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A Journey To Contemporary Sound At Christ Memorial Church

The project abounds with clever solutions, some borne of budgetary necessity and others a continuation of long-term planning

By PSW Staff February 25, 2010

Christ Memorial Church in Holland, MI, has always sought to be a place where all can belong, and in that spirit, began offering contemporary-style worship services in addition to continuing with traditional style services.

As a result, the 1,700-seat sanctuary, constructed in the late 1980s, needed an upgrade of its sound reinforcement system, both to accommodate the more dynamic contemporary style in addition to better serving traditional needs.

The single-level, fan-shaped main sanctuary presented some unique challenges to the sound team, including a 150-seat choir area to the left of the main front platform and a large orchestra platform right in front of the choir.

Large beams support the wood tongue and groove ceiling, and combined with brick side walls and a rear wall made up almost entirely of glass, acoustics were also a concern.

The sound system design/build firm contracted for the project, Parkway Electric & Communications of Holland, proposed that in addition to flown line array loudspeakers for coverage to the audience area, additional line arrays be installed above the orchestra platform. The goal was to provide a reinforced signal coming from the same area as the natural, acoustical signal.

Further, the design called for a portion of the main loudspeakers to also function as a “delay fill” for the choir cluster.

For this choir/orchestra application, Parkway specified four L-Acoustics KIVA line array elements, arrayed beneath a KILO low-frequency extension cabinet, with two additional KIVA down-firing behind the array to provide monitoring for the choir.


A full demo of this approach, with the loudspeakers positioned very close to the actual proposed installation location, went so well that the church gave the go ahead. The intent was to get the choir array/cluster in place and then raise additional funds to add the additional new line arrays in the coming months.

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