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Steeple Center gets light and sound upgrade

While sound and lights don’t make a great performance, good systems can help showcase it. 

As the Rosemount Steeple Center is used more and more for performances big and small, the city wanted to make sure its sound and lighting systems served audiences and performers well.

Parks and recreation director Dan Schultz said the city worked with sound and lighting engineers to customize systems for the center. The hope, he said, is to showcase area talents and to make the Steeple Center a more marketable venue.

The systems were installed this fall and so far have been well received. City on A Hill Church uses the Steeple Center for its Sunday services. Pastor Bruce Bentley said the new systems are far better than what was in there before.

“We use it every week and man, it’s fantastic,” said Bentley.

The systems cost the city nearly $100,000. Schultz said the city has made improvements to the Steeple Center in phases and sound and lighting were the most recent upgrades.

The center is used fairly often for a wide variety of events and Schultz said one of the biggest complaints was that people couldn’t hear. Those complaints prompted the city council to make the improvements ahead of schedule.

Working with an engineer, the city invested in high-end systems that should serve the city and those who use the Steeple Center well for years to come. It’s a fairly technical system that requires some training, said Schultz.

In addition to city staff, he said folks with City on a Hill and the Rosemount Area Arts Council have received training the systems. Schultz said it can be set up for simple events such as lectures that just need a microphone or for full theatrical events like RAAC’s annual Christmas at the Steeple Center.

Since the sound system was installed, the Rosemount Area Arts Council has held a lecture in the Steeple Center. RAAC member John Loch said the difference in sound quality was astounding.

“We went around and asked people if they could hear and they said they could hear perfectly,” said Loch.

In the past, RAAC has had to bring in additional speakers to make sure attendees could hear. And even then it was sometimes a struggle to get sound to the back of the center.

Loch said this year’s Christmas at the Steeple Center will be RAAC’s first real test of the system. In past years the group has rented equipment and hired someone to do light and sound for the event. He said they’re looking forward to seeing what the systems can do.

“It’s a professional system. It will really come into play when we have theatrical productions,” said Loch.

The new systems already have RAAC considering new possibilities. Loch said the new sound and lighting systems make it possible for RAAC to offer theater productions in the center.

Schultz said the city hopes the better systems will help the city bring more groups into the Steeple Center.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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