Orlando, FL (February 19, 2004)–Kempke’s Music Service has sold Church music retail and production for years, and in recent times, has created a pro audio/video division as well. All of its divisions are highlighted at its annual music conferences, which have toured the U.S. for 30 years. The company enlisted the technical expertise of Florida-based Media in Ministry to design the stage, sound and lighting production for the 2004 conferences, held in January in Orlando, FL and Dallas, TX. The system that Media in Ministry supplied centered around a Midas Venice console and a Dynacord Cobra system.
Media in Ministry’s Gene Blankenship described how this company’s systems supported the Orlando Winter conference: “We came in to help Kempke’s step up to a new level of production quality and sophistication. These conferences are all about new ideas in sound, lighting and video for churches, along with the choral music that Kempke’s is famous for. Media in Ministry joined forces with Kempke’s to pool our resources: their sales success and contacts combined with our knowledge of systems and production.”
The conference featured a number of full church choir musical premieres. Each premiere was performed by a local church choir and presented new pieces to the attendees. Blankenship recalled, “On the first night, we had the 80-person choir and 30-person orchestra from Oviedo Baptist Church, major Contemporary Christian artists like Charles Billingsley and 4Him, and premieres for children’s music, so it was a real mix of styles. For this, we had 10 wireless headset microphones on stage in addition to the solo mics. The Cobra system performed very well with all that going on. Usually the techs and the choir spend weeks rehearsing and tweaking, but we had just 5 minutes to put the system together, miked up and ready to go! The choir walked in, we set the choir and orchestra mic’s up and that was it. There was no compromise in sound quality at all, and members of the audience frequently commented on how good things sounded.”
With little preparation time, engineers and performers had to trust each other to make the shows come off without a hitch. Perhaps the toughest event was held on the conference’s final night, as Blankenship himself manned the Midas Venice mixing console to help ensure a strong finale to the event.
“We had the First Baptist Church of Kissimmee choir on stage with 110 members, plus we had eight soloists and a praise team singing up front with six more mics, performing an hour-long choir/musical production called ‘One Nation Under God,'” he recalled. “You couldn’t have asked for a more critical audience in terms of sound quality and presentation, because we had at least 450 church choir directors from across the Southeast present. The writer and arranger were both standing there looking over my shoulder, giving me cues for the solos, etc. Both of them said there was no reason for them to be concerned because the system sounded great; they didn’t change a thing.”
Blankenship concluded: “The goal of the sound production here is to sell new music to different churches, to help enrich their congregation’s worship experience. That’s not going to come across as an added value if things don’t sound great on the night the buying decisions are made. This space had all the makings of a tough room: long, wide, with short ceilings, but the coverage and clarity were simply amazing. What better proving ground than with a choir and the myriad of dynamics on stage? It would have been so easy to get overwhelmed by the hectic schedule and logistical challenges of the show. The Cobra/Venice combo helped us keep things under control without cutting corners.”
Kempke’s Music Service