K College puts ETC at the head of the class

ETC dealer Northern Light recently finished a technical installation at the newly refurbished and renamed K College in Tonbridge, Kent, UK (formerly West Kent College).

The college is undergoing an £86 million ($134 million) regeneration project in which it is modernizing its facilities and building a flagship college in Southeast England. One of the first new buildings to be built includes a multipurpose performing arts facility, specified by Arup Theatre Consulting and installed by Northern Light with loose equipment supplied by Stage Electrics.

Steve Myers, project manager for Northern Light, says: “Northern Light has a long history of both working with Arup Theatre Consulting and of carrying out technical fit-outs in educational establishments – we completed more than 1,000 installations in schools, colleges and universities. ETC dimming and control systems work extremely well in a facility of this size.”

The college’s technical manager Ian Gobel explains: “We had a good idea of what was required, but Arup, when they were asked to specify the exact equipment, drew up a technical master plan. I then went to PLASA with a group of students to visit the stands of the manufacturers who had been listed – which meant I could get a demonstration of all the lighting and sound equipment. Coming from a sound background, it’s good to be able to talk to product managers to actually establish that the equipment will do what I want.

At the ETC stand, we were shown the Ion® lighting desk and given a full demonstration of the sort of things it can do by the controls product manager, which meant we could ask as many questions as we needed. They showed me how easy it would be to get started.

“We got an ETC Unison® Paradigm® lighting management which connects to the Ion and also has button stations around the facility so that lighting can be controlled from a number of different places. It made sense to have ETC Sensor® dimming as well, to ensure best compatibility between the different systems.”

Consultant Alex Wardle of Arup adds: “The ETC Ion desk was most definitely the right desk for the venue, which will mostly be used for theater performances and ‘go button’ style of programming. Eos is rapidly taking over as industry standard for UK theaters, so it makes sense for students to learn this platform.

“We didn't manage to get lighting bridges above the auditorium, but instead managed to earmark a reasonable budget for automated luminaires. ETC Sensor was the most sensible dimmer choice: robust, reliable and modular.”


K College, Tonbridge, Kent, UK

Product List


“The ETC Ion desk was most definitely the right desk for the venue, which will mostly be used for theater performances and ‘go button’ style of programming. Eos is rapidly taking over as industry standard for UK theaters, so it makes sense for students to learn this platform.”
-- Alex Wardle, consultant, Arup Theatre Consulting

Other Educational Installations

Helena Middle School, MontanaThe rigging system in Helena Middle School’s 1,065-seat theater was in need of major repair to ensure safety. It had rope rigging equipment with original wood blocks that dated back to the 1930’s, five counterweight systems with wire guides from the 1950’s, and12 motorized yo-yo-style winches that had been installed in the 1970’s. Some parts of the system were even handmade. While the theater and its equipment had been well maintained through the years, the equipment no longer met current industry standards and posed potential safety hazards. ETC Prodigy® motorized hoists brought the theater up to code and provided safe, affordable and compact rigging solutions.
View this installation >

Lambeth College, London, UKA Further Education college in south-west London has become the first European recipient of ETC Unison Paradigm, ETC’s architectural control system.
View this installation >

Morpeth School, London, UKThe Morpeth School, in London’s less well off Tower Hamlets area, specializes in arts and music. The school recently received a financial boost with a £13.5m ($26 million) grant from the local authority, which led to a complete rebuilding program. As part of that rebuild, the school has a new performing arts block -- including three drama studios and a theater that doubles as an assembly hall.
View this installation >

Decio Theater, University of Notre DameThe Patricia George Decio Theater in the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center upgraded to ETC’s brand-new Unison Paradigm architectural lighting control system in June 2008. The Paradigm processor controls the house and lobby lights at the Decio and, for rehearsal, work and tour situations, also interfaces with the Decio’s ETC Expression™ system to enact preset configurations of the stage lights. The 350-seat Decio is the proscenium theater of the five-venue DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, which opened in 2004.
View this installation >

University of California, Berkeley, CAZellerbach Playhouse at the University of California, Berkeley, recently underwent a $1.1 million lighting systems renovation — a long-awaited project that equips the school's technical theater program with the latest tools of the trade, including state-of-the-art controls, dimming, distribution and fixtures by ETC.
View this installation >

Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PAMuhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, is a small liberal arts college with a strong technical theater program. For 15 years, Muhlenberg used ETC’s Expression®-family control consoles to handle their stage lighting. With a performance-heavy schedule, and tech students testing their lighting design know-how on a variety of shows, Muhlenberg has now graduated to ETC’s new Ion®.
View this installation >

H2O, Fort Worth, TXThe Disney Channel’s blockbuster original movie High School Musical has become a phenomenon across the country and is creating more buzz with its live version, High School Musical: On Stage, with more than 1500 grade schools and high schools showing interest in staging the production. Disney selected two high schools in Fort Worth, Texas, to perform the musical to be filmed and featured in a ‘docu-musical’ – called High School Musical: The Music in You – airing this fall as part of a public affairs initiative in association with the NAMM Foundation, a non-profit organization that advocates for musical education. To support the schools and the work of NAMM, ETC donated the lighting equipment for the production.
View this installation >

Novosibirsk State Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet (NSATOB), Novosibirsk, RussiaThe Novosibirsk State Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet (NSATOB) is the biggest theater complex in Russia, a whopping 670,000-square-feet larger than the Bolshoi (Big) Theater in Moscow. It is also now one of the most technologically advanced in the country thanks to a recent $5.6 million government grant for renovation.
View this installation >

MTSU, Murfreesboro, TNAs universities and academic performing arts centers employ increasingly sophisticated lighting rigs, they need powerful lighting consoles to control them. And consoles themselves become essential learning tools within the curricula of lighting-design and theater-technology programs. Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) is among the most recent schools to add ETC’s new Eos lighting control system to its program.
View this installation >