Beginning this month I will integrate my musical background into my entries. Most of these posts will also be featured on other worship and/or music related websites. Enjoy.
“In one ear and…..in the other!” Part 1
I’ve been at my current church since 2013 and during this time we have facilitated multiple upgrades such as new digital boards, projectors, mics, etc…. However, we recently embarked upon the addition/implementation of a total in-ear monitoring for all musicians and worship leaders which is a first for all 10 team members. To give the best and most complete picture of the magnitude of this undertaking I first need to give the scope of the environment and what we have and are learning through this.
Background: The church constructed a new multimillion-dollar sanctuary in the late 90’s after undergoing quick, significant growth. This growth was in part, due to the dynamic nature of the music program which was noted for it’s choir and the special programs (Christmas, Easter, etc…) which had an obvious connection to the construction and design. By that I mean the sanctuary was primarily designed for a Choir, Piano and Organ. “Canned” or “Tracked” music was the primary source of additional choir music so the speaker configuration was also designed to have a minor “fan” dispersion since the source of the music was very centralized. High, theatrical ceilings, wood floors, bare walls (for vocal acoustics) and an inclined seating floor all scream “Church!”.
As life in Southern Baptist church’s go, the worship leader who was there during that time eventually moved on and others would follow; each with their own musical persona and quirks. Some, very choir oriented and others a little more slanted toward a “band” feel. However, with all of the different personalities through the years, the overall aesthetics of the auditorium remained the same with wedges and little-to-no sound suppression enforcement. I should add that after the original worship pastor left, one of his successors hired a professional pianist who was over-qualified for the position and would eventually serve to be the central-point for the musical program. Her level of talent has attracted other, like-minded individuals which has brought us to this point.
Now, fast-forward to January 2017 when I meet with our very talented (and loud) band to say “I’m about to pull all wedges off stage and we will begin the implementation of a total in-ear monitoring system. This decision was not made with no thought nor research but even so, we have, and continue to experience challenges. Technical, financial, personnel, atmosphere; you name it, we have and are still pushing through this process. So allow me to share this journey and by doing so, maybe assist my fellow-musicians with the aversion of some of the not-so-great challenges of this implementation which I believe will be a great addition to this ministry.
In part two I will address one of the most crucial portions of any A/V upgrade: Funding.
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