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SummerSounds speakers pondered

| Saturday, July 27, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Men and women strolled the grounds of St. Clair Park in Greensburg on Friday, some with clipboards in hand, all listening.

They were comparing speakers used for the popular SummerSounds concert series with new ones being offered for sale.

Gene James, SummerSounds chairman, explained he and others on the concert committee want SummerSounds to own the speakers rather than rent them.

They want to have speakers that offer even sound across the vast grassy hillside where people sit to listen to concerts in the park.

“We got somebody to build them in Florida, and they were designed for St. Clair Park,” James said.

SummerSounds organizers want the speakers to cost less $20,000, James said.

He joined fellow committee members Richard E. McCormick Jr., a Westmoreland County judge, and Greensburg Councilman Randy Finfrock in walking the grounds with concert series volunteers, a musician and invited community members.

In the test, four new speakers were pitted against six currently used for concerts. Both sets of speakers played the same “pink noise” — a steady stream of sound — and recorded music for testing purposes.

Committee members didn't make a final decision, but both McCormick and James said they were leaning toward getting the new speakers.

Finfrock said he preferred the new speakers, but cost would be a factor for him.

Sue Trout, Janet McNeel and Amy Baldonieri are the remaining members of the six-person SummerSounds committee.

Chuck Glenn and Mark Bodin of Pro Systems of Zelienople designed the speakers, which were built by Rick Ramsdell of St. Petersburg, Fla.

If the committee buys the speakers, 12 of them would be supplied, six for each side of the Robertshaw Amphitheater stage, Glenn said.

He estimated the projected cost would be close to the concert committee's price range.

Grants and donations would be used to buy the speakers, James said.

SummerSounds was conceived in 2000. The free concerts have attracted more than 25,000 people each summer for the last few years.

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or bstiles@tribweb.com.

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