“We are there, and it is done”; Crescent Elk Auditorium opens on Saturday | Wild rivers outpost


Jessica Cejnar Andrews / Today at 6 a.m. / Celebrity, Community, Education

“We are there, and it is done”; Crescent Elk Auditorium opens on Saturday


The newly renovated Crescent Elk Auditorium, seen from the stage. Photo courtesy of Steve Morgan.

An unrecognizable Crescent Elk auditorium will open on Saturday for the first time in over a year.

The 92-year-old hall’s reopening ceremony will include performances by high school jazz band Del Norte, his dance troupe and Jacob Scesney, a multi-instrumentalist who performs with Postmodern Jukebox, Nick Rail said.

Rail and his wife, Lisa, were involved in a huge effort to restore the auditorium, funding new seats and a new stage lighting system.

Speaking to the Del Norte County Unified School District Board of Directors on October 28, Rail said the auditorium was unrecognizable.

“The ceiling is different, the walls are different, the seats are just amazing, the stage is different, the lighting is different,” he said. “You have to look very closely to find something that you recognize.”

According to Marshall Jones, president of the Del Norte Teachers Association and teacher at Smith River School, since seating may be limited, the ceremony may be broadcast in the school’s multi-purpose hall.

“It will be one of the major events of this year, so I can’t wait to be there,” he said.

As for the special guest, Rail said he has known Scesney since he was 12. Scesney started taking music lessons around age 3 or 4, according to IMDB. He has also performed with Casey Abrams, Seth McFarlane, Rachel Platten, Seal and the Black Eyed Peas.

The renovated Crescent Elk Auditorium features new stage lighting, new seating, stage flooring and flooring in the audience seating area. The number of seats has been reduced from 495 to 385, but they are 17 inches wide instead of the previous 11 inches, according to Rail.

They also include a folding desk allowing the viewer to take notes, eat, or have a place to fold their hands.

On October 28, DNUSD Superintendent Jeff Harris said that when the district set out to renovate the Crescent Elk Auditorium, he believed it would take five years, not 18 months.

“It all started in 2020 when he said, ‘Let’s do something’,” Harris said of Rail. “We were talking about a five-year plan. We are there, and it’s done.

The Crescent Elk Auditorium stage seen in 2020. Photo courtesy of Steve Morgan

According to Harris, the lights have been refurbished, the electrical system has been rewired. He said that DNUSD has the ability to live stream performances from three different perspectives in the auditorium.

“The auditorium itself is so big, one of the wires that goes from the front of the auditorium to the back of the auditorium that plugs into the audio system, on its own, is now picking up the radio. spoken AM, ”Harris said.

He told administrators that the wire will be removed by the time of the reopening ceremony.

Nick Rail grew up in Del Norte County and was introduced to music when he was a student at Redwood Union School. He grew up to found one of Southern California’s largest musical instrument retailers.

Rail reconnected with DNHS Music Director Dan Sedgwick, who grew up taking classes in his Santa Barbara store.

In January 2020, the Rails donated 100 new musical instruments to DNUSD and founded the Nick and Lisa Rail Music Fund at the Wild Rivers Community Foundation. Their goal is to raise enough funds to build a performing arts center at Del Norte High.

In August, Rail introduced the non-profit performing arts partnership to the DNUSD Board of Directors.

On October 28, Rail said the association hopes to have the Del Norte High School Performing Arts Center built by August 2027.

Rail said he and his wife are also preparing to donate 175 additional musical instruments to DNUSD in December.

“This will bring our donation of instruments to around 250-275,” he said. “Our eventual plans are to donate close to 800.”


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