Students' band rocks finals and shows

By Kyli Pigg - Staff Reporter

A higher education may provide security for their futures, but one Highline student and his alumn buddy would rather rock out.

Jady Ankeny and Ethan Fenster are in a band called Hi Hello. Ankeny plays guitar and Fenster pounds the drums.

The name "Hi Hello" is an inside joke between Ankeny and Fenster.

"It's the first thing people say when they get on stage and announce themselves," Ankeny said. "We found that amusing."

The band makes music they call "post-rock shoegaze," Ankeny said.

Hi Hello has recently released an album that was entirely self-produced, which they recorded at Ankeny's brother's studio.

The album, Self Titled, was recorded only onto cassette tapes which are only available at their shows. They released the album on Sept. 11 at their album release show which also happened to be their first show. They played at the Funk Haus, a small house/venue in Capitol Hill.

The band has a small following and they consider themselves to be "pretty underground." Ankeny said. "We've only played a few shows but have had a group of fans that have showed up at all of them."

They have been playing music together since the summer of 2015, but have only officially been a band since January of this year.

"We would describe our sound as being punched in the eardrums," Ankeny said.

Hi Hello's goal is to make its music as loud as possible.

"We are working on our next album, so we aren't playing many shows at the moment," Fenster said. "We plan on going on a 2018 autumn tour down the West Coast."

Hi Hello doesn't have any form of social media or music released online, but they are currently working on making a bandcamp and Instagram account. The band prides itself on its exposure being only by word-of-mouth or that you might accidentally see them playing a house show.

"You just got to be in the right place at the right time," Fenster said.

"Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Thee Silver Mt. Zion, Mogwai, Slint, My Bloody Valentine, Deafheaven, and Slowdive are our greatest musical influences," Fenster and Ankeny said.

Family members were their conduits into music.

"My dad was a touring musician and my interest in music was really sparked when I would see him play as a kid," Ankeny said. "My Brother Terrance is also in a band. I've just been around music all my life."

"My brother was also in a few bands, and played at Sound Off! in Seattle," Fenster said. "I admired him. He gave me his old drum set and everything took off from there."

For Ankeny, his music world is his comfort zone.

"I like to always be around my instruments. By being at home I am able to make music whenever I feel like it," he said.

Ankeny currently manages playing music and going to Highline by taking online classes and said that for him, it is fairly easy to balance school and make music.

"School isn't very fun to me so it helps that I have music as a creative outlet," Ankeny said.

He graduates in December.

"I am currently getting my AA this quarter and applying to UW for a degree in environmental science," Ankeny said. "After Hi Hello tours in 2018 we will be able to gauge whether people like us enough to live as professional musicians."

Fenster goes to school in Bellingham.

He comes down from Western Washington University every weekend to make music with Ankeny.

"I just have to make sure I get my school work done during the week and then I can work on music all weekend," Fenster said.

"I am studying business and it would be cool to make a career out of a band, but there is not a lot of money in music," Fenster said. "But then again I don't really want to work anyways."

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Allies of the LGBTQIA community along with faculty and staff will be hosting a Safe Zones training program, next month. Safe Zones is a program identifying individuals in the school community who are safe and supportive allies of LGTBQIA students and faculty. The Safe Zones training is put on by Highline’s Multicultural Affairs organization. The program is about learning more about the queer community and to build skills to use on the Highline campus and out in other communities. The LGBTQIA Taskforce has been working on creating a basic curriculum for the Safe Zones training that not only provides information that may seem basic or simple. Anyone is welcome to the Safe Zones training. The training will be June 2, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Writing Center, Building 26 room 319i.

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Highline is hosting its annual portfolio show next week. Design students will show off their work and achievements on June 5 - 6. The show is in Building 8, Mt. Olympus room from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m.

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The annual vote for Highline’s Outstanding Faculty Awards has been extended June 5. The Highline College Foundation provides two $1,500 awards to be presented to Highline College’s Outstanding Faculty of the Year. Nominations can be made by any student, staff member, faculty member or administrator of Highline. A person may make only one nomination for each award. Further detainominations need to consist of written statements from both the nominator and then a second reference that gives specific emphasis to the nominee’s contribution to education at Highline. Nominations need to be submitted to the Selection Committee in the Office of Instruction, Mailstop 9-2, by 5 p.m. on June 5.

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