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Westwood High School

Westwood High School


Renovation & Installation

Austin, TX

School District

Austin Independent School District



The Westwood fine arts area was renovated in 2022, enlarging the rehearsal spaces for band, orchestra and choir. Ensemble-size rooms were also added, along with other sound-isolating practice rooms throughout the facility. There was also a new dance studio added. With their full orchestra, including winds and percussion, rehearsals usually take place in the band hall because it’s larger. But for string orchestra, the largest group is just under 50 students and they easily fit in the orchestra room.

Joshua Thompson, Fine Arts Department Chair and Head Orchestra Director, was very glad to be involved in the planning process, “The fine arts directors met with the administration and architects probably 4-5 times to discuss our individual needs and priorities in the renovation.”


“Wenger’s Planning Guide was helpful in our planning meetings, including discussing sizes and numbers of instrument cabinets and ideal practice room sizes. Wenger representatives participated in at least two meetings, helping us select cherry AcoustiCabinets® with black grille doors.”


The Westwood Orchestra room and the school’s SoundLok® Practice rooms are outfitted with Wenger’s VAE enhanced acoustics systems. Thompson notes, “We have the VAE Rehearsal system in our orchestra room. It’s working great. We use it to record rehearsals to provide feedback, so the students can hear themselves better. They don’t always hear what the director hears.”


“The enhanced acoustics system is also helping students be prepared to perform in a variety of acoustic environments,” says Thompson, “We use the acoustic settings for several reasons. I like to sometimes rehearse in a very reverberant space, like a cathedral or arena, to make the kids feel uncomfortable with all the sounds bouncing around. Then I know when they get on stage, it will never be that uncomfortable for them. I want them to be prepared, to feel like they have experienced that kind of environment before”



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