UK - Another year has flown by, and it's time to start nominations for the Technical Theatre Awards 2015.

The nomination period is now open on the new website - head to www.technicaltheatreawards.com now to put your colleagues forward.

Says the organisation, "We have a great year planned ahead, including streamlining the voting process and bringing together a committee of industry leaders to finalise our shortlists.

"We are also heading to Europe for Stage|Set|Scenery, as well as our annual visits to PLASA Focus and the ABTT Trade Show.

"Our awards ceremony will b

Italy - The show Illusion, with several Salamanders from Le Maitre entertained visitors at the Rainbow MagicLand in Valmontone close to Rome throughout the summer 2014.

The attraction combines music, fantasy and projection. With hundreds of lights installed on the fountains and special effects enhancing the show, Illusion had nine dancers interacting with the fountains and the projections.

One of the world's leading companies for aquatic shows and an internationally renowned video designer participated in the realisation of this show.

Mr. Bonsanti, technical representative at Magi

USA - 48 of Robe's LEDWash 1200s are in action on the current Garth Brooks US tour, specified by the country megastar's longstanding LD Dave Butzler, and purchased specially by leading rental house Bandit Lites. Brooks - whose staggering popularity continues to pack out arenas - has released his first studio album in 13 years Man Against Machine to coincide with the tour.

Butzler explained that Brooks was fully involved in creating the stage design, and while he wanted to wow the crowds for this one, he wanted to keep the music - rather than the production - centre stage. To sa

USA - NBC Network News relies on six of API's A2Ds when filming popular news programmes such as Morning Joe, The Today Show, and Nightly News with Lester Holt in their Los Angeles studio.

The six A2D mic pre amps are put to work all day long, and are used in both the Newsroom Set and Studio W or Studio West. Audio engineer Stan Ouse explains, "The backdrop of the Newsroom Set is a functioning news room. In Studio W we support all of the NBC networks and we do shows and live shots all throughout the day. For example, last week we did Hardball with the host plu

UK - Martin Manufacturing UK has been crowned champion of skills investment at the Semta Skills Awards 2015. Martin Manufacturing UK, which employs 48 people in Louth and makes a range of smoke boxes for the entertainments' industry, won the SME Investment in Skills category, sponsored by Pera Training.

They were presented with the award at a gala dinner in London's Park Plaza, Riverbank at an event hosted by TV presenter Michael Underwood and where Minister of State for Business, Enterprise and Energy, Matthew Hancock, gave the keynote address.

Jason Andrews, general manager of Mar

Germany / China - HK Audio has further strengthened its position in the Chinese pro audio market by signing a distribution contract with Algam China.

The new deal, which was signed at the recent ISE 2015 show in Amsterdam, is effective from March 1 2015 and will see Algam China focusing on building HK Audio's presence in the growing Chinese MI sector using the Lucas, Elements, Premium PR:O, Pulsar, Linear 5 and SoundCaddy ranges.

Shenzhen Melody will also continue to distribute HK Audio across China, with an emphasis on installation products.

François Lay, HK Audio's internationa

UK - Armour Pro has announced that Audica is to review its UK sales, appointing Audiologic as a distributor for sales to installers and integrators of its commercial audio systems.

Simon Stoll, managing director of Harlow-based Audiologic said, "We have always been impressed by Audica's combination of impressive sound quality and superb styling, and are delighted to be able to bring this to our installation customers. Audica complements our portfolio and is a brand that undoubtedly strengthens our profile in respect of the retail sector."

"Our business model has chang

Italy - The show Illusion, with several Salamanders from Le Maitre entertained visitors at the Rainbow MagicLand in Valmontone close to Rome throughout the summer 2014.

The attraction combines music, fantasy and projection. With hundreds of lights installed on the fountains and special effects enhancing the show, Illusion had nine dancers interacting with the fountains and the projections.

One of the world's leading companies for aquatic shows and an internationally renowned video designer participated in the realisation of this show.

Mr. Bonsanti, technical representative at Magi

Czech Republic - Robe welcomed 13 students and two lecturers - Phil Hughes and Clive Davies - from the University of South Wales, Glamorgan, to its HQ and factory in Valasské Mezirici, Czech Republic, all from the BSc Honours Lighting Design & Technology and Live Event Technology courses.

The trip was co-ordinated by Robe UK's sales director Ian W Brown with USW course leader Stuart Green, and it has become an annual date on the calendar. As usual, it was also completely over-subscribed, so the number of applicants had to be whittled down to those who would be likely to benefit

Qatar - W-DMX by Wireless Solution and lighting fixtures by Griven are now on display on one of Qatar's premier five-star hotels - the Sheraton Doha Hotel & Resort. This hotel structure has been a landmark in Doha for more than 30 years, so when it was time for renovation, every detail was considered to bring the building up to the highest technological standards while still maintaining its original look and charm.

In addition to the interior, the upgrade involved the exterior lighting design of the hotel that would not only enhance the waterfront skyline but the three-sided pyramid s

USA - Located in the rural Illinois town of Carlinville, Blackburn College serves six hundred undergraduates. Its work programme keeps costs low and campus community involvement high by employing students in a range of non-traditional student jobs under the direction of professionals, for nine of the campus's 16 buildings.

A recent $3m upgrade to the 430-seat Bothwell Auditorium continued that tradition, with the student construction crew providing much of the labour. Amid a range of new infrastructure is a new sound reinforcement system centred on Danley Sound Labs loudspeakers and s

The Netherlands - The Theater de Flint, in Amersfoort is a renowned performing arts theatre, hosting a variety of musicals, dance, cabaret and classical ensembles throughout the year. As a venue with more than sufficient space to host conferences, exhibitions, trade shows and other public events, the theatre recently shut its doors for a complete overhaul of the foyers, restaurants and other public areas in order to bring more flexibility to the space.

