Tech Upgrade Church Spotlight: Valley Baptist Church
Valley Baptist Church provides three worship services every Sunday in its 1,800-seat Worship Center—two with a choir and orchestra, and a third with a praise band playing guitars and drums. A stage filled with musicians and a choir feels grandly spiritual, but a deep, mostly empty stage can dwarf a much smaller band. “We wanted a way to update the stage look between the two services without losing the ability to use video projection screens upstage,” said Jason March, Director of Engineering at Valley Baptist. “We wanted a backdrop that would come down and separate the orchestra and choir from the praise band, and we wanted our screens to come forward in front of all the backdrops.”
Idibri Design began the renovation by replacing the screens with two 18’ x 10’ LED display walls, increasing the system’s movability. The challenge, however, came with the need to reduce the stage size to make the space more intimate for the contemporary service. The church needed to move the screens downstage 28 feet, and then lower them to eight feet above the stage.
To create this custom solution, Idibri and Pacific West Sound turned to J. R. Clancy, Inc. “Clancy had done LED gantry systems that moved up and down or in and out, but this one had to do both,” said Chris Berendsen, Installation Manager at Pacific West Sound. “It was truly unique.”
“We designed a way for the screens to travel upstage and store flush with the back wall,” said Patrick Finn, Product Manager with J. R. Clancy. “It required a custom hoist and gantry system, using components of our PowerLine® line shaft hoist—but configured in a custom way.” Clancy’s SceneControl® 5200 control console serves as the controller for the LED gantry system.
With the system in place, Valley Baptist can transform the entire stage in minutes. “If you can imagine, we actually strike most of the orchestra pit, and we do a whole audio changeover between services—in about 15 minutes,” said March. “Having the screens move forward has improved the dynamic of our services, without a lot of extra effort. The LED screens and movable gantries have allowed us to put them wherever we want, without worrying about how the projections will appear.”
The choir loft in the original facility was a permanent, concrete-and-steel structure. In the 2015 remodel, Valley Baptist’s music minister suggested that updating the loft to a portable option on a flat stage would offer more flexibility. A four-tier StageTek™ riser system was purchased from Wenger for the choirs, which number from 75 to 90 voices.
“The simplicity in reconfiguring the StageTek risers is great, although we don’t do this very often,” explained March. “Several weeks ago we moved a couple sections of the first tier forward to make a square drum riser for a contemporary band. When we’ve needed reconfigure them, it’s been easy to do.” He noted they were initially concerned about footfall noise, so they had all four stairways carpeted.