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St. John’s Seminary Chapel
Brighton, MA

Restoration of this mid-19th century Italianate-Romanesque-style chapel in 1999 recovered an elaborately decorated marble, wood and polychromed plaster interior which had been lost under a century of soot and grime. Speech intelligibility was always difficult in this tall, narrow and highly-reverberant space, and we were asked to design a new speech-reinforcement sound system to address this considerable deficiency.

Steerable line-array loudspeakers at the front of the chapel provide excellent speech intelligibility from the sanctuary. An independent sound system at the rear of the chapel provides reinforcement of the cantor or a choir soloist. Acoustics advice included exclusion of pew cushions and musical communication between choir, organ and organist. A separate refectory (dining hall) sound system was also included in the project.

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