Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
When Swarthmore’s piano players spontaneously feel the muse, some like to sit down and tickle the ivories in Parrish Parlors. Now, thanks to the vocal support of Assistant Dean of Admissions David Thompson, they will also have several bass guitars at their musical disposal.
“I love having an office on top of the parlors,” said Thompson. “Throughout the day I get to listen to everything from Jingle Bells to Rachmaninoff. Swarthmore students are just so talented.” Thompson speculated that students will now be able to expand their repertoire. “I’m really hoping for some Led Zepplin as the info sessions get started,” Thompson added.
But not everyone is as enthusiastic. “Music students should stick to the practice rooms,” said Sally Hush ’15, who prefers Parish as a space where she can mouth her linguistics homework to herself or listen to Simon and Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence” on her iPod.
Worth Health Center has noted a spike in hearing loss among incoming students, perhaps attributable to their time spent loitering on the Parrish staircase, with Mozart loudly blaring across the hall. “Come on, correlation does not equal causation,” screamed Fred Forte, a psychology major who sees the Parrish Parlors as the natural daytime extension of Olde Club. “Everyone could benefit from some more good vibrations as they stand in the Post Office line,” Forte shouted.
The Administration also advocates that the availability of the bass guitars will make the campus music scene more democratic. “There may not always be enough space at the LSE, but there are usually empty seats in Parrish,” commented outgoing Student Activities Coordinator Paury Flowers.
If the latest StuCo petition is any indication, the students who prefer a lower decibel level in Parrish are in the minority.
“Really, if you want peace and quiet, there’s always the Friends’ Meeting House,” said Thompson.