be brought to justice, though the pain will still linger.