The final staging for the 2016 Concordia Christmas Concert Dec. 2-4 is a sprint to the opening note with extra preparations for the video recording of the event.
Bryan Duncan sits facing the Christmas mural for this year’s concert. A critical eye on specific lights. Duncan, the lighting director for the concert, says the tinkering for the fine details is just beginning. Duncan along with a crew of seven students, the lighting director for Twin Cities Public Television, and the company who built the truss structure hung hundreds of lighting fixtures to illuminate the massive production.
“Faces are the big priority with television,” Duncan says, “so our priority is to be sure the choirs are lit properly.”
This 90th Christmas concert is being recorded by Twin Cities Public Television and will be broadcast regionally this year and to a national audience in 2017. The television element poses exciting challenges and opportunities for all aspects of the concert.
“You have to design differently for television,” says Paul Johnson, the mural artist. “It needs to be individual images for the camera.”
Various scenes move across the 176-foot mural that is a backdrop for the musicians. Both Duncan and Johnson had to think about specific color hues and which ones work better in the lens of a camera while still being pleasing to the audience members at the concert.
Surrounded by all the preparations – chairs, staging, skirting and draping – Duncan is keeping his eyes focused on the end result.
“My students have been talking about this all semester and they were all looking forward to it,” he says.
In a standard year, Duncan and his team would use about 150 lighting fixtures to illuminate the concert. This year that number exploded to 410.
“It’s definitely an uptick,” Duncan says with a laugh.
The Minneapolis concerts will take place Dec. 8.
Tickets for all performances are available at ConcordiaChristmas.com.