The Heritage Hall Board of Directors voted in October 2019 to move forward with the recommendation of installing a brand new sound system in the main auditorium. The proposal stemmed from our foresight committee, chaired by board member Chase McGlamery. Heritage Hall’s foresight committee is tasked with developing and overseeing strategic planning for Heritage Hall’s future. Members of the foresight committee include Linda Moon, Bob Morrison, Randy Dandurand, and Steve Dunfee. The initial recommendation came in at approximately $77,000, including installation costs.
The Chairman of Heritage Hall’s foresight committee is Chase Mcglamery. Chase has been apart of the Heritage Hall board of directors for the past eight years, starting as a student board member as a sophomore in High School. McGlamery has developed, led and overseen numerous projects with-in the theatre. Projects which include, LED stage lighting, digital projection systems, electronically controlled security doors, online ticketing, and emergency planning. McGlamery is a junior at Milligan College, where he is active in Milligan’s Theatre department, among other areas, and is also a Resident Assistant in one of Milligan’s several dormitories. McGlamery is regularly volunteering with Heritage Hall, local schools, and local churches. In October 2019 McGlamery was awarded the Presidential Volunteer Service Award, one of the most prestigious volunteer award in the nation, after receiving the Governor’s Volunteer Star Award in February 2019.
As of January 1st, 2020, Chase became Vice-Present of Heritage Hall, becoming the youngest executive member in Heritage Hall’s History. McGlamery then stepped into the role of President in January of 2021, making history again as the non-profit’s youngest leader to date.
At the end of each production season, Heritage Hall releases an electronic survey to our community. The 2018 survey generated around 130 responses, in which community members voiced their interests and concerns. McGlamery explained that several completed surveys cited sound as a lacking area within the overall experience. “As a board, we take feedback from our patrons and sponsors seriously. We have made several improvements and changes based off of these surveys. Some improvements take longer to complete than others; the sound system renovation is an example of a longer process.” The process for improving our sound system started one year ago, in January 2019. Throughout 2019 the foresight committee would frequently meet, discussing each step of the process.
After determining Heritage Hall’s needs in a sound system, the foresight committee officially starting accepting bids in July of 2019. At the time of closing the bidding period in September Heritage Hall had received bids from companies based out of Knoxville, Charlotte, Chattanooga and Nashville areas. In October 2019 the Board of Directors voted to proceed with a quote from Sweetwater Sound Inc. “Our primary goal with this new system is uniformity. We decided early on that we wanted to make sure every seat is the best seat. Essentially, this system is designed for consistent, smooth sound from the stage to the last row.”
The Heritage Hall technicians worked closely with Sweetwater engineers to create a system that is composed of top-of-the-line companies. JBL, Crown, and DBX products are routinely seen at professional concerts, arenas, and professional theaters across the country. Allen & Heath’s SQ series consoles set a new standard for compact digital mixers, delivering pristine, high resolution audio with a class-leading latency.
The main line-array style speakers were specially ordered for Heritage Hall, explained McGlamery. “We worked with Sweetwater and the manufacturers to ensure we would not alter Heritage Hall’s iconic look. This building is filled with history and a beautiful interior; it was vital for the new system to be aesthetically pleasing. JBL’s award winning VRX series allowed us to obtain the vital sound we wanted while also providing an appealing look.”
The new system incorporates 18 JBL VRX series speakers, 2 powered 18″ subwoofers and 9 Crown XTI power amplifiers. Which provides our technicians with total control over every area in the auditorium. “The old system, which was installed in 2005, consisted of ten 6” speakers, which could not provide even and clean coverage. This digital system allows us to control each speaker individually, allowing us to provide even sound in every area of the theatre.”
The new system was carefully designed and installed to provide a clean, smooth sound to every seat in our house. With the help of technology, our technicians and engineers were able to generate to-scale models and graphs to ensure perfect placement, and equipment choices.
In addition to the apparent improvements to the theatre, the Board of Directors also focused on vital ADA requirements. Heritage Hall Theatre invested in eight Listen Technologies wireless personal hearing devices. These small devices can be picked up in the main lobby before and during any show. The receivers allow individuals who may have a hard time hearing shows to have a personal earpiece and personal volume control. “These devices are another investment in ensuring everyone can enjoy the show. Previously we offered similar devices. However, several of the older devices were now malfunctioning. These new receivers are slimmer and deliver a more reliable and cleaner sound to the user.” If you have a difficult time hearing any of our shows, please pick up one of these new devices in the lobby or ask an usher for assistance.
A Two Phase Investment
We are honored and thankful to be able to invest back into our theatre with a project of this caliber. As we open for the 2020 season in February, our community will see phase one of this project. Phase one includes the skeleton of a new system, such as the speakers, mixer, and power amplifiers. As we moved throughout our 15th season, we prepared and implemented phase two. Phase two includes new vocal microphones, instrument microphones, wireless microphones, wireless stage monitors, and new cables. We are excited for our community to come and experience the difference in person.
“On behalf of everyone on the board, we want to thank our sponsors, patrons, and our community for supporting us over the last 15 years. This project has been a long and challenging process, but when we can finally present this investment to our community, it will all be worth it.” Stated McGlamery.
Heritage Hall is an intimate 400-seat theatre for performing arts located at
211 N. Church St within Heritage Square in Mountain City, TN. The box office is at 126 College Street. Box Office hours are 12 noon to 2 pm Wednesday – Friday. At other times call 423-727-7444 and leave a message. Door sales open 45 minutes prior to events. Most events have reserved seating