Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC) is part of the Texas A&M University System and serves a diverse population of more than 10,000 students, including over 1,750 graduate students. Colloquially known as the Island University, TAMU-CC is situated on the Texas Gulf Coast and is the only university in the nation located on its own island.
On the TAMU-CC campus, the Performing Arts Center (PAC) is a world-class performance venue that features a 1,350-seat concert hall with state-of-the-art acoustics. The PAC serves the university and the surrounding community and functions as the principal performing venue for the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra and Corpus Christi Chorale. Since opening in 2005, the PAC has hosted a variety of noted performances from acclaimed pianists and violinists to music festivals, national and international ensembles and much more.
Recent renovations to the PAC include a complete overhaul of the lobby area as well as the addition of a nearly 28-foot-wide by 16-foot-high (17x10) Planar® CarbonLight™ CLI Series LED video wall with a 2.6mm pixel pitch (CLI 2.6). Mounted above the stage in the concert hall, the LED video wall was installed by audio-visual solutions provider NCS. “Among the product offerings from our preferred video wall manufacturers, the CarbonLight CLI provided the best balance in terms of ease of installation, weight and versatility,” said NCS Design Engineer Bryan Casey. “And we couldn’t have picked a better choice to fit in the space. It’s a beautiful blend of technology with the aesthetics of the venue.”
The university intends to use the new LED video wall in diverse ways. “We are actively planning events around the new video wall such as film screenings and video enhanced orchestra performances,” said Joshua Green, manager of IT Learning Spaces at TAMU-CC. “We debuted the wall to campus during the President’s Welcome Back for faculty and staff and received a lot of positive feedback.”
Engaging the university and the broader community
The university’s new Strategic Plan 2030—The Islander Impact—includes a mission statement of “providing an unparalleled commitment to student success, developing professionals and engaged leaders, closing achievement gaps as a Hispanic and Minority Serving Institution, and providing intellectual capital through research, creative activity, and innovation for South Texas, the Gulf of Mexico, and beyond.” According to Ed Evans, senior associate vice president for Information Technology and chief information officer at TAMU-CC, the LED video wall is a central component of this mission. “As a prominent feature of our PAC, the video wall brings capabilities that are unlike any other venue in the region,” he said.
Consequently, the university can engage students, employees and the community in ways that were never before possible, contributing to a thriving ecosystem of intellectual capital and creative activity, Evans said. “We’re kicking off the fall semester with exciting opportunities for students to see fun and informative videos on the screen and employees have provided captivating vignettes highlighting the ways each area of the university will contribute to the new strategic plan.” Additionally, the LED video wall has been used for academic lectures and classroom presentations— especially when social distancing was a priority—as the PAC concert hall holds 1,350 seats.
Different presentations and performances made possible by the Planar CLI Series LED video wall are in the works. The Corpus Christi Symphony plans to utilize the installation for an upcoming concert, “Gustav Holst’s The Planets.” Also, the Austin-based bowed and fretted string quartet Invoke, which composed a score for the animated film, “The Adventures of Prince Achmed,” is scheduled to play live on the concert hall stage to the film as its being shown on the LED video wall. Additionally, the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at TAMU-CC held a special screening of the Texas wildlife film, “Deep in the Heart,” free to the community.
“These kinds of collaborative projects are incredibly more effective and powerful with the new video wall,” said Jim Moore, PAC director at TAMU-CC and chair of the Corpus Christi Arts and Culture Commission. “It has given the university a new level of exposure within the Corpus Christi community. We’ve already seen the wall used for a few events this year and it truly has a stunning visual impact on any type of presentation. More than one person has told me they can’t believe it after seeing it in action.”