New York (August 9, 2007)– High School Musical, a TV movie that appeared on the Disney Channel last year, has become something of a phenomenon, nearly impossible to avoid whether you’re a kid, a parent or just a quizzical bystander passing yet another rack of HSM merchandise at your local Wal-Mart. Taking advantage of that surprising ubituqity, however, is NAMM, which has teamed with Disney for a partnership that will extend the reach of the show through a public affairs initiative, communicating the vital role of personal creativity, expression and music education to millions.
NAMM’s work with Disney includes the development of a public advocacy campaign that will draw content from a student production of HSMdeveloped at Western Hill High School in Fort Worth, TX during June 2007. This benchmark show was powered by sound equipment from Bosch Communications Systems brands Electro-Voice, Dynacord and Midas . Production company Cabin Creek Films was on site for the month, filming students, faculty and support teams as they prepared the production. A documentary film and vignette series will be developed for airing on the Disney Channel during the year ahead.
“NAMM is partnering with HSM to ride on the wings of this phenomenon with the message that school music and performing arts experiences are critical to kids’ education,” said Joe Lamond, NAMM President and CEO. “Interest in the production is inspiring schools and communities to reexamine the condition of their schools’ theater equipment, sound and lighting.”
NAMM and Disney partnered with Full Compass Systems to secure the lighting and sound reinforcement equipment and expertise for the Fort Worth high school production, with manufacturer support from Bosch Communications Systems’ Thomas Hansen, Michael Doucot, Monte Wise and Jeff Taylor, the last two being on hand at the shows for field support. The equipment spec included a Dynacord Cobra-2 line array for main PA (2x TOP & 2x Sub per side), mixed on a Midas Verona, with Electro-Voice monitors and fills.
“We understand the importance of the arts in our schools and all of us were glad to support this production,” says Monte Wise. “It was our desire to provide audio excellence to the production and help develop a team attitude of professionalism with all the students and teachers involved in the event.”
Sound Engineer R. Kevin Betts of Lone Star Productions mixed the performances at Western Hill High School; this was his first time running a Cobra rig, and he liked what he heard: “Walking into a show with an unfamiliar PA is always a challenge. I researched the Cobra on the web and spoke to some friends who use the system and love it, and, sure enough, as soon as I got the boxes powered up and EQ’d, I knew I’d made a new friend. The Cobra is so smooth and responsive—I thought to myself ‘awesome, the show is going to sound great!’ And it did. I was especially impressed with the subs; they were extremely tight and easy to keep under control in the narrow, deep room, and were seamless as part of the full-range system—there was none of the mid-frequency confusion you often get with line arrays. The combination of the Midas preamps and superb intelligibility and throw out the Cobra boxes was unbeatable—as were the EV monitors and fills—and the sound quality really enriched the performances and audience’s enjoyment.”