When first established in 1947, Columbia Community Church’s services in Richland, Washington, consisted of a humble home prayer meeting. However, since then the church has grown substantially, becoming a thriving family of over 1,000 parishioners united in their efforts to attract worshippers from a variety of diverse backgrounds with their modern, high-impact style of worship.
After a complete remodeling of Columbia’s existing worship space the church leadership decided that a new sound reinforcement system was called for as well, explains Mark Pearson, Senior Systems Consultant at CCI Solutions, who designed and installed the new Tannoy sound reinforcement system. At the same time they pulled out the pews, the carpeting, and pre-existing lighting and installed new truss, lights, and video as well as audio systems.
“This is a multi-venue facility with a capacity of 1800,” explains Matt Schofstoll, Columbia’s Technical Director. “So each venue has a separate worship service which switches partway through to a live broadcast from our main room.”
CCI was tasked with bringing that room up to date with a system that would provide crystal clear speech reinforcement and suit the needs of Columbia’s evolving music program, which features a full electric praise band.
To provide that, CCI designed a compact, powerful system comprised of a pair of Tannoy VQNET 100 full range, three-way loudspeakers, flown roughly 24-feet high and 10-feet apart as mains, and a VNET 215HL subwoofer flown between them. The loudspeakers are controlled via Tannoy’s VNET USB/RS232 Interface, which was critical, Pearson adds, to providing the church with the ability to shut the system down easily.
“We honed in on Tannoy as the best option to provide articulate sound, a lot of power and impact,” Pearson explains. “The VQNET 100s have a compact footprint, high output capability, pattern control and ability to provide optimal coverage throughout the room, vertically and horizontally.”
“The sanctuary has some interesting acoustical challenges in terms of low frequencies,” Pearson continues. “With the Tannoy solution, the low end is tight, punchy and, for the first time, there’s even low frequency reinforcement throughout the entire room.”
Prior to this install, Schofstoll was unfamiliar with Tannoy but after hearing a similar system at another church in town was suitably impressed.
“I really liked their clarity and consistency,” he says. “With just those three loudspeakers, the sound is consistent and the response has been amazing. People are saying that this is the kind of place even people who don’t go to church regularly would want to come to and worship.”
Based in Olympia, WA, CCI Solutions offers acoustic, audio, video and lighting consulting and installation services for churches, public facilities and a variety of other applications. In his 15 years at CCI, Mark Pearson has consulted on projects ranging from small houses of worship to mega churches and major sporting venues like Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners.