Author: Ross Scrymgeour, Director of Advancement PAC
Prince Alfred College’s main assembly, presentation and performing arts centre, The ANZAC Hall, has undergone a massive upgrade recently. The newly renovated facility now bears little internal resemblance to The Assembly Hall, as it was known at that time, opened by the state governor of the time, Lieutenant General Sir Edric Montague Bastyan, in September 1963. The hall was renamed ‘ANZAC Hall’ in 2010, at the same time as Piper Pavilion was opened.
College Headmaster, Bradley Fenner says, ‘the re-opening of the ANZAC Hall is a highly significant development for PAC, providing us with a state-of-the-art auditorium for assemblies, musical and theatrical performances, lectures, meetings and other functions. With upgraded seating, lighting, sound, AV equipment and stage area, this is a special space for the school to gather and celebrate the achievements and performances of our students. This all helps greatly in building the culture and spirit of our College.
As briefly outlined by Mr Fenner above, key structural improvements made during the upgrade include: an enlarged proscenium and stage area, large side and above stage baffles to improve sound projection, a new sprung stage floor and new theatre style fixed seating, both at ground and mezzanine levels. Vast improvement in the audio-visual capabilities of the venue has come about through the installation of a comprehensive digital audio system and robotic LED lights, which are both automated and programmable. Three HD laser projectors now also project onto the entire back wall of the stage area and on the walls on either side of the proscenium. A high quality remote controlled camera, feeds directly to the projectors and has also been equipped to provide live streaming capability.
College Audio-Visual Manager, Dan Woolford, believes the recent expansion of the stage area and upgrade of lighting and sound, makes the ANZAC Hall (arguably) one of the top presentation venues in South Australia.
It was perhaps fitting that one of the first performances on the new stage was the College’s Big Band 1 (BB1), fresh from their recent successes at the Generations in Jazz (GIJ) event, held in Mount Gambier. Awards gained over the weekend event included; six members of BB1 being named in the GIJ Division 1 Superband (more members than any other school), Trumpeter Jack Wu winning the ‘James Morrison Golden Mouthpiece Lead Trumpet’ award, the BB1 rhythm section won the ‘Best Rhythm Section in Big Bands’, BB1 Director Lizzie Gregory being awarded ‘Best Band Director’ and BB1 being named the overall winners of Division One for the first time!
Director of Performing Arts, Paula Little, who also had much input into this upgrade says, ‘we are excited to begin working in the beautifully modernised ANZAC Hall. The new performance space on the stage offers so much scope for future works. It builds on many years of history at PAC, offering more freedom of expression and providing audiences with a greater range of theatre experiences. Blackout curtains along the glazed walkways will enable the space to be darkened even during the day whilst the upgraded seating will provide better comfort and accessibility. Acoustic treatment in the form of pivoting panels on the stage floor will assist in sound projection, while the best the industry has to offer in audio-visual technology will enhance every performance, ceremony and presentation given in this space. The fully sprung dance floor will allow for safer choreography.
Over the past few years, the Performing Arts at PAC has continued to grow its artistic output and the demands on our facilities behind the scenes have grown too. This new space will match the standard of work done across all areas of Arts and we hope that our audiences will enjoy the new amenities we have to offer’.
The Princes Players are proud to present Bugsy Malone in the Hall from 19th-21st June, 2019; come and enjoy the show!
Director of Advancement