Sound designer Pat Baltzell,
surrounded by Yamaha digital
mixing consoles.Washington, DC (July 27, 2009)–This year’s Independence Day celebration in the nation’s capitol, A Capitol Fourth 2009, featured household names, massive fireworks, and a slew of Yamaha digital mixing consoles provided by audio supplier PRG.
Performing that night were Aretha Franklin, Barry Manilow, Vanessa Williams, Natasha Bedingfield, the cast of Jersey Boys, Michael Feinstein, and classical pianist Andrew von Oeyen with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of America’s prince of pops Erich Kunzel. Jimmy Smits hosted the 29th annual event, which was broadcast on PBS and produced by Michael Colbert and Capital Concerts, Inc. Over 400,000 people were in attendance with millions who watched nationwide.
PRG (New York) provided production for the extravaganza and supplied nine Yamaha digital audio consoles including two PM1Ds, four PM5D-RHs, M7CL LS9-32, and LS9-16. Bob Rendon, vice president of PRG said the decision to use Yamaha digital consoles was based on the talent riders, designer specs, and PRG’s personal history with this event. PRG has provided production for Capital Concerts for Memorial Day and A Capitol Fourth events for more than 15 years.
Pat Baltzell designed the audio system for the event and manned the front of house mixing area. “I have been using all of the Yamaha digital consoles for the last eight years on my projects,” says Baltzell. They are a perfect solution for televised award shows and entertainment specials because most of the guest artists’ engineers are familiar with them, and often times have a memory card with their tour settings. This reduces set up time and allows sound checks and rehearsals to go faster and more efficiently. The wide variety of digital consoles in the Yamaha line provides me with lots of options for a dedicated string clip-on microphone submix console.”
“I couldn’t possibly be happier with the PRG audio and lighting crew; they have done a great job for us for years,” states Colbert. “Plain and simple, they get it, but more than that, they truly care about what they do and we know that they care about us as well. On Memorial Day each year, we come together at the United States Capitol for the National Memorial Day Concert to remember all of those who have served and sacrificed for our country and to say thank you to our veterans and their families. On Independence Day, it is a time to for all Americans to celebrate our freedom and who we are as a people. A Capitol Fourth is truly America’s biggest birthday party. Both events have become American traditions and are broadcast live nationwide on PBS, NPR and around the world to our troops on the American Forces Network. When you are live, outside on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol with an audience in the hundreds of thousands and millions more watching around the country, you can’t take risks, you need winners. With PRG, all we have had is winners.”
Colbert says he is a true believer that no audio means no show. “Despite some of the challenges we have had from weather over the years, I know the sound is going to be there and be great. This is all thanks to best equipment and crew from PRG, especially Bob Rendon, Alan Henig and Mark Boettcher as well as our amazing front of house mixer, Pat Baltzell.”
Capital Concerts, Inc.
Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.