Currently rated by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top 6% of high schools in the nation, A. Crawford Mosley High School boasts approximately 1,600 students and 120 classroom-based faculty members. Encompassing grades 9 through 12, it mostly draws students from Lynn Haven, northern Panama City, and unincorporated Bay County, in northwest Florida.
In November 2017, Mosley High School opened its Gretchen Nelson Scott Performing Arts Center, enabling students and community members to enjoy performances by the school’s choir, Sound of the Southland band, and drama department, as well as lectures, community theater productions, and other civic programs. In addition, the performing arts center can be rented out for special events and productions.
Designed by DAG Architects of Destin, Florida, the center’s open, airy auditorium features a Renkus-Heinz-based sound system designed by Chuck Walthall of Walthall & Associates, and installed by Music Masters Pro AV Systems Group. Siebein Associates designed the room’s acoustics.
“Of all the projects I’ve done in my career, this one was truly special,” muses Walthall. “There were no major challenges with the room; it was a ground-up new build, acoustician Gary Siebein of Seibein Associates, architects Jack Baker and Owen Gipson of DAG, and I worked closely to tailor the room, the footprint, and the shape. It all came together on the front end and was verified before the first spade of dirt was turned. Les Stephenson and the Music Masters team did a terrific job on the install. It was a model project.”
The auditorium is essentially rectangular and seats 600 to 800. For the main system, Walthall chose a left-right pair of Renkus-Heinz IC Live Gen5 ICL-F-DUAL-RD digitally steered arrays. “Renkus-Heinz is a go-to loudspeaker,” Walthall says. “For this system, we needed a small footprint for what was going to be an elegant interior. We didn’t want to subject the space to suspended line arrays. With IC Live, we achieve the performance and coverage in a very compact column array. Between the architecture, the acoustical design, and the IC Live’s steerable beams, we had no issues. With no balcony to cover, the beams were steered in a manner to minimize energy striking the back wall.”
Stephenson’s Music Masters team mounted black Renkus-Heinz ICL-F-DUAL-RD columns on the beige walls but thanks to their slim profile, the loudspeakers aren’t visually intrusive. “The room has black trim, and they naturally fit in,” Walthall observes.
To complement the IC Live mains, Walthall specified two Renkus-Heinz CF151-2 powered, compact, two-way, Complex Conic loudspeakers as center fills. Four Renkus-Heinz CFX41 compact, four-inch, coaxial, two-way loudspeakers built into the front of the stage serve as front fills. “It’s our practice to use front fills in order to draw the audio image down for the front rows,” Walthall explains. “We manipulate the signal in processing to draw the audible image down, so rather than appearing more from the side or from above, the image is front and center.”
Some, but not all, events require additional very low frequency reinforcement. Walthall included two Renkus-Heinz PN112-SUB powered 12-inch subwoofers. “The PN112-SUBs are portable, so the client can plug them in and set them onstage left and right when needed,” he notes.
Four Renkus-Heinz CFX121M-8 non-powered, two way, Complex Conic loudspeakers provide stage monitoring. The CFX121M-8 features a 12-inch heavy-duty woofer and a 2-inch titanium HF driver and can easily handle 500 watts of program power.
The system utilizes a QSC Q-SYS Core 110f audio processor, and an 8-channel Bose PM8500N amplifier provides power for the non-powered loudspeakers. An Allen & Heath GLD-series digital mixing system and Crestron control panels provide total system control.
While any installation has its challenges, this one went very well indeed. “We provided the sound system and put it in,” remarks Les Stephenson, “but it was a relatively easy task because it was a top-notch system design in a top-notch acoustic space, and we used top-notch loudspeakers. The Renkus-Heinz system was a joy to program and tune, and it sounds fantastic.”
A 36-year veteran in the industry, Walthall states, “I am a proponent of self-powered, steerable loudspeakers. The Renkus-Heinz products provide the coverage and quality we require for a variety of spaces. Mosley High School’s performing arts center is a beautiful venue. The architecture and acoustics are enticing, the project was well coordinated from design to completion, and the result rendered a venue worthy of the fine arts.”