Honoring Country and Family: Military Bands

Memorial Day - Military Bands

The contributions of our armed forces must never be forgotten. Over the Memorial Day weekend, Sgt. Ashley Dembiczak and hundreds of other U.S. military musicians across the country and abroad will help commemorate the service and sacrifice of our nation’s veterans. For Dembiczak, her own family’s military tradition provides additional inspiration.   “My grandfather, Hilary Dembiczak, served in Korea with the U.S. Army and my dad, Mark Dembiczak, served in Vietnam with the U.S. Navy,” says Dembiczak, a clarinet player with the 3D Marine Aircraft Wing Band in San Diego, …

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Wenger’s Evolution of Active Acoustic Products

About Me: I joined Wenger Corporation in 2011, after completing an internship with an acoustical consultant in the Twin Cities. As a musician with degrees in physics and mechanical engineering, acoustics is as much a passion for me as it is a career choice. While my early work at Wenger focused on more traditional acoustic treatment, my role has shifted with the recent expansion of our electro-acoustic product offering. After two years of development work on Wenger’s new Transcend™ Active Acoustic System, I now have the opportunity to design and …

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Technology Transforms Auditorium Acoustics

Wenger Transcend Active Acoustic System

Flexible acoustics take performances to the next level. In a blog last fall, Wenger’s President and CEO Chris Simpson described a memorable night – the public debut of the company’s Transcend Active Acoustic System at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. This new video captures some of the sounds and sights of that event, including a brass quintet and choir onstage experiencing the inspiring effects of this new, best-in-class active acoustic system. There are also interviews with Wartburg faculty and staff, talking about the reasons behind their decision to choose Transcend …

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Head Carpenter Builds Rewarding Career

Outside the theatre world, the title “head carpenter” evokes images of hammers and nails, saws and tool belts. However, behind the plush velour curtain – in performing arts – such jobs involve a myriad of duties, only some with tools. Other responsibilities closely resemble the roles of a stage manager or technical director. “My title is common on Broadway, which helps touring shows know who they should talk to,” explains Jason Gay, Head Carpenter at the Ohio Theatre in Columbus, Ohio. “The title isn’t really representative of what’s happening in …

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Celebrate Arbor Day With #RigSafe

Rigging Safety Initiative

How will you celebrate Arbor Day on April 29? We’re joining with USITT in celebrating Rigging Safety Day, a day to promote safer stages by posting and tweeting with the hashtag #RigSafe Arbor Day is the perfect day to remember rigging safety, because the “arbor” is the part of a counterweight line set that holds the stage weights. On April 29, USITT will post #RigSafe news all day and ask people to support its Rigging Safety Initiative (RSI), which provide free rigging inspections and safety training for school stages. J.R. …

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Performing Arts Market Blooms in China

Wuxi Grand Theatre interior

The world’s most populous country is creating its own national identity in the performing arts. Breathtaking new facilities are blooming, designed by world-famous architects and outfitted by noted theatre designers. For a first-person perspective on these developments, we contacted Mr. Sascha König in Beijing, a native of Germany who has worked in China for 12 years. He is currently Chief Asia Representative for HOAC Schweisstechnik GmbH, a German stage technology company that is Wenger’s partner in China. In recent years, Wenger and HOAC have often collaborated on acoustical shell projects. …

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Meows & Mini Golf: Audience Pandering?

How are the arts – including the performing arts – remaining relevant for audiences today, while competing with multiple entertainment options? To keep people shelling out money for tickets, are the arts selling out?  Several recent news items inspired this week’s reflection. Cat Video Festival Cancelled.  The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis announced last month it would not continue its wildly successful Internet Cat Video Festival, which had snowballed (furballed?) into an international phenomenon after its launch in 2012. In a newspaper article, the Walker’s design director explained, “We think …

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‘Wicked’ Path to Broadway

broadway music

Eating ramen noodles for frugal meals – on borrowed utensils. Daily six-mile walks to midtown Manhattan to save subway fare – uphill both ways! In his “starving artist” period in NYC, Matt Doebler cobbled together odd jobs like coaching singers for auditions or playing rehearsal piano for one-off shows. He considered himself fortunate for always finding musical work; he never waited tables. Before NYC, he was a full-time pianist and faculty member in Penn State’s musical theatre program for six years. Through that program, Doebler met Broadway music professionals who …

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The Importance of Acoustical Shell Ceilings

Ron Freiheit, Director of Product Development & Acoustics For 70 years Wenger Corporation has provided high-quality products and services to the performing arts industry. We pride ourselves in delivering superior and safe products that improve the acoustics, aesthetics and overall theatre experience for the performers, staff and audience. This message is to inform you about our acoustical shell ceilings related to code compliance. On rare occasions questions arise related to the location of acoustical shell ceilings and the overhead sprinkler systems in performing arts spaces. Recently a concern of this …

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Sheep Thrills: Woolly Opera Stars Inspire Poem

wenger corporation

[News Item: The most surprising stars of NYC’s 2016 spring opera season are 100 sheep, a flock playing a supporting role in “De Materie” by Louis Andriessen. A New York Times critic penned this description: “…The sheep, almost as if directed to do so, moved slowly, huddling and hovering in a circle, like particles spinning within an atom. And their occasional bleating lent a lovely natural touch to the score.”] Spring has arrived in the Big Apple again, The metropolis greens up and looks pretty. New York’s newest opera stars …

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