As a result of the renovation which also included an upgrading of new intelligent light armatures, the theatre's technicians, Flint Sj

UK - EM Acoustics has announced the appointment of Pro Audio Systems as a main dealer. The Bradford-based company is well-known for its work both in the UK and overseas in sales, installations and hire, handling a diverse portfolio of projects for local authorities, high-profile retail clients, theatres, houses of worship and education. Their independence and focus on delivering best-case solutions was a key factor in the appointment.

"Our business is really based on delivering bespoke solutions that have to meet both budgetary and operational criteria," explained PAS sales

Greece - The National Bank of Greece in Stadiou Street is located in the former building of the first Athens Stock Market. The beautiful neoclassical structure, has an impressive interior and many renaissance features.

Constructed in 1890, the building provides the National Bank of Greece with a cultural venue for exhibitions, events, presentations and meetings. To service this multi-purpose usage, the bank needed audio of the highest quality and vocal intelligibility, and commissioned Athens-based Automation Broadcasting Audio Security (A.B.A.S.) to design and install the system.

K

South Africa - Within just six hours of ticket sales opening, the Pretoria leg of the show Afrikaans is Groot was sold out. The Cape Town leg followed suite with its three performances selling out by the end of that day. With artists like Juanita Du Plessis, Theuns Jordaan, Steve Hofmeyr, Bobby van Jaarsveld, Bok van Blerk, Robbie Wessels, Lianie May, Karlien van Jaarsveld, Jay, Riana Nel, Jannie Moolman, Arno Jordaan, Jak de Priester, Corlea Botha, EDEN, Dewald Wasserfall and more, the show promised to be a hit.

Featuring this amount of talent meant that the set and production

UK - Lighting designer Louis Oliver of Okulus has used an array of Showline SL NITRO 510C fixtures as part of his colour-rich and punchy lighting design for You Me At Six's UK arena tour.

Specifying 29 of the powerful LED units from Zig Zag Lighting, Oliver rigged 18 on spines of truss in the air. Eleven of the strobes also made up his floor package upstage, where they lined the bottom of the vast video screen.

"I really like the SL NITRO 510C, it's my LED strobe of choice," says Oliver. "My design for this show was very video-heavy, however the units held their own a

UK - The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) has confirmed the quality and standards of provision at Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance following its review in November 2014.

A team of QAA reviewers visited Rose Bruford College and judged that its academic standards, the quality and enhancement of its student learning opportunities, and the quality of information about its learning opportunities all meet UK expectations.

The review identified a number of examples of good practice. These include the excellent arrangements for students to engage in profess

USA - Industry leaders from around the world descended into Nashville 21 February for the 26th Annual Pollstar Awards, where Bandit Lites received its 22nd Lighting Company of the Year Award.

Hosted by comedian Ralphie May, the Pollstar Awards occur during Pollstar Live and celebrates the music industry's movers and shakers. This year's event took place at the historic Ryman Auditorium, which was also awarded Theatre of the Year.

Bandit chair and founder, Michael T. Strickland accepted the award, crediting Bandit's wildly successful year to both its employees and clients, and dedica

Finland - Kullervo, Op. 7, is a suite of symphonic movements by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. Although often referred to as a "choral symphony", the work avoids traditional symphonic structure, and its five movements constitute a set of related but independent tone poems.

Based on the character of Kullervo in the epic poem Kalevala and using texts from that poem, the work premiered to critical acclaim on 28 April 1892. Now lighting, screen and set designer Miki Kunttu has given the work, currently being performed at the Finnish National Opera, Helsinki, a com

World Music - De La Soul will be the headline act at this year's Womad, the festival's organisers have announced. Other highlights at the world music festival will include Tinariwen and folk music band Bellowhead. Festival director, Chris Smith said: "I'm really excited about De La Soul, hip hop is a big thing for Womad." Last year the event sold out for the first time since it relocated from Reading in 2007 to Charlton Park near Malmesbury, Wiltshire.

Hearing Health - People should listen to music for no more than one hour a day to protect their hearing, the World He

The Netherlands - As a way to better serve the Dutch market, ETC is changing their sales structure in the Netherlands from a distributor based model to a dealer based model. That means that beginning on 1 March 2014, a sales structure will be set up where ETC will handle promotions and sell through a dealer network.

Lightco Nederland B.V. has been ETC's distributor for many years and has done great work promoting ETC. However, ETC's continued growth and product family expansions make it a challenge for distributors to promote the complete ETC product portfolio. "It's a very big j

UK / Germany - AED Distribution, the exclusive distributor of QSC Pro Audio in Germany and the UK since 1 November 2014, has taken its first steps in building a QSC Pro Audio retail network in those countries. Partnering with selected dealers that are specialised in QSC's product portfolio of speakers, amplifiers and digital mixers, the company has officially appointed Leisuretec in the UK and Starpoint in Germany.

"Our selected dealer network allows us to redefine the local QSC Pro Audio market and the presence of the QSC brand in these two countries," says Kenneth Bremer,

Israel - You would expect an impressive and memorable show to accompany the launch of the newest and largest expo hall in the Middle East ... and that was exactly the brief received by lighting designer Eran Klein of Tel Aviv based creative design practice Cochavi & Klein from show producers The Gallery.

Eran rose to the occasion, adding a generous helping of his visual magic to the occasion assisted by around 160 Robe moving lights - including 28 x BMFL Spots, 36 x MMX Spots, 24 x LEDWash 1200s, 54 x Pointes, 16 x MMX WashBeams and 16 x LEDBeam100s.

The gala opening show, directed

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