Acoustical, Rigging Enhancements at Brevard Music Center
The 80th anniversary season of the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina this past summer marked the debut of a new Wenger acoustical shell and J.R. Clancy rigging equipment in the 1,800-seat, open-air Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium (WPA).
Unbelievable Impact. “We needed the acoustics of our performance space to support our standing as one of the country’s premier music training programs and festivals,” says Andrea Boccanfuso, Director of Production for Brevard Music Center. “The Diva shell’s acoustical impact is unbelievable! It’s like stepping into another world – you can feel the music as never before.”
The WPA’s semi-outdoor design necessitated aircraft-cable tethers between the 10 Diva shell towers, each 24’ tall, and WPA’s overhead structure as a precaution against strong winds. Six rows of 6’ x 16’ Diva tower panel assemblies are permanently mounted on each forestage side wall, extending the shell into the audience area. Above the stage are five removable ceiling rows, each designed with short, custom hanger arms to better fit into the limited fly space. The forestage area also features four 6’ x 45’-6” dead-hung ‘eyebrow’ ceiling rows. The acoustical consultant on the project was Paul Scarbrough with Akustiks.
Numerous Challenges. This historical venue presented numerous challenges, including the fact that it was not designed to support motorized rigging. Structural engineers from SKA Consulting Engineers, Inc. reinforced the roof joists, which were only six feet above the top of the proscenium.
In this short space, J.R. Clancy installed 23 line sets, including 10 with custom low-profile PowerLine Hoists. The remaining 13 line sets consist of 11 dead-hung tracks and two dead-hung battens. J.R. Clancy also supplied the drapery from Rose Brand. The theatrical consultant was Jason Prichard with Theatre Consultants Collaborative; the architect for the project was Parker Platt and the project manager was Rhett Pace, both of Platt Management Group. Mainstage Theatrical Supply provided the performance lighting system.
Praise for Project Team. Boccanfuso praised the entire project team and the combined work of Wenger and J.R. Clancy throughout the project, particularly Ryan Cole and Patrick Finn of J.R. Clancy. She appreciated having only one point of contact for the shell and rigging. “I’ve seen many installations where teams end up pointing fingers at each other,” Boccanfuso recalls. “With one company, everything is just handled.”
(Photo Credit: Platt Architecture, P.A.)