Hastings Performing Arts Center

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Photo Credit: Staff at Hastings Performing Arts Center
Project Overview
Location: Hastings, MI
Customer: LVH

To maximize the use and capabilities of the Hasting Performing Arts Center in Hastings, MI, Staging Concepts provided a Bravado® Acoustical Shell and Orchestra Pit Filler to benefit an array of student performers. Prior to being closed due to Covid-19, the space welcomed numerous performers and guests, and all anxiously await to walk back through the stage door.

When the HPAC opens back up, the acoustical shell will once again be used for concerts, regional festivals, and regularly for band and choir performances. Knowing that these events have various acoustic and spacing needs, the acoustical shell provides the flexibility and modularity to setup for each specific event.

The full shell is often setup when hosting a choir concert, and a modified version is configured when the stage needs to appear bigger for their holiday collage concert, which features both band and choir members.

Spencer White, the Band Director for the HPAC, enjoys the convenience and flexibility provided by the acoustical shell. “It’s easy to change the layout with this system and you can set it up any way,” explains White.

The shell’s versatility especially comes in handy for annual festivals as the HPAC has become a center point to host a Band Festival, Choir Festival, Honors Band, and Jazz Festival. White shared that the HPAC can effectively accommodate a variety of musical events due to the excellent acoustics within their space, largely attributed to the acoustical shell.

To compliment the appearance of the existing layout at the HPAC, White and his team selected a soft white color for their shell panels. This permits them to paint the shell with light to maximize the versatility and stage creativity for any performance.

“Changing the lighting and color for a specific event, such as our holiday collage concert, is a great solution,” adds White. “We are really happy with the acoustics and sounds from the shell.”

Moving further downstage, an orchestra pit filler was also needed to fully accent the space at the HPAC. The pit filler provides a lot of flexibility for White and his team, and it can be reconfigured per event benefiting musicals and concerts.

“The pit filler meets and exceeds our needs for musicals and special productions,” commented White. “When we have a large ensemble in the pit we will only remove about half of the panels. This allows the musicians to play out and blend very well without covering up the voices on the stage. And when we have a smaller ensemble in the pit, we will remove more or all the panels. This ability to tune the pit’s balance with whatever is going on for each event is a total game changer. It’s been incredible!”

The HPAC holds 836 guests. While the doors have been temporarily closed due to the pandemic, the stage has been used to safely film performances for home viewing. Once in-person events and concerts can be held again, White will be eager to open the doors at the HPAC to all.


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Click here to view a time lapse of the HPAC crew setting up the acoustical shell.

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