Earthworks Press Release: Earthworks Mics Capture Singing Tree

Thursday, 5th December 2013

Highland Baptist Church utilizes 22 Earthworks High Definition Microphones™ for Singing Christmas Tree Performance

Meridian, MS (December 3, 2013)—Franklin Denham, Minister of Music at Highland Baptist Church in Meridian, Mississippi, has been conducting Singing Christmas Tree performances since 1985. The history of singing trees goes back to the outdoor presentations in 1933 at Belhaven College, Jackson, MS, which is considered the first and oldest outdoor Singing Christmas Tree event in America. At the time, indoor performances were rare, as it required a rather large church to accommodate this type of performance. All of the tree performances at Highland Baptist Church have been continually held indoors and are performed 6 times each year. Over the past 29 years, there have been approximately 2,800 attendees per season. Depending upon the year, there will be from 65 to over 100 singers on the tree. It stands 35 feet high, with nine rows of singers and weighs 21,000 pounds fully loaded.

"Over the years, we had used conventional condenser microphones for sound reinforcement on the tree," explained Denham. "About four years ago, we converted to Earthworks and placed 16 SR30 High Definition Microphones on the tree. The Earthworks microphones make 60 singers sound more like a hundred, and we are able to get more gain before feedback. This allows us to bring the choir sound up to a level that will balance well with our 21-piece orchestra and organ."

The choir begins each program singing on risers directly behind the orchestra. For these selections, Denham utilizes four Earthworks FW730 Flexwands. "The Flexwands provide us excellent coverage of the choir," said Denham. "The rear rejection of the Flexwands keeps the leakage of the orchestra into the choir microphones at a bare minimum. The Flexwands are almost invisible from the congregation when the house lights are up. When house lights are dimmed, the Flexwands become completely unnoticeable."

"I would also like to mention that we have an Earthworks PM40 PianoMic, which is just stellar. We use a few extra SR30s for solo instruments. The recent addition of an Earthworks podium microphone allows us to hear the spoken word with incredible detail and clarity either on, or off-axis," added Denham.

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