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Chicago’s Willow Creek Community Church purchases T2 consoles

Willow Creek Church

Chicago-based Willow Creek Community Church has purchased two Jands Vista T2 lighting consoles.

Willow Creek was named ‘the most influential church in America’ by The Church Report in 2006 and has provided resources, training and encouragement to more than 11,000 like-minded member churches from 90 denominations in 45 countries.

The Church currently has five campuses across Chicagoland – the main South Barrington site and regional campuses in Dupage County, McHenry County, North Shore, and Downtown Chicago – whose combined weekend attendance tops 20,000.

All regional campuses receive videocast messages from South Barrington, which are hosted by an onsite campus pastor and complemented by live services mixing together drama, multi-media and contemporary music.

McHenry County campus Technical Director, Gary Melder, was looking to expand their Main Auditorium’s production capabilities, so approached equipment specialists Intelligent Lighting Creations after they had been involved in a large expansion of South Barrington’s technical facilities.

Although Gary wanted to upgrade to a full-scale production lighting console, he was concerned that many of the campus’s lighting team, which is primarily made up of volunteers, would find some of the consoles they considered foreign and daunting.

After considering a number of consoles, a member of the production team at the main South Barrington campus suggested looking at the Jands Vista after seeing the console used during a concert performance recorded in the Church’s Main Auditorium.

A subsequent Vista demo at the campus left Gary and the lighting team immediately sold on the console. Gary commented: “The user interface and timeline editor features just made much more sense than on other consoles we had seen. Many of our team have video and audio experience as well as lighting, so the thought process behind the desk made a lot of sense.”

North Shore campus Technical Director, David Srb, later decided to purchase a T2 for their own facility based on feedback about the desk from the McHenry County campus and seeing a demo for himself. Both T2 consoles were supplied by Intelligent Lighting Creations.

Featuring an intuitive visual interface, innovative timeline editing function and generic fixture model, the Vista is both fast and simple to use.

Whereas other full scale lighting consoles rely on number-crunching to program shows, the Vista utilises a graphic based interface. As a result, users can work visually and get on with designing better shows, rather than getting distracted by the actual programming process itself. It also makes programming extremely fast and getting to grips with the console a relatively short learning curve.

At last year’s WFX New Product Awards in Dallas, which recognize the most innovative new technology products to hit the worship market, the Vista was voted ‘Best Automated Lighting Controller’ and ‘Best Overall Lighting Product’ by an expert panel of judges due to its suitability to the industry’s unique production environment.

The Vista range includes hardware and software solutions to suit any size venue and budget. Models include the T4 and T2 full size/full hardware consoles, S3, S1 and M1 portable consoles, and Vista Application software-only solution. For more information on the Jands Vista go to www.jands.com/jands_test.

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