Page 6 - SPIRE Apr-Jun 2022 2nd Issue DIGITAL
P. 6

SPIRE SPOTLIGHT                                                                                                            of what makes a great show. If we’re lucky, we get a  Any closing comments?
       GARY                                                                                                                          for the next few hours. Following the show, equipment is  Just a request. If you’ve attended an event at The Spire
                                                                                                                                     dinner break after sound check and at 8PM, we are LIVE
                                                                                                                                                                                          and enjoyed the experience, please spread the word
                                                                                                                                     packed and stored safely away for the next show. There
                                                                                                                                                                                          among your social and professional circles. We are a
                                                                                                                                     are several hours of hard work before and after each
                                                                                                                                                                                          non-profit and rely upon the support of our community. I
                                                                                                                                     show. The short time frame in between is the pay off for
                                                                                                                                                                                          am also fortunate enough to sit on the Spire’s Board of
                                                                                                                                     us…presenting a great artist to great audiences. I would
       SJOLIN,                                                                                                                       be remiss not to send a shout out to our fine technical  Directors and can say they are a truly passionate group
                                                                                                                                                                                          of professionals dedicated to the improvement and long
                                                                                                                                     staff. I love working with them and we couldn’t do what
                                                                                                                                                                                          term sustainability of this gem of a venue. In addition,
                                                                                                                                     we do without them. They are:
                                                                                                                                                                                          they have always been very supportive of me in my
                                                                                                                                                                                          efforts to bring the best audio and visual experience we
                                                                                                                                     Woody Bavota - Lighting
                                                                                                                                     Ed McGee - Audio
                                                                                                                                     Brandon Martin - Audio/backline tech                 can to our patrons. For that I am grateful.
       THE SPIRE'S                                                                                                                   Dot McDonough - Audio, Lighting, Video, basically
       PRODUCTION                                                                                                                    This team is talented and most importantly, passionate
                                                                                                                                     about what they do.
       MANAGER/AUDIO                                                                                                                 From left to right; Kevin Shanley, Gary Sjolin, Sal Baglio (of The Stompers),
                                                                                                                                     Woody Bavota, and Dot McDonough. Gary working FOH; Bottom photo:
                                                                                                                                     setting the Spire's stage.

       Gary serves as the Spire’s Production
       Manager and lead audio engineer. He
       is a graduate of the Berklee College
       of Music and brings over 35 years of
       professional performance and
       production experience to his role at
       The Spire. Gary oversaw and
       collaborated on the design and         hundreds of labor hours and much   not work well unless your programs
       installation of The Spire’s sound     “tweaking” (highly technical term)  are primarily classical. The Spire was
       system and acoustical treatment. We   was done in order to get where we   no different.  I brought in David
       spent a few minutes with Gary         are today. For the sound system we  Coate, a fine acoustician located here
       learning about The Spire’s            made sure to install a system capable  on the South Shore, to conduct tests
       transformation into a performance     of very high fidelity and intelligibility,  and design a solution that would
       space and what a show day typically   while providing even coverage in    work for us. You can spend all the
       looks like.                           every seat in the house. We’re quite  money in the world on a sound
                                             happy with how it sounds these days  system and if you install it in a poor
       What were some of the challenges      and I have Rik Washburn of          sounding space it is like throwing
       faced when The Spire was being        Middlehouse Systems in Carver, as   money into the wind. David’s
       transformed into the space it is      well as John Farrell, a lead engineer  solution, along with some more
       today?                                at MHS, to thank as they were critical  recent additions, have our venue
       Well the challenges were many         to the install and ongoing          sounding quite nice; at least that’s
       including much beyond the scope of    maintenance. We all worked together  what our artists and patrons tell us.
       my responsibilities, but speaking     closely to accomplish our goals.
       solely from a production standpoint,  Since our building was originally a  Tell us about a typical show day.
       it started with constructing a large  church built in 1886, the acoustics  For the technical crew show day
       stage which is necessary to produce   were not a good fit for today’s shows.  starts several hours before the artists
       the variety of shows we present. A    Old churches usually have a fair    arrive. The stage is meticulously pre-
       truss and various hang points were    amount of reverberation since they  wired, microphones are set and
       installed to support our lighting and  were built prior to amplification and  tuned, and audio and lighting
       speaker systems. Much time and        designed for speech, choirs, pipe   consoles are pre-programmed so
       effort is involved in determining what  organs and other acoustic         when the artists arrive we are ready
       equipment was best for our venue      performances.  However, for today’s  for them and everything works. From
       and the types of shows we present.    performance venues, overly          that point on all of our actions are
       As to the installation,               reverberant environments do         focused on the artist and their vision
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