Phase 2: Acoustical System

Constellation _title _page

Meyer Sound Constellation Acoustical System

Thanks to the efforts of the capital campaign donors, fundraisers by Performing Arts Center Resident Artist Teams (PAC RATs) and Alumni, OCCA Board, staff and volunteers, capital campaign committee and Newport Symphony Orchestra, Phase 2 was completed in March of 2014. 

The Newport Performing Arts Center (PAC) is the first venue between San Francisco and Vancouver, BC to feature the Meyer Constellation Acoustical System. World-class acoustics at the touch of an iPad is what PAC audiences and performers experienced to critical acclaim during Constellation’s debut appearance in the Alice Silverman Theatre for the Newport Symphony Orchestra’s season-ending concerts at the end of March 2014.

OCCA hosted a Second Milestone Celebration following each concert to honor the many donors, businesses and fundraising performers that provided support for Phase 2.

Constellation offers a complete solution that allows the PAC to immediately alter the theatre’s acoustical signature and is uniquely configured to the Alice Silverman so it can be a concert hall for full orchestra one minute, and an intimate theatre for a solo dramatic performance the next. 

The system has settings to accommodate the large variety of genres that are performed on the 26-year-old stage.  The result is optimum acoustical characteristics for both the audience and the performers on stage.  At a musical concert, the listening experience has the enveloping warmth and resonance of a concert hall, while a play in the same space exhibits improved intelligibility. Musicians on stage hear themselves better, fostering superior ensemble performances. The PAC can now fill its schedule with a diverse mix of events and performances of all kinds.

“It is an electronic solution for what normally would be done with construction and architecture,” says Mark McConnell, Chair of the Capital Campaign Committee.  “You can make the room feel like you’re sitting in a 5,000-seat concert hall or a 300-seat small, intimate theatre without changing acoustic panels or shells.”

George Relles of Relles Sound Inc. in Eugene oversaw the acoustic enhancement project at the PAC.  Steve Ellison of Meyer Sound Inc. designed the installation and created the programming unique to the Alice Silverman space for the iPad controls.  

The OCCA and Capital Campaign Committee thank the Collins Foundation, Oregon Cultural Trust, Henry Lea Hillman, Jr. Foundation, Siletz Tribal Community Fund, Toyota Northwest/ Toby Murry Motors and the Autzen Foundation for their generous grants in support of Phase 2.

Meyer Constellation System Recognition

The end of March 2015 marked the first anniversary of the inauguration of the Meyer Constellation Acoustic System in the Newport Performing Arts Center, a part of the “Entertain the Future” capital campaign initiative. 
During the course of that year, the PAC has hosted several special Meyer workshops and demonstrations where people from across the state and beyond come to learn about and experience the Constellation System. 
The PAC has become a showcase for Constellation and is the only one on the West Coast north of San Francisco. What makes the Constellation so perfect for the PAC and its resident companies is its flexibility – Alice Silverman Theatre can adapt to the needs of different kinds of events, all controlled by an iPad.
Music critic Alex Ross lauded the Constellation System in the Feb. 23 issue of The New Yorker, calling it “the sonic equivalent of Photoshop.” Read the story at the OCCA box office or visit Some of the great halls in the world have the Constellation System; we’re in good company. 

Adam _flatt _conducting"The Performing Arts Center is a special venue on the coast. The planned improvements to the acoustics will help the sound bloom, and waft over the audience! It will take the hall from a lecture hall to a real performance space and create a more resonant vessel that will benefit all types of performances."

– Adam Flatt, Conductor, Newport Symphony Orchestra

Local Support Strong

Local supporters of Phase 2's planned acoustical system upgrade hosted fundraisers for the campaign at the Newport Performing Arts Center.

OMTA Winter SpotlightDonations were accepted at the Lincoln County chapter of the Oregon Music Teachers Association's annual Winter Spotlight concert, set for 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23 at the Newport Performing Arts Center. Titled "A Broadway Review 2nd Edition," the event featured members of OMTA, including Christine McKenney, Mary Lee Scoville, Jessica Treon and Rita Warton as well as student alumnus, Milo Graamans. Guest vocalists from the community included Stephan, Stuart Clausen, Brian Haggerty, Megan Walters, and Akia Woods.  Vickie Steen and Andy Lau added dancing to the program. Selections included a variety of songs from a wide range of shows.

Lady RizoAnother fundraiser came from a performance by the fabulous Lady Rizo, also known as Newport's own Amelia Zirin-Brown, at 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9 at the Newport Performing Arts Center. A “cabaret superstar” (New York Magazine) with “lusciously retro vocals” (Time Out New York), Lady Rizo has revived the genre, enchanting audiences across the U.S. and abroad with her dynamic voice and comedic, charismatic “caburlesque” performances. An “ardent champion of live entertainment” (New York Times), she won her first Grammy in January 2010 for a duet with world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma on his 2008 album "Songs of Joy & Peace," and has also performed with multi-platinum recording artist Moby.

Erica BrookhyserOn December 3, 2013 "Kaffee and Kuchen with Erica" featured Newport-raised professional opera singer Erica Brookhyser, who will share her experiences over coffee, tea and German pastries. Erica sings professionally with the Darmstadt Opera House in Darmstadt, Germany, and in Los Angeles. About the Newport Performing Arts Center, she says, “I owe a debt of gratitude to all of the people who are the PAC for always believing in me, my talent, and my dreams!"

Tribute to Jerry HermanOCCA presented "Broadway Superstars! A Tribute to Jerry Herman" on June 29 & June 30. The cast and musicians were made up of many of Newport's local favorites. Pete Theodore, Emil Katrina and Cole DeBecque, Stephanie Lilley, Akia Woods, Brian Haggerty, Justin Atkins, Megan Walters, Dona Lackey, Khlo Brateng, Sara Greene, and Sara Coxen collaborated with director/performer Stephan, accompanied by Ramona Martin and Milo Graamans on piano, Mary Lee Scoville on electronic keyboard, Rick LeDoux on percussion and Ron Green on bass. Long time Las Vegas musical conductor Howard Lackey led the performers through their tempos and harmonies to bring it all to fruition.

The Central Coast Chorale hosted "Anything Goes: A Tribute to Dave Brubeck" on May 5, 2013. Joining the vocalists on stage was vocal ensemble Women of Note singing one of Brubeck’s most famous compositions, “Take Five.” Mary Lee Scoville and Jessica Treon then performed two movements from Brubeck’s “Points on Jazz” for two pianos. Rounding out the concert was popular local jazz group Perpetua with guest instrumentalist John Bringetto. They performed several of Brubeck’s charts including “The Duke,”  “Tangerine,” “My Favorite Things,” and “In Your Own Sweet Way.”

Jazz _stars _reunion _photoThe Jazz Stars Reunion, a fundraising event and accompany silent auction, was held March 15, 2013. Hosted by Twylah Olson, with sponsorship from the Embarcadero and a group of local supporters, this “Reunion” featured the talents of Gene Diamond (vocals), Mel Brown (drums), John Bringetto (trumpet, saxophone, flute), Jim Hughart (bass), Yevette Stewart (guest vocalist) and Jof Lee (piano).