On Cusp of Anniversary, Church Undergoes Extensive Renovation
Upgrades at New Hampshire church include adding Bose column speakers, Sennheiser microphones and LED lighting.
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KEENE, N.H. – For many churches, the decision tied to moving forward on improvements to their worship space is often borne out of having held off from any such changes for many years.
With the 125th anniversary for St. Bernard Church and the Parish of the Holy Spirit just months away – Nov. 20 – the church that opened in 1892 is in the midst of finishing up on a five-phase renovation. The work has involved various upgrades and improvements, including to the church’s audio and lighting capabilities.
As part of its second phase completed shortly before Christmas of last year, the church added a pair of double-stacked Bose Panaray MA12 column speakers near the front of the church.
In addition, St. Bernard also invested in three earset microphones by Sennheiser, one each for Rev. Stephen Marcoux, pastor of St. Bernard, and his two pastoral colleagues. To help with providing clarity for cantors and lectors, a Sennheiser microphone replaced the previous lectern microphone. Each is run through a wireless Sennheiser Ew 100 G3 system.
With those major changes to the audio system, Marcoux said that he has heard a “better quality to the singing and those who are cantoring. That’s because the microphone is clear and the speakers are clear. Everyone says the system is much clearer.”
The work to the audio system was done by Power Sound of New England, based in Kittery, Maine. “They were very accommodating. I also trusted their judgment (when selecting Bose and Sennheiser), as they’ve been doing this for years,” noted Marcoux. The company and Marcoux have worked together previously, at four other parishes. Power Sound will be returning for additional work in the fall, during the renovation’s final phase, to install speakers in the church hall. “I have nothing but the highest respect for their workmanship,” he added.
Changing to the Bose column speakers was a significant upgrade, explained Marcoux. The previous system “had been Mickey Moused over the years, where they had to redo the system entirely. It had been an old-fashioned system pieced together over the last 30 years. I’m very pleased about the quality, and the acoustics are exceptional.”
Dimming System, LED Lights Highlight Upgrade
In addition to the audio improvements, completed in about a week, St. Bernard also underwent significant lighting upgrades in its worship space. That work was much more extensive, as LighTec, based in Merrimack, New Hampshire, evaluated the wiring, changed out the wiring (from the dangerously low limit of 100 amps to 400 amps), and converted each chandelier to LED lighting.
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