Cayman Prep & High School
In 1946, when the centenary celebrations of the Presbyterian Church of Jamaica were held in Cayman, it was suggested that a secondary school should be established on the islands. Two years later the Reverend John Gray arrived to begin work as headmaster of the new school in George Town, Grand Cayman. Since then, the school has expanded to also encompass primary school children.
A UK-based provider of education resources to international schools worldwide invited Clarity to provide sound, lighting, projection and stage drapes to Cayman Prep & High School on Grand Cayman.
The project was due to take place in 2020, but because of the worldwide pandemic and the inability to travel it was not accomplished until 2022. Overseas projects always take a lot of organising and logistics, which meant close co-ordination with both resource provider and the school.
Due to the electrical voltage in Cayman being different to that in the UK, all equipment to be supplied had to be carefully chosen. Transportation of materials and tools to the island took around four weeks by sea and needed additional time to clear customs. Once everything had arrived Clarity engineers were dispatched to spend a month working on the installation.
To improve the sound in the school hall, a fixed metal rack was installed in the stage area to give simple to operate control for everyday use. The school were able to reuse their existing radio microphones but with an added distribution unit and remote external antennas. For larger events, concerts and theatrical productions, a ‘major events trolley’ was supplied that will be used in conjunction with a digital mixer that links to a digital stage box and allows for the use of up to 16 microphones. Again, the school were able to reuse their existing radio microphones but were supplied with new Sennheiser bodypacks and over-ear microphones. The mixer also has inputs to allow for external music sources such as a computer, Smartphones, MP3 players and cabled microphones. A backstage operator talkback system was also installed to allow backstage and front of house staff to talk to each other and hanging microphones were added to the stage.
The school’s new projection system comprised of a single centrally mounted very high brightness widescreen laser projector, a 4m wide screen located in front of the main front of house curtains but hidden behind the main border bar, so it is not seen when it is in its closed position. This projector can also be used as a video backdrop when the screen is closed, projecting onto the rear wall of the stage. A second projector was installed to one side of the stage high up on the wall, projecting onto a 3m wide electric projection screen. Also included were two remote input panels on stage with both HDMI and VGA inputs. A further input panel was fitted onto the portable trolley to allow a computer to be used from wherever the trolley is used. Two remote control wall panels, one at the front of the hall and one at the rear, can remotely turn the projector on/off, raise/lower the screen and switch inputs.
Theatrical Lighting Upgrade
To totally transform the school hall’s lighting, an LED colour changing system with a mixture of lantern types was installed, including Fresnel, profiles, cyclorama battens and PAR lanterns. There are many advantages of LED over older halogen systems, but the major advantage is that most LED lanterns can be changed remotely to any colour beam. In addition, dimmers are not required, LED operates at lower temperatures, is far cheaper to run as it has a low power consumption, the LEDs will last an average of at least 25,000 to 50,000 hours whereas conventional lamps last on average about 300 to 500 hours and has greatly reduced ongoing maintenance costs.
Five lighting bars were installed; across the hall front of house, vertically in line with the main front of house bar and widthways across the stage. The lighting can be controlled using a very simple six-button wall mount panel installed in the stage area that can select numerous pre-programmed lighting scenes and is ideal for simple day to day use including assemblies. Alternatively, the school can use wireless tablet control using one of the schools iPads or they also have a dedicated LED lighting controller.
The existing Front of House drapes were rehung on stud, rather than on the chains that were being used. A new white Cyclorama cloth on a walk-along curtain track was installed in front of their existing wooden backdrop.
Once installation and final commissioning was complete, a Clarity engineer carried out an in-depth training session for staff covering system operation and use of individual equipment including the lighting desk, sound mixer and programming details