Throughout the summer months in Jackson, MO, the Jackson Municipal Band plays free weekly concerts every Thursday evening and performs throughout the year at important community events such as Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Homecoming.
Ensuring that the band sounds better than ever for its ninety-second season, locally based systems integrator Unity Pro Audio and Video upgraded the Jackson Municipal Bandshell in City Park with the installation of a six-cabinet QSC Audio WL3082-wx Weatherized WideLine-8 line array loudspeaker system powered by three PowerLight 3 Series amplifiers.
The Jackson Municipal Band has been performing annually since 1976 at the outdoor bandshell, which is located in a grassy amphitheater bordered by trees, but until now has not had a purpose-designed PA system. “They were using point and shoot speakers. The community approached us to be a little bit more creative and push the envelope of technology a little; they knew that is our forte,” said Unity Pro AV’s Matt Schwartz, who mapped the location into EASE Focus and designed a system that he then presented to the board of directors of the community band.
Schwartz determined that the best solution for the bandshell, which is approximately 50 feet wide, was a center array with a wide dispersion pattern, and then selected the QSC Weatherized WideLine Line Array Loudspeaker system, citing its ample coverage and affordable price point. Two QSC PL380 amplifiers (2 x 2500 W @ 4 ohms) and a single PL340 (2 x 1250 W @ 4 ohms) power the array, which is optimized using an SC28 System Controller. Unity Pro AV additionally supplied eight QSC K10 two-way, 10-inch active speakers for use as floor monitors.
“As there are surrounding houses and residential areas near the bandshell, putting a line array on either side of the stage would have given way, way too much horizontal coverage,” said Schwartz. “The QSC WideLine-8 was the ideal solution as a center array because of its 140 degree dispersion. It allows us to keep the coverage off the local residences as much as possible and stay within the amphitheater.”
Schwartz also reports that there is only a 3 dB difference in level between the front row and 300 yards away. He said, “From a budgetary standpoint, when I compared other weatherized speakers everything pointed back to QSC. Plus, I was able to get by with less amplification because we were using the PowerLight amps. I’d heard the WideLine System before and I knew it packed a heck of a punch. It’s a great system.”
Hanging a center array weighing more than 500 pounds required the fabrication of additional structural metalwork for the bandshell. Schwartz designed the new metalwork in consultation with a Professional Engineer (PE) to ensure proper load and wind resistance. “They stack bands there—they put one band on the ground and another on the stage—so we ran the structure out 12 feet. It’s very sturdy. We’ve had a lot of compliments about how well that structure ended up looking.”
The Jackson Municipal Band, established by the Jackson Chamber of Commerce in 1920, performed at the gazebo on the Cape Girardeau courthouse grounds from 1932 until the dedication of the City Park Bandshell in 1976. The band’s current summer season kicked off on June 7 together with an opening act, the Southeast Missouri State Steel Drum Band.