OHHS Musical Review 2022
When Oak Harbor High School choir director, Darren McCoy, who I’ve worked with countless times, wanted my assistance to help provide quality sound to the choir club’s musical review, I was ready to dive in.
We faced difficult circumstances with getting enough wireless microphones to pull the show off. The school’s existing system wasn’t very good making it hard to use every channel, and the $15,000 they spent on 8 channels of professional wireless (per my recommendation and spec), wasn’t going to arrive in time for the show due to the chip shortages. Luckily, I’ve been doing sound here in Oak Harbor for a long time now and was able to use my relationship with the Whidbey Playhouse. In exchange for a sponsor spot, The Playhouse loaned us 8 channels of wireless bringing the usable channel count to 19 after I went through the process of a complete RF coordination to ensure compatibility and no dropouts.
The show included 16 songs from a variety of musicals and my job was to make sure “everyone” was heard. We cheated a little bit though, with only 19 wireless microphones and over 31 cast members, we had to perform 26 “mic swaps” to account for all of the solos and ensemble assignments. The ensemble was made up of select sopranos, altos, and baritones, which gave us the “everyone” sound we needed without needing to mic everyone. Back to the solos, I mixed the show just like in Broadway, line by line following the script closely and only raising an actor’s fader for their line. Without getting technical, this keeps things sounding consistent and clear which is why we use it in musical theater.
In total, I put in over 80 hours of work designing, programming, and finally mixing to make this one of the best sounding shows the school has put on. We ran shows for two weekends and the whole things was a big success. It was nice being back in the high school after only being gone for less than a year.