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Auditorio de Tenerife are Delighted with Their New Wenger Diva shell

Auditorio de Tenerife

The Auditorio de Tenerife is delighted with its new Wenger Diva acoustic shell

Auditorio de Tenerife - Wenger Diva full-stage acoustic shell ©Auditorio de Tenerife/Miguel Barreto

In September 2019 Black Cat Music supplied a Wenger Diva full-stage acoustic shell to the Auditorio de Tenerife. The shell, installed with the help of Wenger’s specialist installation team, has absolutely delighted the Auditorio, making a significant improvement both in terms of acoustics and in terms of operational processes.

Jorge Cabrera, technical production head of Auditorio de Tenerife, states that “the new Wenger Diva Acoustic Shell means for our venue one important improvement in terms of an acoustic performance, amazing esthetic and optimal stage operational working processes."

He also praises that the shell is “highly flexible, with its 8 possible specific configurations, from a piano soloist or a chamber orchestra to full orchestras & full choral formations”. “We have reduced 30% the setting up time, and obtained maximun optimization of storaging areas, and operational spaces”, he states.

Alice Dagger, Managing Director of Black Cat Music & Acoustics, reports: “We are thrilled with the success of this project, and so pleased that the shell has made a significant improvement to the acoustics and really sped up the operational processes for the Auditorio de Tenerife.”

©Auditorio de Tenerife/Efrain Pinto/JR Oller

Black Cat Music is proud to be Master Distributor for Wenger in Europe and Russia. Wenger is unchallenged as the world’s largest manufacturer of fully-guaranteed staging and music performance equipment in the world.

Diva gives a stunning backdrop that is audibly magnificent and its mobile architecture gives the appearance of a beautiful, permanent wall in a smart system that's extremely mobile and compact for tight storage. From its elegant design to its remarkable impact on acoustics, Diva takes sound artistry to a new level of excellence. It is, without doubt, the most advanced full-stage acoustical shell of its kind.

Diva’s composite-panel construction provides superior acoustical performance and Diva's ability to produce custom aesthetics at a lower cost is a Wenger exclusive. Engineered and built to the highest possible standard, the all-aluminium frame provides exclusive advantages, including longer-lasting rigidity and easy operation. Diva also gives you unique advantages of the Air Transporter, which allows one person to move Diva towers on a cushion of air.

  • Modular design for ensembles to full orchestras
  • Ideal for medium and large theatres, particularly those requiring high-end aesthetic coordination
  • Rich full-stage acoustics for improved sound projection
  • Safe, fast and easy set-up with a small crew and exclusive Air Transporter
  • Built-in levelling pads
  • Tower and ceiling panel framework constructed of aluminium
  • Overhead panels raise and lower with theatre's rigging and can be flown in fly tower when not in use

Auditorio de Tenerife - installation of Wenger Diva shell ©Auditorio de Tenerife/Miguel Barreto

Photograph copyrights:

©Auditorio de Tenerife/Miguel Barreto For the building images: ©Auditorio de Tenerife/Efrain Pinto or ©Auditorio de Tenerife/JR Oller

Former Fender manager joins Black Cat Music & Acoustics

In June, Black Cat Music welcomed Nik Williams to the team. Formally a sales and product manager for Fender, Nik, a keen drummer, started his career as a percussion sales specialist for Yamaha.

“It is with great pleasure we welcome Nik” said Black Cat’s managing director Alice Dagger, “he brings fifteen years of experience in the world of music with two of its biggest brands”.

Nik too is excited. “Working at Black Cat has expanded my knowledge beyond instruments into accessories, furniture and acoustics whilst keeping me within the music industry, which I love.”

Nik looks forward to continuing and building relationships with Black Cat’s distributors and end users throughout Europe “Already Black Cat has a reputation for supplying excellent quality products combined with the personal touch” said Nik “already I feel like part of the Black Cat family” he added.    

The Importance of Ergonomic Chairs in Music

How You Sit Affects How You Play

Becoming a successful musician is challenging enough, with the countless hours of practice, rehearsals and live performances adding significant stress on your body.

It's for this exact reason that you need every bit of help you can get, and an often overlooked but very important aspect of becoming a quality musician is having the right equipment.

And no, we're not talking about buying the best or most expensive guitar or piano, but rather more fundamental than that...the chair that you perform on.

As a musician, you don't sit in an office all day. Your chair is your office. And the more comfortable you are in your office, the better your output.

For this reason, getting an ergonomic chair is essential for all musicians, both amateur and professional. It is designed to improve your posture, and better posture has all sorts of advantages.

Most importantly, it allows you to better control your instrument, which leads to better sound quality. The rationale is easy to follow- a guitarist who is sitting on an uncomfortable chair may naturally slouch to adjust, and that leads to neck, shoulder and back injuries as the body tries to adjust.

That in turn can lead to lower concentration levels, and a higher likelihood of making mistakes.

Better posture also means your chest area is less compressed, which allows for more comfortable breathing, particularly for musicians whose instruments require bursts of energy.

Take drummers for example- less air into lungs means faster fatigue which can affect timing and consistency within the core of the total musical performance.

The same applies to someone in the brass section who relies on a consistent airflow to get the best sound, or for a pianist whose shoulders and neck will take the brunt of poor posture.

Getting your seating right with an ergonomic chair may not be top of mind for an aspiring young musician, but it will certainly give them a better chance of fulfilling their ambitions.

For the best guidance and advice on selecting the right chair for your instrument, contact one of our friendly staff.

Rack n’Roll – Bilton Grange’s pupils enjoy their new instrument storage

Established in 1873, Bilton Grange is a leading boarding and day preparatory school for children aged 3-13, based just outside Rugby in 90 acres of stunning Warwickshire parkland.

Music is considered central to the character of the school with all pupils given the opportunity to learn a musical instrument from Year 1. “We teach mainly folk and classical” said Mark Penrose, Bilton Grange’s Director of Performing Arts “through a sequential aural Kodály-inspired programme.”

Bilton Grange’s commitment extends to nine individual teaching rooms and six other spaces for teaching larger groups and ensemble rehearsals. Last summer the school purchased new storage equipment from Black Cat Music & Acoustics including a Folio Cabinet and Cello, Violin and Guitar racks.

Mr Penrose stated, “The storage racks are used every day, particularly the violin and cello ones, and they have made the department look neater and more purposeful. Even the students were excited when they arrived commenting much neater everything looks! We are really pleased with the outcome and Black Cat Music’s customer service was excellent!”.

Links

You can read more about Bilton Grange’s music department here

Click here to view Black Cat Music’s range of instrument and music storage

Photo credit: Bilton Grange

A theatrical and international end to Black Cat’s busy conference season

At the beginning of June, Black Cat Music & Acoustics ended a busy run of five shows and conferences in four weeks at Alexandra Palace for the Association of British Theatre Technicians’ 2019 Theatre Show.

The busy Theatre Show included a symposium, organised by Black Cat alongside our friends from Wenger Corporation in America, titled “Future trends in design, technology and safety” and included presentations by Tom Stickland from the Theatres Trust and international safety inspector Oliver Leigers from Germany.

The show capped off a busy four weeks which included the One Voice Conference, the UK's largest voiceover event, held in London, the Music Teacher’s Association/MMA Conference at Bromsgrove School in Worcestershire, the biennial Musikschulkongress in Berlin and the popular Independent Schools’ Bursars Association Conference in Manchester.

Speaking after the ABTT show and symposium, Black Cat’s Managing Director, Alice Dagger said “what a great way to end such a busy month! The symposium brought together experts from America and Europe to talk about theatre related topics such as virtual acoustics, mobile staging and systems integration.”

The Black Cat team will not be resting for long, four more conferences in the UK and Europe are planned in the Autumn.

Meet the team… again, and again, and again…

In a period of just over two weeks starting from the beginning of May, the Black Cat Music & Acoustics teams will be busy attending no less than four separate events in the UK and Germany. First will be the One Voice Conference, the UK's largest voiceover event, in London between the 9th and 12th May.

There the team will once again be demonstrating a working, self-install, voiceover booth following the success of last year’s conference where the booth saw use by an artist to record an urgent job for the US in the middle of the busy conference! Popular UK voiceover artist Peter “X-factor and Britain’s Got Talent” Dixon recorded a short video of the booth you can see here.

