Clyde Shannon Reflects On 37 Years Of Service To Carol Of Lights®
>>Allison Hirth, Report: AT LEAST ONE DAY EACH YEAR, FOR THE LAST 37 YEARS, CLYDE SHANNON HAS BEEN UP BEFORE THE SUN TO PREPARE FOR ONE OF TEXAS TECH’S MOST TREASURED TRADITIONS.>>Clyde Shannon, Shannon Sound & Lighting: We’ve done it in beautiful short-sleeve weather. We’ve done it in fall weather. We’ve done it in terrible winter weather… rain, ice, snow, sleet, just every kind of condition you can think of.>>Hirth: AS THE OWNER OF SHANNON SOUND AND LIGHTING, IT’S CLYDE’S JOB TO MAKE SURE THE PRODUCTION SIDE OF CAROL OF LIGHTS, FROM THE SPEAKERS TO THE SPOTLIGHTS, GOES OFF WITHOUT A HITCH.>>Shannon: We’ve got sound on two sets of scaffolding– stage right and stage left– as well as projected by radio down to two delay towers, which are down by the Circle. In addition to that we do a follow spot for the person who’s
speaking, we do lighting on the signing stage and sound also for that stage so that the interpreters can know what to sign. We do an aerial searchlight, 1942 anti-aircraft searchlight, because the campus is pretty dark and it’s pretty neat to see that huge light out there, and lately, we’ve been lighting up the front of the Physics/Geosciences building.>>Hirth: GETTING ALL THAT EQUIPMENT SET UP, TESTED AND EVENTUALLY TORN DOWN IS AN ALL-DAY AFFAIR.>>Hirth: How long does all of that take?>>Shannon: Well, my goodness, I’ve never thought of that. We start probably about 4:30 in the morning and, of course, the Carol of Lights is at 7:00 to 7:45, and we get out around 10:00 at night.>>Hirth: CLYDE’S COMPANY FIRST GOT THE CAROL OF LIGHTS GIG IN 1982.>>Shannon: In the beginning, the Residence Hall Association, of course, sponsors it and they go back and forth from stage right to stage left on two sets of bleachers, and so, one choir would be singing a song and another choir on the
opposite side would sing a song and they needed someone with enough microphones to do all of this and project it out, and evidently, they had been having trouble and I didn’t know about that and I was contacted by Texas Tech to make a bid.>>Hirth: SINCE THEN, HE’S SEEN THE TRADITION TRANSFORM INTO AN EVENT THAT DRAWS THOUSANDS OF SPECTATORS.>>Shannon: There’s nothing quite like hearing 20,000 people sing
Christmas carols.>>Hirth: IT’S A JOB, HE SAYS, HE LOOKS FORWARD TO EVERY SINGLE YEAR, NOT TAKING ONE MINUTE OF THE EXPERIENCE FOR GRANTED.>>Shannon: Can there be a favorite part? I don’t know that there is. It’s all just beautiful when it all comes together.