Published Thursday, March 12, 2015
by 4Wall Entertainment

For more than 130 years, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and its well-known alter-ego, the Boston Pops, have entertained generations of music lovers in locations all around the world.

Inside their Boston home though, the historic Symphony Hall, is where the Pops spend their Holiday and Spring seasons. Tasked with lighting this space and its world-class musicians are Lighting Designer Pam Smith and Technical Supervisor Jake Moerschel. The virtues of the venue itself are plentiful.

“Symphony Hall is to me, one of the most beautiful venues to be able to work in and light,” said Smith. “The stage is an amazing backdrop with the organ pipes, and the hall has architectural designs that look even more stunning when softly lit.”

Bringing modern technology into a space that will soon celebrate its 115th birthday is not without its challenges though- the biggest being equipment noise.

Smith said of the need for quiet, “The hall has some of the best acoustics in the world, and the slightest fan noise from a few movers can seem quite loud.”

Moerschel agreed on the noise issues, and also cited weight restrictions for hanging lights as a difficulty. Dealing with these inherent issues has caused the team to constantly innovate in terms of fixture selection.

“Pam and I work together to allocate fixtures to account for the weight limitations, and we are especially always looking for quieter lights,” said Moerschel.

For the past few years, the team’s search for the correct units for each season begins and ends at 4Wall New York. For the 2014 Holiday Pops season, they chose 4Wall’s new Vari-Lite VL4000 Spots for front light, pairing them with quiet VL1100 TSD fixtures.

“The VL4000 Spots are a great fixture,” said Smith. “The front wash has been a challenge because of brightness and intensity. I felt like I never had enough to balance out the stage, yet with the VL4000 I feel I have finally found a fixture that will do the job.”

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