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Bag End Solution for North Shore Congregation Israel

FOH Staff • News • June 17, 2020

The North Shore Congregation Israel of Glencoe, IL started in 1920 as the North Shore branch of Sinai Congregation. As music is a very important aspect of their services, there was a need to replace the existing aging and ineffective sound system. The congregation called in integrator Conference Technologies (Maryland Heights, MO) to improve the synagogue’s intelligibility and musicality, which came in the form of Bag End’s Gem Series speakers, mounted along the side walls of the large sanctuary.

Constructed in 1964, the synagogue is located on a 19-acre lakefront parcel. The building was designed by the well-known, Detroit-based modernist architect Minoru Yamasaki. Yamasaki composed the building as a series of arching fan vaults. The voids between the concrete shells of the fan vaults are filled with colored glass above, and clear glass at eye level.

Featured on the cover of architecture critic Samuel D. Gruber’s book American Synagogues: A Century of Architecture and Jewish Community, Gruber noted that this “dramatic, awe-inspiring space” was acoustically hard to use by a congregation, so a smaller sanctuary was built in 1979. Together, the two connected buildings create a portrait of Jewish aspirations in the late-20th century.

Still visible in this picture, the sanctuary’s original sound system, with two speakers located high above the altar were distanced well away from the congregation and created a massive reverberant field that greatly reduced intelligibility.

Still visible in this picture, the sanctuary’s original sound system (with two speakers located high above the altar) was distanced well away from the congregation and created a massive reverberant field that greatly reduced intelligibility.

Bag End installed six, custom-painted, high-output, Opal2 loudspeakers, with three spaced along the walls on each side, to meet the challenge of the original dramatic large sanctuary. As a result, the Opal’s deliver speech clarity and a professional sound worthy of the top-notch musicians that perform there, where orchestra, piano, organ and electric instruments are integrated with the sound system accommodating the different-sized events hosted at North Shore Congregation Israel.

For more info, visit www.bagend.com.

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