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Audio Visual Systems Specialist Program to Hold Open House at Lone Star College-Montgomery

Keeping the audiences' attention is vital in today's technology-driven society. Whether it's a Cold Play concert, the Broadway musical Chicago or a fast-growing mega church, the best way to capture anyone's interest is through two of the most important senses--sight and hearing, which are the foundation of the audio visual production industry. Lone Star College-Montgomery offers one of the few audio visual systems specialist (AVSS) programs in the area and will have an open house on Wednesday, August 19, from 1-3 p.m. in building TEM112 on its campus. Refreshments will be served, and attendees will have the opportunity to preview the equipment.

LSC-Montgomery’s unique AVSS training program delivers state-of-the-art instruction for entry into this hot job market.

"Specialists trained in the audio visual field can work in just about any industry they want to because this market is growing beyond the traditional borders of the theater and concert halls," said Chase Waites, associate professor of theatre. "More and more corporations and churches have production needs, as well as colleges and universities, hotels, and sporting venues. Technicians can also work for manufacturers, production companies, rental houses, design agencies, and as consultants. The possibilities are endless."

The AVSS program offers three levels of training--a Level I Certificate, which can be completed in one year; a Level II Certificate, which can be completed in a year-and-a-half; and an associate of applied science degree, which can be completed in two years. Courses for the certificates apply to the associate of applied science degree, and many courses will transfer to other colleges as a springboard for a degree in other fields including technical theatre and computer systems management. According to the America's Career InfoNet Occupation Report, there will be an 18 percent increase in this field over the next seven years, and in Texas, technicians average $13.51 an hour and can earn more than $24.48 an hour.

Rob Kreps, program director of AVSS and associate professor of theatre, said success of elaborate stage and office productions hinge upon an ability to work with the audio visual equipment that provides sound and lighting. "It's more than just plugging in some lights and having a player for music," he said. "We are talking about some very intricate and highly technical computerized systems that work together to provide the best sound and lighting experience. Most people have seen a huge production at some time, but most probably don't think about the work that goes on behind the scenes with the lighting and sound."

Audio visual systems specialists set up and operate specialty lighting equipment and audio and video equipment including microphones, sound speakers, video screens, projectors, video monitors, recording equipment, wires and cables, sound and mixing boards and related electronic equipment, Kreps said.

"LSC-Montgomery has an audio video lighting lab with the latest and greatest state-of-the-art equipment, as well as information and guidance from top industry professionals," said Waites.

Students work with companies like Bright Star, Audio Visual Professional Group and Woodlands Church during internships offered for both the Level II Certificate and the AAS degree, said Waites.

"It is a very well-rounded experience for students, from the training to the internship and then, hopefully, right into employment, which shouldn't be a difficult transition given today's needs," said Waites.

For more information about the open house or the AVSS program call Chase Waites at (936) 271-6127 or visit www.LoneStar.edu/audio-visual-systems-specialist.

LSC-Montgomery is located at 3200 College Park Drive, one-half mile west of Interstate 45, between Conroe and The Woodlands. For more information about the college, call (936) 273-7000, or visit LoneStar.edu/montgomery.

Lone Star College System consists of five colleges, including CyFair, Kingwood, Montgomery, North Harris, and Tomball, six centers and Lone Star College-University Center. With more than 51,000 students, it is the largest college system in the Houston area, and third largest community college district in Texas. For more information, visit www.LoneStar.edu.