Each January, the City of Chandler holds a series of events to honor our community’s heritage and diversity, along with the spirit and ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the civil rights movement.
To kick off the month long event, on Saturday, January 12, the screening of the critically acclaimed film Power of One will occur. The film portrays the story of Nicholas Winton, an Englishman who organized the rescue of 669 Czech and Slovak children just before the outbreak of World War II. Winton, now 102 years old, did not speak about these events with anyone for more than half a century. His exploits would have probably been forgotten if his wife, fifty years later, hadn’t found a suitcase in the attic, full of documents and transport plans. Today the story of this rescue is known all over the world.
The following weekend, on Friday, January 18, New Directions Veteran’s Choir will grace our stage. The New Directions Veterans Choir is an award winning a cappella group that sings renditions of doo-wop, soul, traditional gospel and popular music. The Choir consists of current and former residents of New Directions’ transitional facility, a Veterans Administration (VA) drug rehabilitation program. These men and women who have served proudly in the United States Military and following service to our country, became homeless. George Hill, choir founder and director, was homeless for 12 years. A graduate of New Directions, Hill is also an employee at the West Los Angeles Veterans Administration. “Through singing,” George says, “we hope to let veterans who may be suffering know that there is hope for them.”
The next day, Saturday, January 19, Chandler’s 18th Annual Multicultural Festival will highlight the cultural diversity of our community through music, dance, art, storytelling children’s area and more. This is a FREE event open to the public.
The celebration concludes, on Sunday, January 20, with riveting rhythms, bold beats and ear-grabbing energy, in the show DRUMLine Live. This is an international tour based on the Historically Black College and University marching band tradition. The staged show will be a synchronized musical showcase of the HBCU experience. The group’s performances will range from colorful, choreographed routines to heavy doses of drum riffs and cadences with the rousing sound of the great brass tradition.
Let’s all come together this month and celebrate unity. To learn more or to purchase tickets for any of these incredible events, please click here.
“Crest makes good toothpaste.”
That was the first thing I heard over the mics when I walked into the theatre on Saturday. Dean was nice enough to let me crash the sound check for Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, and I had no idea what to expect. My only experience with setting up a band was in high school, when we jammed cables into outlets and prayed we didn’t set the stage on fire.
However at CCA, things are a little more professional than that. Before the band even got on stage to make sure they sounded right, our sound guys did some run through’s, making sure all the mics were working and the monitors (speakers on stage) were hooked up right. This is a video from the main sound desk that shows the guys making sure the drum kit sounds right. Our sound guys needed to make sure that it was loud enough so that the audience could hear the right sounds, but not too loud that it sounded like a bunch of random banging, and the levels on the audio metering scales told them if they were right on the money, or needed to adjust.
Another thing I learned was that for many of the performances here, and especially those with music, there are actually two soundboards. There’s the main one in the theatre that Dean works, and then there’s one in the wings that Steve manages. Dean’s job is to make sure that the audience hears the music right, and Steve does the same, but for each of the musicians on stage. This clip shows just that. Some of the techs were walking around stage making sure everyone was hearing what they needed to hear to perform, and Steve was adjusting on the go.
See how some of the faders (sliding controls) seem to move on their own? They don’t. I found out that Steve can program different channels to have different frequencies (more bass, treble, etc) and then set that channel with those specifications. If he needs more channels, he can move on to a different one and do the same thing. The movement happens when he switches between channels and the soundboard adjusts to the frequencies he set.
Just think of it this way. I love watching Real Housewives of NYC (no shame), but my Bravo channel has really bad sound quality, so I always have to turn up my TV’s volume. When I set my DVR to record the newest episode, I adjust the sound so my TV’s volume automatically goes higher to record that particular show, but will go lower for the next show I record on a different channel.
The actual soundcheck with the band on stage took 20 minutes at most, because everything went so well during the set up. I was glad because I got to meet more of the sound and lighting crew, and they’re a blast to hang out with.
If there are any questions that you had that I didn’t answer, please let me know! Dean said he doesn’t mind me asking questions, so I’m going to put that to the test. In the mean time, here are some photos I snagged during the soundcheck. I went through two cameras before I got any pictures that would work in some way, shape or form, so if they’re a tad grainy that’s why.
With Street Beat here this past weekend, the band nerd* in me was in heaven. The best way I can describe it for someone who missed it this weekend, was that you got two shows for one. It was Stomp meets Blue Man Group with less face paint and more dreadlocks flying around (watch the video, you’ll see what I mean). Before you watch it though, make sure your speaker volume is set at something reasonable. I don’t want comments about how watching the video made you lose your hearing for a day.
Two videos this week? Hot Dog! This one is more about the dance aspect of Street Beat, which is awesome in its own right.
Want to know something funny? Everyone who owns a car in my family has at least one Eagles CD in their glove compartment, myself included (no shame.) That’s why I’m glad I’ll be around for Hotel California this weekend. They’re a tribute band that doesn’t sound like one, and they use all band members to create their sound, just like the Eagles did. This is one of CCA’s last shows of the season, and it really is a case of saving the best for last.
Not in the mood for music, but still want to come down for something to do? We also have Spencers Theatre of Illusion making a stop here on Sunday afternoon, and this isn’t your average magic show. People from the audience take part in all aspects of the show, so make sure you check them out and maybe you can be a part of it! Although if the Spencers make you disappear, can you tell me where they send you? I’ve always been curious about that.
*I mean no disrespect, but if you could have seen me in high school, you would agree. For four years, I lived and breathed marching band. I spent every spare moment in the band room, walked in step around campus, conducted music in my truck and found the expression “tooting your horn” to be especially hilarious.
Oh who am I kidding, I still do.
If you missed Steve Wariner and Firefly, then you missed a really awesome show. But, I got you covered with a sweet clip of Steve jamming out. Unfortunatly, we couldn’t get one with Firefly, but you can catch those ladies opening for Carolina Liars on April 16 in Scottsdale.
Sorry for the shaky video, we’re currently tripod-less, but I’m working on that!
This weekend we’re switching gears a bit with Street Beat. If you’ve ever seen Stop, Street Beat is similar, only better because they’re playing here this weekend. They combine drumming on everyday items with martial arts and parkour. Just watching their YouTube videos makes me want to get up and move, so can you image what they’re going to be like live? I dare anyone at the show not to get up and dance, because I know I’ll be around shakin’ what my mama gave me.