Jake Vernum, one of the UK’s youngest LDs, is the 12-year-old son of Pearce Hire’s owner Shaun Pearce. He independently designed and programmed the lightshow for his school’s production of Grease the Musical on an Avolites Pearl 2004 console.

Pearce Hire sponsored a lighting rig for the show at Orton Longuevile School, Peterborough, incorporating 10 Martin MAC 500s, two MAC 600s, a Martin Destroyer, several PAR 64, 32 and 16 lanterns, two-cell moles, and a Jem hazer with fan.

Vernum has always spent a lot of time with his father on events and in the company’s Peterborough premises. Being popular with all the staff, he has been able to watch and learn and has clearly an aptitude to pick things up very quickly.

Father Shaun says, “Jake’s taught himself the Pearl since Christmas, spending around three days in the warehouse working it all out. He then had two weeks in his bedroom with a MAC 550, blinding the neighbors, while other kids contented themselves with Scalextric or Hornby. He then had the evenings of the week before the show for on site programming. I’m very proud of the level of proficiency he’s achieved.”

Avolites’ Steve Warren adds, "This is an inspiring story. It makes Avolites as proud as his father and brings back memories of the first time my daughter Florence controlled fixtures with a Pearl. I would love to see Jake in Avo for further training, and we are currently also arranging training for the children of Screenco’s Mike Walker and LD Nick Jevons, so it’s great to keep the family traditions going!"