BUENA PARK, Calif.âŽ¯A Capitol Fourth 2009, the Independence Day concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, featured a star-studded cast including Aretha Franklin, Barry Manilow, Vanessa Williams, Natasha Bedingfield, the cast of Jersey Boys, Michael Feinstein, and classical pianist Andrew von Oeyen with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Americaâ€™s prince of pops Erich Kunzel. Jimmy Smits hosted the 29th annual event that was broadcast on PBS and produced by Michael Colbert and Capital Concerts, Inc. Over 400,000 people were in attendance with millions who watched nationwide.
PRG (New York) provided production for the extravaganza and supplied nine Yamaha digital audio consoles including two PM1Ds, four PM5D-RHs, M7CL LS9-32, and LS9-16. Bob Rendon, Vice President of PRG said the decision to use Yamaha digital consoles was based on the talent riders, designer specs, and PRGâ€™s personal history with this event. PRG has provided production for Capital Concerts for Memorial Day and A Capitol Fourth events for over 15 years.
Pat Baltzell designed the audio system for the event and manned the front of house mixing area. â€œI have been using all of the Yamaha digital consoles for the last eight years on my projects,â€? says Baltzell. They are a perfect solution for televised award shows and entertainment specials because most of the guest artistsâ€™ engineers are familiar with them, and often times have a memory card with their tour settings. This reduces set up time and allows sound checks and rehearsals to go faster and more efficiently. The wide variety of digital consoles in the Yamaha line provides me with lots of options for a dedicated string clip-on microphone submix console.â€?
â€œI couldn’t possibly be happier with the PRG audio and lighting crew; they have done a great job for us for years,â€? states Colbert. â€œPlain and simple, they get it, but more than that, they truly care about what they do and we know that they care about us as well. On Memorial Day each year, we come together at the United States Capitol for the National Memorial Day Concert to remember all of those who have served and sacrificed for our country and to say thank you to our veterans and their families. On Independence Day, it is a time to for all Americans to celebrate our freedom and who we are as a people. A Capitol Fourth is truly America’s biggest birthday party. Both events have become American traditions and are broadcast live nationwide on PBS, NPR and around the world to our troops on the American Forces Network. When you are live, outside on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol with an audience in the hundreds of thousands and millions more watching around the country, you canâ€™t take risks, you need winners. With PRG, all we have had is winners.â€?
Colbert says his is a true believer that no audio means no show. â€œDespite some of the challenges we have had from weather over the years, I know the sound is going to be there and be great. This is all thanks to best equipment and crew from PRG, especially Bob Rendon, Alan Henig and Mark Boettcher as well as our amazing front of house mixer, Pat Baltzell.â€?
About Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.:
Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. (YCAS) provides a full line of integrated professional audio products offering complete systems solutions for the broadcast, sound reinforcement/installed sound, touring, commercial recording, and post production markets. With the recent purchase of NEXO loudspeakers by Yamaha Corporation Japan, the company remains the official U.S. and Canadian distributor for all NEXO models. YCAS offers comprehensive in-house and field product training for its customers, a dedicated dealer network, and 24/7 technical support.