EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ, AUGUST 5, 2013—As a leading theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design company, Masque Sound has worked on projects of all scopes and sizes, including some of the theater world’s most well-known productions. Many of its most rewarding projects, however, have involved educational institutions, with the past several years having been an especially busy period for these types of endeavors.
“Throughout the years, we have provided gear and services to educational facilities, from middle schools right through to universities,” says Stephanie Hansen, vice president and general manager, Masque Sound. “Now more than ever, many schools incorporate the art and science of sound into their curriculum and we believe this is a big step forward for the industry. Masque Sound is proud to be a part of that growth.”
Over the past few years, Masque Sound has steadily built relationships in the education market, catering to standard educational facilities that support the arts as well as more specialized institutions. Notably, in late 2009, Husson University revealed its new state-of-the-art facility. Located in Bangor, Maine, Husson University opened its Gracie Theatre. Masque Sound was on hand to coordinate the audio needs for the new venue, which, in addition to hosting the university’s center for the fine and performing arts, serves as a learning environment for students from the New England School of Communications. At the Gracie Theatre, students get their grounding in digital audio, sound mixing, set design and construction, lighting, acting and electronics.
New York University’s (NYU) program in music technology unveiled a new facility in 2009, as well—a $6.5-million state-of-the-art music technology building, the James L. Dolan Recording Studio. Gensler and the Walters-Storyk Design Group (WSDG) designed the 7,500-square-foot multifunctional teaching, recording, and research space, working closely with Masque Sound on the technology selection and integration. The Masque Sound team provided a plethora of tie lines to accommodate the sheer amount of technology provided, as well as all of the equipment necessary to directly link the entire complex to the main control room.
Also in 2009, Masque Sound completed an audio overhaul at Memorial High School in West New York, New Jersey. The company helped the school, known for its annual musical productions, resolve lingering audio issues stemming from an outdated system. Other schools that worked with Masque Sound throughout 2009 - 2011 include Secaucus High School, Bayonne High School and The Wilson School in New Jersey. Masque Sound took Bayonne High School’s audio system from analog to digital, in addition to updating the school’s wireless capabilities.
Fast-forward to early 2012, and Masque Sound continued its commitment to education by completing an AV upgrade for MS-223, a nationally recognized middle school of excellence in the Bronx, New York. Contracted by Yorke Construction and working with acoustical design firm Akustiks, LLC, the team at Masque Sound provided a much-needed upgrade to the old audio equipment in the aging auditorium.
“This was a special project for a special school,” says Matt Peskie, systems engineer, Masque Sound. “As MS-223 is a model of exemplary teaching and learning, we wanted to make sure we provided it with the technology to give students the ability to explore their creative and artistic sides to the fullest. The auditorium went from an aging room to a great sound stage and was completed just in time for the new school year, a credit to all involved.”
Following the MS-223 project, Masque Sound was sub-contracted by Midland Electric and worked with acoustical design firm Criterion Acoustics to support an upgrade at Brooklyn Tech High School, another acclaimed New York City educational institution. Built in 1933, Brooklyn Tech is home to the third largest auditorium in New York, second only to Radio City Music Hall and the Metropolitan Opera House. Featuring seating for 3,100 and two balconies, the auditorium underwent a 2010 architectural makeover designed to preserve its 20th-century elegance. Masque Sound helped bring the audio capacity up to 21st-century, professional-caliber production standards, including speaker and sound reinforcement.
“Each of the auditoriums turned out nothing short of spectacular,” adds Peskie. “Masque Sound is committed to providing schools with state-of-the art turnkey solutions that allow students, and those involved in the arts programs at the schools, to fully leverage the audio resources needed for a stellar production.”
Adding to an already eventful first-half of 2013, Masque Sound looks forward to several upcoming, education-related installations, including a project at Western Connecticut State University’s Visual and Performing Arts Center with design firm Jaffe Holden, where Masque Sound will work as a sub-contractor under Ferguson Electric. The team looks forward to working with Ben Bausher again as it provides equipment for a proscenium theater, concert hall and recording studio. Additionally, Masque Sound is currently working with the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) on upgrading their sound system, with an expected install completion date of early fall. NJIT is one of the nation’s leading public technological universities.
About Masque Sound
Founded in 1936 by a trio of Broadway stagehands, Masque Sound evolved into one of NYC’s most successful theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design companies specializing in theatrical, house of worship, sporting, corporate, TV broadcast and live concert events. Celebrating more than 75 years in the industry, the company is lead by Geoff Shearing, the firm’s 3rd generation owner, and Vice President and General Manager Stephanie Hansen. The company also operates Florida-based Professional Wireless Systems, a leader in the development and implementation of wireless technology. Credits range from major Broadway shows and tours including “Phantom of the Opera,” “Mamma Mia!,” “Lion King,” “Jersey Boys,” “Memphis,” “The Book of Mormon,” “Newsies” and “Once” to yearly Super Bowl broadcasts and installations of varying sizes, including New York’s New Victory Theater and historic St. Bartholomew’s Church. Masque Sound’s 70,000 sq. ft. corporate headquarters and main assembly facility is located at 21 East Union Ave., East Rutherford, NJ, 20 minutes from midtown Manhattan. For more information, call (201) 939-8666 or visit www.MasqueSound.com.