Harding Band Building. Top floor. The fall of 2005.
“Clueless and anxious, on my way to Marching Illini uniform fittings as a freshman, I remember the instant wave of comfort that washed over me when I peeled open the heavier-than-it-should-be door to the second floor,” says Dean’s List regular turned Dreamworks TV production coordinator Allyson Kloster (’09).
"The hallway was silent. Gray. Perfectly air-conditioned. Armed with more storage lockers than any hallway should have. I loved it.
“It was my refuge from the nonstop hustle and bustle happening downstairs and throughout campus. I walked down the narrow hall and found the uniform fitting. It was then — on the top floor — that I had my first at-ease conversation on campus. I believe I cracked a normal joke.
“Some say the ghost of John Philip Sousa resides there. I say if he does, thank you, Sousa, for helping me realize the most important element in music is how one plays in silence.”