Goss officials want to attract national acts with new sound system

Day by day, the full vision for the Goss Opera House gets a bit closer to reality.

With new windows, an HVAC system and ongoing infrastructure work, 2019 has been quite the year of progress in restoring downtown Watertown’s iconic 130-year-old structure. With 2020 anticipated to be the year the Goss reopens to the public, the upcoming sounds of life will be complemented by a new sound system along with some new computerized LED lights in the second story theater.

Set to be delivered and installed in February by Jeff Engen, president and CEO of Brookings-based Audio Video Connections, the RCF HDL-30a Line Array sound system will fulfill the dreams of Chris Paulson, a music aficionado and a member Friends of the Goss (FoG) Board of Directors. Paulson noted the same system is utilized in clubs and theaters named after legendary singer Dolly Parton and late legendary guitarist and singer B.B. King.

“It’s a real high-end product,” he said. “We should have full coverage of the room.”

Paulson, along with fellow board member Michael Makens and music aficionado Mike Tomlinson, has led the effort in researching sound systems and meeting with audio executives since July.

With the sound system set to consist of 12 speakers — six per side on both the west and east ends as well as two 18-inch subwoofers and high-end microphones, Paulson said the Goss theater will be able to fulfill all of the requirements needed to get entertainment acts both big and small, including concerts and shows, to perform in Watertown.

“We really went for something that’s going to be not just for the local talent but also national talent,” he said. “We want to be able to have a rock show here one night, tear it down and have a wedding here the next day, Then, the next weekend we could have a comedy show or an opera.

“It’s going to be something that’s going to put us on the map for this whole region as far as a venue for performers.”

Goss Opera House Executive Director Missy Sinner previously said FoG is booking shows from April through September.

The new sound system will be paired with acoustic treatments to muffle the theater’s echo tendencies.

“That’s the first thing we’re going to do,” Paulson said of the acoustic treatments, promising the materials used will be applied so to preserve the theater’s character.

Although the costs of the new sound system were not revealed, Board of Directors President Milt Carter said the system was purchased at the recommendation and consent of major donors.

Friends of the Goss officials anticipate having the Goss reopened to the public sometime this spring.