• March 29, 2018—With a large number of CFISD students attached to the performing arts, the $1.2 billion Bond passed in 2014 had its reach for those in addition to other groups and departments encompassing the third-largest school district in the state.

    For those involved in band, choir and orchestra, that reach includes acoustical shell systems for the district’s 12 comprehensive high schools. Valued at $470,496, the 208 Wenger Legacy Classic acoustical shell units funded by the Bond were first delivered in October 2017, with the final units arriving just before the holiday break in December 2017.

    “Our campuses really needed something to create a true acoustical environment here and the Wenger acoustical shell system does that for our auditorium spaces,” said John Morrison, CFISD coordinator of secondary music. “Our order of shell systems for the district matched what they would generally be producing for the country in one month.”

    The shell systems are able to turn traditional school auditoriums into top-notch performance venues.

    “It makes a huge difference,” said Armando Robledo, Cypress Ridge High School director of bands. “We’re very happy with them. It enhances the sound, gets it to the audience members quicker and it just sets it up as a really nice hall.”

    In addition to the sound, the ease of use of the portable shell units make them a win-win situation for both students and staff.

    The 208 Wenger Legacy Classic acoustical shells delivered to CFISD’s 12 comprehensive high school between October and December are not only portable, but can be adjusted to four different angles to optimize sound reflection from the performing band, orchestra or choir to those listening in the audience.

    Wenger advertises that each shell, or “tower,” can be set up in just 15 seconds by one person. The shells can be adjusted to four different angles, optimizing the sound reflection to the audience, and offers a clean look with no front legs yet offers 15 percent more coverage than any other portable shell on the market according to Wenger’s website.

    With wheels on its base, a shell can easily be moved. It’s also ideal for storage as each stands 80 inches tall in the storage position compared to 15 feet, 2 inches tall when fully extended.

    Cypress Ridge Orchestra Director Chris Mustell said the feedback has been immediate – and at times astonishing – from his students.

    “When we’ve rehearsed and performed on stage, the students are like, ‘I can actually hear myself perform, hear myself play and I can hear my section and the blend with the section,’” Mustell said. “Whereas before, they felt like they were the only ones playing on stage and they couldn’t hear their colleagues and they couldn’t hear themselves.”

    Included in the $1.2 billion Bond passed in 2014 were Wenger Legacy Classic acoustical shell systems for the district’s 12 comprehensive high schools. The portable units, which can be set up by one person in seconds, stand 15 feet, 2 inches tall when fully extended but contract to just 80 inches tall for storage.

    With the shell systems already in use across the district, not only are the students benefitting, but so are the many community members who support the numerous bands, choirs and orchestras.

    “The community supports the fine arts that we have here and we’ll put them to good use,” Morrison said.