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Weekend In Review: Last Free Concerts of Season

This weekend was filled with fun and excitement. We could not have asked for a better way to finish up our On The House free summer concerts.

In case you missed it, here is a quick review of the weekend:

On Friday, we welcomed ¡FlaMÉXico! to our stage.  Before the doors opened to the stage, Ballet Folklorico Quetzalli-AZ, one of the featured 14th Annual Chandler C3HR Mariachi Festival performers, filled the lobby with incredible dances.

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¡FlaMÉXico! then took the audience by surprise with their foot-tapping music and fantastic footwork. To say the least the evening was impresionante!

Saturday evening was yet another free summer concert. We had the wonderful opportunity to hear the musical beats of six up and coming bands/vocalists. It was a great youth showcase!

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No Longer Together

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Carly Paige

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Eclipses for Eyes

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Run 2 Cover

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West Hills Brothers

[Not pictured: Molly Kigin]

A big thank you to all those who came out this season for our On The House free summer concert series. We hope you will join us for another concert or event this upcoming season! Chandler Center for the Arts upcoming 2013-2014 shows found here.

Summertime in the City

That means that we’re back with another round of summer camps.

This was after only a few hours of practice, and they had the chorus of this song, plus a few others, down.

When they aren’t dancing, we still keep ’em busy, from learning lines, to learning how to take direction, to learning how to be sassy.


Okay, honestly, they didn’t have to learn that one. They came to us that way.

Eat Your Art Out Chandler

Eat Your Art Out Chandler was a huge success yesterday! Thank you to all of our restaurants, volunteers and patrons. We wouldn’t have a shot at success if it wasn’t for you.

Since we didn’t expect everyone to visit all the places (although if you did, you’re amazing), here are a few photos from yesterday.


We’re already talking about next year. And if yesterday was any indication, our 2nd Eat Your Art Out Chandler in 2013 will be off the scale insane, in the best possible way.

Youth in Action

Last night I had the privilege to speak to the Center’s Youth Advisory Council about what I do to help the Center.

Not going to lie, I was pretty nervous about speaking to a group of teenagers, but that didn’t matter. What mattered was these young adults.

Just a few days after Cave Creek announced that  they could no longer fund their arts programs (among others), this group showed me that people do still care about art, in all of its forms, and they will do what it takes to keep it accessible.

That photo was taken at about 7:30 last night, on a day when some of those kids had been at school since 6:30am.  After a full day of learning, studying, and other practices, they still had the energy to sit down and plan a fundraiser.

They’ll be hosting their fundraiser on March 10 before the Damn Yankees performance. The hope is that they’ll raise enough money for next year’s Youth Advisory Council, and be able to fill the youth arts void left by the schools.

When the schools and their communities can’t help their children, I’m glad to know that a group of teenagers are willing and able to step up to the plate.

Monday Mashup: Whirlwind Ruckus.

That best describes our weekend and Friday night show at the Center. If you missed it, you didn’t just miss an amazing show, but you missed out on a whole experience. Lucky for you, I understand that emergencies come up, and there are maybe one or two good excuses for missing the show. So, here’s a taste.

First, we had three amazing gentlemen (who didn’t mind me stalking them) playing the bagpipes to welcome people to the Center.

Then you walked in and saw these lovely young ladies from AZ Colleen. Break it down, now.

And finally, you got to watch the show! Here’s a clip of Gaelic Storm playing “What’s the Rumpus?” Let me just say that most performers can get the audience going along with them for a song, maybe two. Gaelic Storm had everyone participating the entire show. Well done, guys.

Amazing time. We need them back next year.

This weekend we’re continuing the Irish trend, but taking it in a different direction. On Sunday you can catch Orla Fallon performing here, and it’s going to be a great time. She’s a little more traditional than Gaelic Storm, and her songs can really pull on your heart-strings one minute, and then make you laugh and clap along the next. She’s a great performer and you really can’t miss it.

Tech Tuesday: Sound Check

“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.

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Monday Mashup: Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars

Saturday night was the last show of our 2010-2011 season, and we went out with a bang with Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars. I didn’t get any video during the performance, but here is a clip and some photos of the band during the sound check.

The best part about the sound check? (other than learning what the boards do) It was hanging out with the members of the band.  They were all very friendly, but I’ll talk about that more during tomorrow’s Tech Tuesday.

Well, now what? If the season is over with, does that mean that we won’t have Caitie’s awesome posts to look forward to anymore? Will she go away forever?

Nah. I like this place too much to pick up and take off. Sure, Monday Mashups and Weekend Previews will change just a bit, but we will still have tons of amazing performances, including Swan Lake. So go watch Black Swan and then come see it live! Hopefully with less psychosis, but we’ll see.

Tech Tuesday: Catwalks

(This blog post can also be found under its alternate title “Tech Tuesday: Caitie Still Really Hates Heights.”)

There are three things in life that creep me out: Hearing something move in the dark, the mouse from Chuck E. Cheese, and heights (I have photo proof of the last two. Ask me about it sometime). But since Katie gave me the suggestion to feature the catwalks here at CCA in my Tech Tuesday posts, I had to give it a shot.

Had I been able to think clearly, I would have gotten photos of the guts of the building before we enter the catwalks that lead into the main theatre, but thinking clearly just wasn’t happening.

Those are some shots of the catwalk overlooking the stage. The catwalks are mainly used to help position and adjust lights and sound for the performances.  They also help techs do maintenance or move around the theatre if they need to do so quickly and quietly.  Since we have three theatres at CCA, the catwalks have to be positioned above all three while still remaining hidden.  If you remember the Tech Tuesday: Lighting post, I took a shot of a bank of lights from the stage.  Behind those lights is the catwalk for the main stage, and the yellow circle is about where I was standing if you were standing on the stage looking up.

Very high up, but very cool.

Cross your fingers for next week’s Tech Tuesday. If all goes as planned and the stars align I’ll have something really cool to show you guys.

My Fox Phoenix vists Glee Camp!

This morning Kristin from Fox 10 came down to CCA and showed everyone how awesome our Glee Campers are! Here are some photos I took before, during and after the shoot. 

(Psssst. Didn’t get a chance to catch the live spot? Look for Kristen and the kids dancing on Friday!)

Spring Glee Camp Day 1


Chandler Senior Variety Show