A JBL Professional VerTec sound system was installed at the Laura Turner Concert Hall in the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville. The Schermerhorn Symphony Center is home to (and owned by) the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. The 1,860-seat Laura Turner Concert Hall is one of the few halls nationwide to feature natural interior light through 30 special soundproof windows. With 600 fewer seats than the Nashville Symphony’s previous home, Schermerhorn Symphony Center provides audiences and musicians with a more intimate
setting. The seats are distributed over three levels, including a special choral loft behind the stage, which can accommodate 146 chorus members or seat audience members during non-choral performances. The stage can accommodate up to 115 symphonic musicians.
The Nashville Symphony turned to consulting firm Akoustiks of Norwalk, Conn., to design the space. “We wanted to build a great hall for our orchestra—that was our primary objective,”
says Alan Valentine, NSO president and CEO. “At the same time, we knew we would also host pop and jazz performances, so we needed an amplified audio system that could provide clear sound in a highly reverberant space.”
Initial construction on the Schermerhorn Symphony Center began in December 2003, and the hall opened on September 9, 2006. However, after a few months with its original sound system, the NSO realized a change was needed. Several options were reviewed, and the venue’s technical staff and management selected JBL VerTec based on successful deployments by a local rental system. Local systems integrator Spectrum Sound sold and installed the VerTec VT4887 compact line arrays, now located on each side of the stage.
The new system is powered by Crown CTS amplifiers, with BSS London signal processing. “We went with the VerTec system because it’s sized right, it’s highly controllable and it doesn’t overpower the room,” Valentine adds. “We didn’t need excessive volume, we needed precision coverage and fidelity.” To match the architectural design of the performance space, the line arrays were painted white. “Under normal circumstances, we would take line arrays out of the air and store them during the orchestra’s classical performances, but the VerTec arrays work so well aesthetically that for the most part we have chosen to leave the system in place.”