TFWM: Can you tell us a bit about your background?
Terry Taylor: Where to begin? In my Colorado Springs neighborhood there were four other drummers besides me. Three of them were better than me – OK, four – so I traded in my drum kit for a bass. That forever sealed my destiny to join the live entertainment and music world. I joined a band that bought all of its own gear. We would set up our sound and lights every week, and that was my introduction to live production. This was back in the ‘80s when large par can rigs ruled the lighting scene.
In the ‘90s I went to school for electrical engineering and found “real” work. I also met my wife and got saved. In 1998 I was asked to join the technical staff at New Life Church (Colorado Springs) where I worked as the lighting director/designer, board operator, etc. until 2007. Now I get to work with churches across the country and help many others with their lighting.
TFWM: You were hired by Wybron to look after the worship market specifically. What does your position entail?
Taylor: My position is unique because I do much more than sell gear. I help churches with many of their decisions about lighting, from design to installation. That includes sometimes setting up equipment and programming lighting consoles. It’s part of our commitment at Wybron to give the very best customer service we can. And if that means I need to go to Chicago or somewhere else and walk someone through the lighting jungle, then that’s what I do.
I also attend conferences and trade shows to make myself available to people who have questions about Wybron’s product line or just want to talk about lighting in general.
TFWM: What in your opinion is the most important lesson you can impart to house of worship lighting techs?
Taylor: You can create really good lighting with the simplest of tools. Master the basics by learning about fixture placement, illumination, and use of color. The latest equipment isn’t necessarily going to get you better lighting if you overlook the fundamentals. Also, if you’re responsible for the lighting, be your own best critic. Don’t wait for the pastor to tell you the lights are hitting the video screen.
TFWM: What upcoming educational initiatives are you involved with at Wybron?
Taylor: This October I’ll be speaking at LDI about using color to enhance worship services (as part of the Technologies for Worship Conference). I’m really looking forward to that because I think color is important to the house of worship market. It’s so easy to introduce color, even into the most traditional and conservative sanctuaries.
I’m also hosting the church lighting designer Q&A panel at LDI, and that’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m lining up a great bunch of LDs from across the country to answer questions specific to house of worship lighting.
TFWM: Does the house of worship market division of Wybron have plans to expand?
Taylor: We’re developing ways to make stage lighting as easy as possible, especially since many churches use volunteers to run their services.