The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA) of the Houston Independent School District evolved in 1971 from a realization that gifted young artists need highly specialized and rigorous training in the arts to be prepared for the intense competition they will meet in colleges, conservatories, and the professional arts world.
The creation of HSPVA represented the first attempt by any public high school in the nation to correlate an academic program with concentrated training in the arts.
Recently, the HSPVA completed the installation of a Yamaha AFC3 (Active Field Control) System for the 400-seat Denney Theater. The system, provided by Sound Productions of Irving, Texas and installed by Covenant Communications of Houston, is the first AFC3 installation, using the new AFC-FIR card released at InfoComm 2012, in the world. The HSPVA AFC3 installation includes 20 speakers with four mics all out in the main auditorium.
The project’s architect, Abe Sustatia of Sustatia Architects, contacted Covenant.
“We were asked to design and install a new sound system for the Denney Theater and the black box theater,” states Shawn Mullins at Covenant. “While working with both Abe and the school to determine the best route for the sound system, they asked about options to help the acoustic environment in theater.
“They have multiple choral and musical groups, and since the theater was so acoustically dead, the school had to move musical performances to other venues that became costly and troublesome.”
“This is my fourth year as the Technical Director at HSPVA,” states Marc Duncan. “To say that we have had sound reinforcement issues would be an understatement of exponential proportions. After three years attempting to repair/replace or reinvent our acoustic orchestra shell and its implementation, we thought we had finally found what we believed was the best ‘sound’ we would ever achieve… until now.”
“We designed two systems, the reinforcement system, that is centered around a Yamaha LS9-32 digital console and digital snake and then the enhancement system,” Mullins continues. “We were familiar with two systems being used to enhance room acoustics, Yamaha and Meyer.
“We looked at both processes and felt that Yamaha suited the venue better. We contacted Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems and began the process of getting design assistance. As the project matured, we contacted Jeff Humphries of Sound Productions to make arrangements for the equipment.