A donation, a devoted football player, and a desire to make something great. Check out that great story from CHAUVET Professional!
SAGINAW, MI – As a football player, LaMarr Woodley reached the top of his profession. A unanimous first-team All-American at the University of Michigan, he’s gone on to enjoy a stellar professional career as a Pittsburgh Steeler and Oakland Raider, winning a coveted Super Bowl ring. Through it all, Woodley has never forgotten his roots in Saginaw, MI, which is why he made a six-figure donation to revitalize one of the city’s most popular landmarks. His efforts scored a touchdown, thanks in part to a standout lighting rig by Jeremy Sinicki of Bandit Lites (La Vergne, TN), which used a variety of fixtures from CHAUVET Professional.
Woodley’s donation went to upgrade The Red Room (formerly “Unity Hall”), a key part of the city’s landmark Dow Event Center, which is owned by Saginaw County and managed by SMG of West Conshohocken, PA. Located between the Dow Center’s Heritage Theater and Wendler Arena, The Red Room has long served as a dedicated banquet and meeting facility. The city wanted to broaden its appeal by giving the room the added capacity to function as a mid-sized concert venue with a professional stage. “The ultimate goal is so that, when you walk in there, it doesn’t feel like a banquet hall trying to put events on,” one official told the local press.
A lighting upgrade was critical to this endeavor. “The goal was to bring the hall’s lighting into the current century by replacing the few ellipsoidals and par cans that had been in the room forever with a new rig that provided brighter, more richly colored and smoother light,” said Sinicki, whose rig included 24 COLORado 1-Quad Tour compact washes, four Q-Wash 419Z-LED moving yoke washes, and six COLORado Batten 72 Tour linear units from CHAUVET Professional, as well as eight ellipsoidal fixtures and eight LED pars.
“All the fixtures are linked together by DMX and controlled by a Pathways Cognito console. They’re dimmed and chased thru various cues and effects written on the console,” said Sinicki, who positioned the units between two existing raceways and a newly installed upstage pipe.
With their 11° beam angle, the Quad Tour fixtures are ideal for providing a narrow field wash or beam on the new stage, and with a 1,500 lux output at five meters they also deliver the brightness needed at the upgraded hall. “We have been really pleased with the Quad Tours in the past on other installs, and that made it easy to select them for this project,” said Sinicki. “The Q-Wash was an important addition for us, because we were looking for some eye candy to add to our rig so it could support live performances. We were able to get the zoom we needed to wash the stage or do some beam effects with the Q-Wash — and at the same time, we were also able to run some effects on the face of the light.”
Given that The Red Room renovation was a public works project in a city and state that are still struggling economically, cost was “a huge factor” in this install, according to Sinicki. “We needed a lot of bang for the buck,” he said. “We went with the Chauvet fixtures because we could get the maximum amount of quality performance for the budget we had to work with on this project.”
Perhaps even a bigger factor than cost in The Red Room project was time, said Sinicki. “Our top challenge was that we had to complete this project in a week,” he said. “This included audio and drapes as well as lighting, so time was of the essence. We made it, thanks in part to the Chauvet fixtures. They were easy to install and worked flawlessly, which ultimately saved us time.
The Chauvet fixtures also made it easier to train the hall’s staffers on operating the lighting rig. “We were able to have people unfamiliar with lighting set up and make all the fixture work with very little training,” said Sinicki. “Even the novices were able to pick it up. It is very helpful that the menu structures are similar throughout the product line.”
As for his clients at the Dow Event Center, Sinicki reports that they are “extremely pleased” with the project, noting that it “breathed some new life into the room.” Outside the reborn landmark there’s a plaque honoring hometown hero LaMarr Woodley’s generous donation. Although Woodley has earned quite a few honors during his career, including the Lombardi Award as the best college lineman in the country, this accolade is likely to have special meaning for a man who’s never forgotten his roots.
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