Homecoming Dance Lands on Annual Monster Concert


Photo by Abbi Posey

Senior Jason Ling performs surgery on a broken body in the haunted house. As an acotr he has to keep up a stone cold face in order to scare the incoming groups.

Live music, good food, carnival games, and a haunted house take over the east side of school on Oct. 19 to celebrate Halloween and raise money for the orchestra. This year the Homecoming Dance was be held on the same day.

“I’m excited because it gives the students an opportunity to all come together and have a variety of activities to do,” iLab coordinator and Student Council Sponsor Isabelle Salazar said.

The Monster Concert is a concert and carnival hosted annually by the orchestra and sponsors. The theme this year was Radioactive Decay.

“We wanted to play off of what was popular this year like the show Chernobyl and Stranger Things,” senior haunted house coordinator Emily Sprague said.

There will be inflatables, small carnival games such as Pringle Toss and pool noodle jousting, and a Halloween themed concert played by middle schools and the orchestra.

“Honestly I don’t really like the fact that the Monster Concert and homecoming are on the same day. I think that it forces people to choose between the events,” Sprague said.

The theme of the homecoming dance is Starry Night.

“Originally we were going to have the dance later in October, but a lot of students heavily requested the homecoming dance,” Salazar said.

The Monster Concert starts at 3 p.m. and ends around 9 p.m., while the dance runs from 8 to 10 pm.

“We worked with [the orchestra director Ana-Maria Solis] to make sure [our timing] was okay and not in the way,” Salazar said. “She agreed because the haunted house and games close at around 8.”

Previously, no dance was held during the week of homecoming because it was locked within the ACL weekend.

“We have booked a DJ that has DJed at school dances for Lake Travis, Westlake, Anderson and other Austin area schools,” senior student council president Winifred Dorlean said. “ it is safe to say that we’ve got a great DJ. StuCo is also working on sending out electronic flyers that will go on the TVs in the hallways and on our Instagram, just to spread the news about HOCO.”

Another challenge that the planning committees must face is that there is also a performance by the Red Dragon Players. They will be performing the musical Spring Awakening with senior Troy Abbott as the lead.

“A problem that we have faced every year is with the theater,” Sprague said. “Since the Preas Theater is next to where we build the haunted house, the screams of the kids interrupt and detract from the play/musical.”

Having multiple events on the same day opens doors for lesser-known or less attended events to get on the radars of students.

“I expect better attendance at the Monster Concert in the evening because I believe students will want to get in the Halloween spirit and come early to attend the carnival,” orchestra board president senior Saylor Schrieber said. “However, I don’t think many orchestra students will be as inclined to attend the dance afterward because they will be in Halloween makeup and costumes, and will have just finished a very long day working the carnival and performing.”

Student Council will help to increase excitement for the game and the dance by decorating the second floor during spirit week.

“Monster Concert means a lot to the orchestra program,” Solis said. “It is the largest fundraiser for the organization and raises the most money. Having the homecoming dance on the same day provides the opportunity for growth on our part to please and cater to a larger audience.”