Full shot, onstage

Missa Latina 1Nathanial Webster, tenor, Heidi Grant Murphy, soprano, Alan Harler, conductor.

On Saturday night – 4/24/10  I returned to my alma mater for the priviledge and honor of recording the first public performance in the newly renovated (and quite stunning) Baptist Temple on North Broad St., at  literally the epicenter of  Temple University.  (Actually this was the building that started it all, hence the name “Temple” .  (For more information, visit their website:  http://www.thebaptisttemple.org/  

The Mendelssohn Club Chorus, ( http://www.mcchorus.org/ ) directed by Alan Harler and accompanied by the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, (http://www.chamberorchestra) debuted in the new hall with a majestic and powerful performance of Roberto Sierra’s “Missa Latina”, with soloists Heidi Grant Murphy, soprano, and Nathanial Webster, baritone.   This inspiring new work was captured for posterity (and a forthcoming archival CD) by us, using up to 16 mics on the chorus, orchestra, soloists and hall.  George Stevens was onboard as an indispensible A2/helper, helping get it all together in time for a tight rehearsal/soundcheck, Friday, the night before.

Missa Latina 2

Nathanial Webster, tenor, Heidi Grant Murphy, soprano, Alan Harler, conductor.

I was thrilled with the look and feel of the new hall, and I’m anxious to sit down in my studio to work on the mix. (I hope it sounds as good as it looks!)   The stage was/is luxurious;  40×40, plus the raised orchestra pit, which was more than enough room (as you can see in the pics) for this size orchestra, with the singers up in the loft in the back. (And no, those scary-looking speakers overhead were never on; they do look pretty intense!)   For a pleasant change, everyone had ample elbow room, and we had no trouble placing our mics and stands to cover everything.   Even though it was a live concert, it has the vibe and feel of a soundstage.  (This place should be PERFECT for future sound track recordings; there’s a full size, drop-down movie screen along the back wall, and a projector & video link in the front booth.)

I took these shots in the middle of the performance, with a NIKON D5000, w/settings at “Auto”, no flash, and (believe it or not) shot through plate glass at the 2nd floor balcony level.  (Couldn’t risk going inside and tripping over my own feet just to get a shot.)

More on this event once I process it all and get a mix in to Alan for review, and hats-off to TU for saving this landmark treasure for the next generation of concert-goers to enjoy.   The staff (Sean Roche & co.) did a superb job of helping us get in and out easily, setup, and do our job without the slightest problem. 

On a side note, right next door to the Baptist Temple is “Mitten Hall’, my old hangout for a snack & a few stolen moments nappping between classes, back in the day (1975-’77 or thereabouts).

Joe Hannigan, (BA, 1978, TU).

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