During the summer of 1955, a small group of Edina residents discussed the need for a local Presbyterian church. Initially, they met in homes and planned the first worship service. In1956, groundbreaking ceremonies took place. The congregation numbered 283. Now, nearly 60 years after the formation, under current Sr. Pastor John Crosby, the membership of Christ Presbyterian Church has swelled to more than 5,000. During the course of a typical week, over 2,000 adults and students attend worship services and programming on Sunday mornings and evenings, Wednesday nights, and Saturday evenings.
With a large congregation representing a broad range of ages and backgrounds, the church currently hosts both contemporary (Saturday evening and Sunday morning) and traditional (early Sunday morning) worship services at different times each weekend in their main sanctuary. The same speaker delivers the sermon at each of the three services. There are different musicians and instruments for each type of service. Contemporary services typically involve 8 to 10 musicians featuring a variety of instruments and musical styles. For the traditional services, the worship music features hymns, organ, choirs, soloists, and various other instrumental music as well.
The 1,000-seat main sanctuary at Christ Presbyterian Church recently upgraded its sound system thanks to the dedicated efforts of REACH Communications (Champlin, MN). A NEXO GEO S12 line array was chosen, and the configuration consists of four GEO S1210 and one S1230 for the main hang, two GEO S1210, one per hang for sides along with four GEO S1230s, two per hang, per side. REACH also added four of the new NEXO GEO M620s for front fill along with ten PS8s for under balcony fill. Three NXAmp 4×4 and two 4×1 amplifiers power the system with five NXDT104 controllers.
“REACH Communications completed a masterful install of the NEXO GEOS12 line array system, states David Hammond, Director of Creative Worship. The Sanctuary at Christ Presbyterian Church was originally designed by Tushie Montgomery Architects and completed in 1998, and the room was designed to reflect a Bostonian colonial architecture with soaring vaulted ceilings, plenty of natural light and clean white lines.”
Director Hammond said the original design presented huge aesthetic challenges in creating a new audio system. “The old system was literally falling apart and in desperate need of replacement, says Hammond. It was a 3-cluster trap system that left many “holes” in coverage throughout the room and balcony. REACH engineers were able to use NEXO modeling software to achieve remarkable coverage throughout the entire room. The level of clarity was like night and day. In addition, the new system with NEXO RS15 Ray Subs gave us the full-bodied low end that had been completely lacking. Everything from traditional choral numbers to driving pop tunes at high decibels sounds really amazing. And, the aesthetics of the new system are actually improved. The new arrays are slightly smaller than the old ones and look fantastic. We couldn’t be happier with the REACH install team and NEXO system components.”
According to Brad Van Voorst, Project Leader for Reach Communications during this installation, the NEXO GEO S12 product family was the clear choice from the beginning to fulfill this project. “The NEXO family was chosen for a variety of reasons for this particular project. The room is a highly reverberant space that really benefits from the low frequency pattern control that a true line array offers as well as the consistent phase response between the different models within the NEXO family. Being able to smoothly transition from the GEO S12 array to the M6 front-fills and the PS8 under-balcony fills was an important feature. Dante integration in the NX Amps kept the entire signal chain digital, which helps to reduce the overall noise floor. Speakers with a white finish were necessary, given the traditional décor of the room.”
Van Voorst adds that the results lived up fully to the design goals. “The system serves well for both traditional and contemporary services. The system performs great at any level and is consistent even as the level is pushed, with contemporary services running in the mid 90dBA range. The flown RS15 array was a later alteration during the design process, given that subs for the previous system were under the stage and the aesthetics of the flown subs were a question mark in terms of being visually suitable for the room. Being able to fly them behind the main array helped to hide them a bit as well as keeping the acoustical time alignment as close as possible, requiring very little digital time alignment. Overall, the visual appearance of the system looks great in the room, with a very clean look that fits extremely well in this formal space.”
Last year, prior to the NEXO installation, REACH installed a Yamaha CL5 Digital Audio console with two Rio3224-D input/output boxes in the sanctuary. During the recent NEXO installation, a BSS London BLU806 was added to the system, so that Dante networking can run directly from the CL5 to the BLU806 and then out to the NEXO amps. A Waves Server One and Waves plug-in package was also added as part of the recent install.