Bandit Lites was thrilled to once again provide the lighting for the 36th annual Stellar Awards, the Gospel event of the year. Filmed at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center and hosted by Gospel legend Tye Tribbett and multiple Stellar Award winner Jekalyn Carr, the night of sensational performance aired August 1 on BET and recognized the year’s best performances in the genre, as well as honored Gospel music icons and those who have been instrumental in advocating for the gospel industry.

Lighting designer Mark Carver assembled a lighting system comprised of nearly 220 fixtures including Elation Smarty Hybrids, Ayrton Ghiblis, Claypaky B-EYE K20, ROBE Spikie fixtures, Solaris Flares, GLP impression X4 and two grandMA2 full consoles.

“On this year’s Stellar Awards, we trying to go more for an elegant, stylized and yet contemporary look while complementing the natural architecture of the symphony hall,” said Carver.

Since the space is inspired by some of the world’s great concert hall, many of which were built in Europe in the late 19th century, Carver noted his design had to work around the limited rigging positions and weight limitations.

“We utilized the Aryton Ghibli for key and back light of the performers and also for overhead gobo texture,” said Carver. “We used the Elation Smarty Hybrids for beam effects and for air gobo effects for texture and dimension, and B-EYES for color toning and camera eye candy adding depth in the backgrounds.”

For audience light and color toning in the room, Carver used the GLP impression X4 while the ROBE Spikies provided beam effects and filled the negative spaces in off stage areas.

Performances for the evening included Jonathan McReynolds, J.J. Hairston, Maverick City Music, Pastor Mike Jr., Tamela Mann, Jason Clayborn, Hezekiah Walker, CeCe Winans as well as The Clark Sisters, Yolanda Adams, Kierra Sheard and Avery*Sunshine.

“I had a couple of favorite moments,” Carver shared. “Maverick City Music had a great performance of Jirah and I felt our look worked well with their song. Ce Ce Winans also had a fantastic performance and look as well as Tamela Mann.”

“It’s great to see the Stellar Awards return to Nashville and it’s always a pleasure to work with Central City Productions as the producers of this awards show,” said Bandit Lites Vice President Mike Golden. “Schermerhorn Symphony Hall is a beautiful building with certain rigging and load in challenges, but with the leadership of Mark and Luke Carver, the entire event came off perfectly. Mark drew on his previous experiences at Schermerhorn to produce an amazing and ambitious design. Coupled with that, upon learning the programming and direction would be coming from our friends Brian Jenkins and Tony Fransen, I knew the Stellar Awards were in very good hands.”

“Mike Golden and Don Lockridge provided an excellent system, meeting spec to one hundred percent,” praised Carver. “Scott Sepe, Vanessa Sexton and Wayne Lotoza worked so very hard with our gaffer Luke Carver to get the show loaded in and kept the system at 100% with great attitudes and attention the whole way. Programming and light direction was provided by Brian Jenkins and media programming provided by Tony Fransen created the awesome visual looks.”

Photo credits: Vanessa Sexton.

November 2023 issue

2023 A1 Buyers Guide