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Belmont Students Gain Insight into Industry with Bandit Lites

USA – Belmont University recently held its annual Battle of the Belmont Bands, an event that features an entirely student run production. Open to any current, full-time Belmont students, the Battle of the Belmont Bands and Showcase Series works with up-and-coming student talent, both on and off the stage. As a partner in the Showcase Series for well over a decade, Bandit Lites offers insight to students about the mechanics of what it takes to light a production, from planning and preproduction, to load in and load out.

Lucas Boto, Belmont’s Curb College co-ordinator of sound reinforcement and live events noted the value of providing students a professional setting such as Bandit Lites to learn practical skills that bridges educational growth to potential career paths.

“Access to cutting edge equipment is fantastic and appreciated, but without the relational planning process provided by Bandit, students would not have the opportunity to get a real-world experience,” he said. “As a result, our students are able to learn the skills needed to immediately move into a well-paying production job after graduation.”

Belmont student Cameron Scott designed the lighting rig for August 25th Battle of the Belmont Bands and designed a rig that would stand out even in the Nashville summer sunshine and offer enough versatility for the range of acts.

Scott used a variety of movers for his rig, with Bandit Lites supplying Robe Pointes on downstage truss for audience lighting and spinning gobo effects, Elation ACL 360 Bars, Claypaky Sharpys atop vertical trusses for movement, Martin Mac 101s for backlighting and effects along with Bandit’s exclusive GRNLite Moving Washes and Pars for a stage wash. A grandMA2 Ultralite provided control.

“My favourite fixtures on the rig were the ACL 360 Bars which could spin 360 degrees and pan left and right,” Scott said. “I had several positions saved for these on the console so I could push a button and they would spin in unison. One of my favourite things to do was turn the LED bars vertical at the start of a chorus or drop. Any other fixtures were on the stage floor and mostly stayed in a fixed position.”

In addition to access to gear and the shop, Scott also elaborated on how learning to network in a professional environment, from communicating as a team leader to working under pressure as a first-time lighting director.

“I was blown away by how supportive and patient Brent Barrett (business development officer) and Jimmy Hatten (project manager) were with me,” he said. “They enthusiastically answered every question I had, treated me with the upmost respect and kindness even though I was an absolute beginner, and they made the experience extremely gratifying.”

“Bandit has had the honour of being involved with the Belmont Showcase Series since the spring of 2005 where we have watched the series constantly develop and evolve to better meet the needs of the students,” said Barrett. “It is a programme that all of us at Bandit are proud to have the opportunity to be a part of. Our goal is to give the students a real-world experience in our industry; we want the LDs to learn the importance of being flexible in accomplishing their designs and also realise that fixture types and counts are not the only considerations in the hitting the budget number, but also the importance of a professional approach and interaction with the vendor.”

“Several people at Bandit took the time to set up the whole rig in the warehouse so that I could come in to program, which showed that they go above and beyond,” finished Scott. “When show day came around, Bandit’s John Lucksinger and Sam Morgan were equally as supportive, respectful and kind. Things ran very smoothly thanks to their hard work and I could not be more grateful for everyone at Bandit who made it possible.”

Belmont’s dedication to its students is apparent in its efforts to present them with every opportunity to prepare for life outside of school, including supporting programs like the Showcase Series.

“Without the support of industry veteran and dean of the Curb College, Doug Howard, as well as the institutional support from Dr. Fisher (president) and Dr. Burns (provost), we wouldn’t be able to sustain such an immersive and impactful educational programme,” finished Boto. “The support from within Belmont alongside our valued industry partners are what make these student opportunities possible.”

13th September 2018

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