The traditional holiday Vespers program at Kansas University literally lay in ashes Saturday night all the way to the choir members' robes, which had been stored in Hoch Auditorium.
"It looks like we're shut down for sure," said James Ralston, professor of choral music at KU and director of the Christmas-time concert. "We were filling Hoch twice in the afternoon and the evening. I'm kind of shocked about it.''
The shockwaves of Saturday's fire will shake not only KU's department of music and dance, which had several concerts scheduled there in the coming year, but the KU Concert Series and university classes scheduled in the building.
However, the full impact probably will not be felt until the beginning of the fall semester. KU Chancellor Gene Budig said Saturday night that no classes are being held in Hoch during the current summer session.
AS FOR the fall, seven events in the KU Concert and New Directions series were scheduled to be held in Hoch. The first would have been a concert by opera singers Frederica von Stade and Jerry Hadley on Sept. 28. Other events included the Ballet Folklorico de Mexico in October and the National Theater of the Deaf in February.
Jacqueline Davis, the director of the series, and Peter Thompson, dean of the School of Fine Arts, were out of town and unavailable for comment on Saturday.
Events in KU's Chamber Music and New Directions series were scheduled either in the Crafton-Preyer Theatre in Murphy Hall or in Liberty Hall in downtown Lawrence.
Hoch, however, also was scheduled to accommodate parts of fall registration and several large lecture classes in such disciplines as chemistry, physics and psychology. One of those classes is Social Psychology 360.
"WE'RE GOING to have to try to break it up into small sections," said Edwin Martin, chairman of the psychology department. "I'm sure most of the other halls on campus are already booked. I don't know what to do. We may have to set up tents in front of Fraser (Hall).''
Performing arts events are to move in the fall of 1993 into the Lied Center for the Performing Arts, a new 2,000-seat, $14 million structure on West Campus. Last month, Thompson said construction of the Lied Center was on schedule.