Arts and Entertainment

Sound system upgrade makes waves at Eisenhower Auditorium

A crew made up of Eisenhower Auditorium stage crew and engineers from Meyer Lyon Sound prepared to lift a new sound system into place at Penn State’s Eisenhower Auditorium on Jan. 4. The new system will bring state-of-the-art sound to the theater that hosts Broadway shows, musical performers from around the world, and a variety of Penn State events. Credit: Patrick Mansell / Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Events at Eisenhower Auditorium will increase in clarity, thanks to the procurement of a new speaker reinforcement system. Portions of the Center for the Performing Arts’ new sound system were installed recently to great fanfare from center staff, key funding players from the Penn State community, and engineers from DBS Audio Systems of Coatesville.

“There’s an old saying in show business: Behind every great show is an equally great show,” center director George Trudeau said during an event concluding the installation.

The installation of the line arrays is part of the first phase in the Center for the Performing Arts’ desire to create quality sound consistent across the spectrum for a variety of types of presentations. The new setup will be compatible and interactive with Meyer Sound’s Constellation acoustical sound system proposed for the facility.

According to Events Manager Tom Hesketh, the speaker installation in this first round of sound system updates is “the culmination of a long-held dream.” He was instrumental in researching the audio equipment as well as in securing funding partners.

Hesketh said installing the concert-grade system replaces the auditorium’s Voice of the Theatre system, which was designed in the 1960s and technical enough for the center’s performances when Eisenhower opened its doors in 1974. That system is now referred to by some acoustics experts as a “living legend.”

Purchase and installation of the system was made possible through the generosity and cooperation of Penn State Finance and Business and the Office of Physical Plant.

Patrons will have the opportunity to experience the updated system for themselves starting with the center’s Jan. 26 presentation of The Birdland All-Stars featuring drummer Tommy Igoe.

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Last Updated January 16, 2018