November 22, 2016
UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON- Campus security guard Jim Nelson was startled one night when he heard ominous music while on night watch near the music building.
“I thought I was a goner,” he said. “You know something bad is about to happen when you hear music like that. It always happens in the movies.”
Jim braced himself, hand ready on his taser. He found the practice rooms unlocked and held his taser ahead. At the end of the hallway, he found the student Michael Young playing Rachmaninoff on the Steinway.
“I recognized Michael and asked him what he was doing there so late.”
When Jim saw a sleeping bag in the corner and a trash can full of empty coffee cups, he realized what was happening. Michael was living in the practice rooms. As Jim was talking to Michael, a light came on in another room where a student had just woken up.
“It’s just easier for me to stay here instead of walking all the way back to the dorms,” said Michael, a piano performance major. “That’s the only way I can get my 5 hours of practice in. That plus 4 cups of coffee.”
While a lounge is in the works for the practice rooms, music faculty plan to add dorm rooms to the music building in the near future.