Waking Up Optimistic: A Freelancer’s Life

In the performing arts, successful freelancers juggle multiple roles, assignments and gigs. Some work side jobs to make ends meet. This week we’re spotlighting a freelancer who is forging a rewarding career, not only as a musical interpreter and professional performer, but also an arts advocate passionate about the industry’s future. Benjamin D. Wagner of Minneapolis admits his work life is challenging. He’s a theater professional, saxophonist and multi-woodwind pit and jazz musician, director/choreographer, music instructor (saxophone and voice) and ballroom dance instructor. He’s also getting married in August! Many …

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Wenger and J.R. Clancy Featured in June Issue of Lighting & Sound America

Transcend Active Acoustic System

Wenger and J.R. Clancy have a starring role in the June issue of the venerable trade publication Lighting & Sound America,earning praise for the Transcend Active Acoustic System and Clancy’s rigging installation in the remodeled Northrop Auditorium at the University of Minnesota. Wenger’s Transcend Active Acoustic System is covered in a detailed, seven-page article penned by audio production industry reporter Mel Lambert. Lambert interviews Wenger’s Director of Design Engineering Ron Freiheit and Transcend Project Manager Denny Meyer, delving deep into the system’s development, design and how it represents the latest evolution of Wenger’s Virtual Acoustic Environment practice and rehearsal rooms that …

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Performing Arts Patron Reflects

arts patron

Longtime performing arts patron Anne Melvin of Columbus, Ohio, considers her own personal history when choosing which organizations to support. She also credits Woody Hayes, the legendary football coach, for inspiration. While Anne never played football growing up, attending a music conservatory after she graduated from Smith College taught her that aspiring musicians also undergo rigorous training. “Once I left the conservatory, I told myself my job was to help other classical musicians make a living wage – that was very important to me,” she says. Need for Proximity For …

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Transcend: From Concept to Performance – Part 2 of 2

New Product Development Building a new digital signal processor from the ground up is a lot of work! Several months were spent researching competitive systems, critically listening and learning from venues already benefiting from active acoustics. While there are some great-sounding systems already on the market, they tend to be complex and cost-prohibitive for many of the schools, universities and existing performing arts centers that would benefit most from active acoustics. This is where Wenger saw an opportunity to provide a more affordable solution. Leveraging the long-standing partnership with Lexicon …

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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 – Part 1 of 2

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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