A New Worship Space Part II – Programming

Bargeheights partnered with Southland Christian Church to bring to life a new campus earlier this year (see part I of the story here). After rigging, hanging and focusing the plots, Clifton and I began to work on programming for opening weekend. After our friends at Michael Garrison Associates commissioned the ETC Net3 data network, we hooked up the ETC EOS console and began the work of checking through the rig. Thanks to lots of time spent early on in drawing and documentation, we were able to patch the entire rig ahead of install using offline software. Super handy time saver if you’re ever tried to patch a brand new system and 60 moving heads. Remember new room = way more setup time than normal.


Here we are checking the patch from downstage. Scary pic to a lighting designer–lots of unfinished drywall and hardhats. Remember, I said the stage was still under construction in the last post!



In the wee hours of the morning, Clifton and I began building the basics of a show file – focus palettes, beam palettes while also getting a feel for what the room is capable of. Full admission- when it’s 3am, the room is empty, and you’ve just powered on a rig—well, yes. That means ballyhoos. The kind of grossly unattractive-reach-for-the-FX-menu-and-press-all-the-buttons-fun.

Since, in essence, the room contained two lighting rigs (one upstage of the plaster line, and one downstage of the plaster line) when we sat down to program the first service, we used two ETC EOS consoles, each set up as a separate partition. In ETC EOS desks, a partition allows for separate users (and consoles) to have access to all, or only certain portions of channels. This allowed me to control and program the stage lighting rig from one desk, while Clifton programmed the house rig using the second EOS console. Although the configuration sounds complicated, it was easier than we both thought. The benefits of the two desk system was huge! I could work ahead on a tune while Clifton worked on another part show, or cleaned up a previous look. Clifton stored looks in a cue list (cue stack), while I stored my looks and a separate list. The workflow couldn’t have been any better.

House and Stage Lighting Systems Bargeheights

Before rehearsals Clifton linked his cue list to my (primary) list which was loaded on the main playback fader. By using a link, Clifton’s individual cue timing was unaffected by my cue time, however both cues were executed by a single GO command.


Programming with Clifton was probably the biggest highlight of the project. Working together over the years, I’ve learned that we have different styles and tend to come at challenges from two different angles, however our vision of the end-result is exactly the same. Working cue by cue with one of my best friends was incredible  In actuality we probably spoke very few words during programming– as cheesy as it sounds, our work did the talking. I chuckled every time we would step back and run cues together, taking a look at the combination of our efforts for the first time. The result was a service far more visually refined, deep and unique than anything I ever could have imagined or ever achieved on my own. That’s what I find so rewarding about tackling Bargeheights projects with Clifton–the result is always greater than sum of our individual efforts.

Now let’s talk about how we made use of the “two rig” (stage and house) idea to create a worship experience that literally surrounded the congregation.

At times we would treat all the fixtures as one massive system–really using the scale of the system (both number of fixtures and the scale/width of placement through the space). Take for example the opening tune of the first weekend, where we used both stage and house systems of profiles for a massive tilt sweep. For this quick look, we doubled the scale of the stage rig—since the move appeared to emanate from the stage.

At other times, the systems were less unified. In this picture you can see how the house MH LED fixtures were used to wash the walls of the house to extend the color palette of the stage around the entire room. Neutral walls are great for receiving this color.

Worship Space Wide


Warm Worship Look

In the picture above, we used the same MH LED wall wash idea to create a build during a tune. As the song’s intensity built, lighting gear on stage layered in, building to the peak of the tune. Similarly, this song started with no house gear. At the peak of the song, the entire house rig of 12 MH LED’s grew to full, pulling the same colors from the stage literally around the congregation. From my view at FOH, this effect felt as if color “exploded” from the stage into the house, as the video below partially captures.

FOH Perspective

Experiencing the service firsthand within the space literally raised the hair on my neck. It was that electric, emotional and profoundly impacting! That’s the end result behind the two lighting system (stage and house) idea. As a worshipper, I like to engage using all my senses. Instead of “watching” worship leaders on stage, this approach wraps the visual presentation of worship AROUND the congregation. The stage is the entire room! We’re all worship leaders, in the truest sense of the word.

If you’re still curious about how Clifton and I put together these looks, or want to talk more about the Bargeheights two-system approach to worship spaces give us a shout! 

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