The following week between the 17th and 19th May, one team from Black Cat will be exhibiting at the Music Teacher’s Association/MMA Conference at Bromsgrove School in Worcestershire whilst another will head to Berlin for the biennial Musikschulkongress.

Hot on the heels of this busy weekend will be the fourth event where Black Cat will be in Manchester at the ever-popular Independent Schools’ Bursars Association Conference on the 21st and 22nd May. This conference attracts over 400 delegates and 140 exhibitors and is always a busy but fun event.

If you're attending one of these events, please stop by to say "hello"!

Black Cat Music & Acoustics’ new European distribution centre opens in Liège

After months of planning, Black Cat Music & Acoustics are set to start distribution of its popular Wenger and own brand music performance equipment from Liège in Eastern Belgium.

Managing director of Black Cat, Alice Dagger said “Our European sales continue to grow, and it was important to us to open a strategically placed distribution centre so that we could service our customers in mainland Europe more easily. Liège was the perfect choice.”

Black Cat Music & Acoustics, founded in 1982, are the Master Distributor for Wenger in Europe and Russia and enjoy relationships with thousands of schools, music conservatoires and orchestras throughout the region. Wenger is unchallenged as the largest manufacturer of fully-guaranteed staging and music performance equipment in the world.

Next month Black Cat will once again be attending the biennial Musikshculkongress at the Berlin Congress Centre from 17th to the 19th May.

Black Cat Music & Acoustics’ Studiobricks self-install, practice pod proves a hit at London Expo

March saw Black Cat Music & Acoustics showcase a Studiobricks self-install, practice pod at the Music and Drama Education Expo at London Olympia. The exhibition is the ideal opportunity for industry professionals from around the world to network, attend workshops and view the hundreds of exhibitors displaying their products and services.

The pod/booth was set up by the Black Cat team in little over an hour and it proved to be a major draw for professionals who were impressed by the acoustic properties and sound reduction levels. Students too enjoyed getting in on the act asking their friends enter the booth, close the door then sing or even shout. Because of the ambient noise of the show, it looked as if those in the booth were miming!

Black Cat Sales and Marketing Executive, Justin Bird said “Our stand was busy on both days of the show and it was a great opportunity for our customers to see and try products for themselves. We not only had teachers trying out the practice booth but sitting on music chairs, comparing music stands and discussing personalisation of music folders.”

Enhancing the practice space at the Royal Academy of Music Museum


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When Gabe Gale, curator of the Royal Academy of Music Museum, set about creating a rehearsal area for students, she needed music stands which would not look out of place in an area surrounded by historic instruments. Black Cat Music came to the rescue and supplied four, solid rosewood, Regency stands which, as the photo of the Aster Trio show, really looked the part.

To many of us of a certain age, their first experience of a music stand was at school with a rather wobbly contraption made of thin metal which, if you tried to adjust for height or angle, would promptly collapse spreading your sheet music over as wide an area as possible. These stands also seemed to attract the attention from certain pupils determined to bend them into a series of artistic and abstract shapes.

Times have, fortunately, changed!

Whilst products like Black Cat Music’s best seller, the Classic 50 overcome the problems of our youth, sometimes something more ornate is required, where the stand not only needs to be functional but fit within the décor, almost like a piece of furniture.

In a note to Black Cat, Gabe commented “Thanks for these lovely stands, they really enhance the practice space”

Take advantage of our fantastic December offer

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Throughout December Black Cat Music is offering a stunning 20% Discount on the Black Cat LED Music Stand Light. Single LED Lights start at £10.22 + VAT each, or take advantage of the quantity discount breaks allowing purchase prices as low as £9.66 + VAT when purchased in quantities of 50+.

The LED music stand light from Black Cat Music simply clips on to your music stand. 4 LED lights (2 per gooseneck) provide bright, even illumination for your sheet music. Easy positioning of goosenecks, with individual light control, ensures lighting when and wherever you need it.

Full details of this month’s offer can be found at https://www.blackcatmusic.co.uk/music-stands-and-accessories/music-stand-lights/led-music-stand-light.html