By Wendy Holdren
“If everything goes well, no one ever knows I’m there.”
If you’ve attended a concert, presentation or meeting at The Greenbrier in the past 17 years, chances are Bo Vandall has been behind the scenes, setting up the audio and visual aspects of the event.
Vandall has over 30 years of sound system experience and he got his start working for local bands. The Perfect Gamble, Michael James Band and Brian James and Blue Country are just a few of the bands that helped Vandall get his start.
He began to turn his hobby into a career when he started working at The Greenbrier hotel in 1994 doing audio, visual and lighting work, eventually becoming the lead audio technician there.
He said at first, it was a bit of a culture shock, going from working with local bands to such a well-established resort.
The pressure was certainly on while Vandall managed the technical aspects behind the scenes for names such as Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Lee Ann Womack and George Bush.
He said one of his most challenging moments was during the Evander Holyfield fight in 2011, when he had to not only manage the live sound, but control the satellite feed as well.
The technical side is definitely the hardest part, Vandall said, integrating the equipment to work together.
Another difficult task he noted was an event at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center where he had to figure out a way to suspend 12 speakers 65 feet in the air.
Vandall is always looking for more challenging roles, so six years ago, he decided to create his own business — Sound Solutions.
One of his first projects under Sound Solutions was installing the sound system at Carnegie Hall in Lewisburg. Recently he has worked at the Greenbrier East High School stadium, Lester First Church of God and McBee’s.
At McBee’s, he installed the sound system on three floors, installed eight televisions and two 12-foot screens, as well as the light system.
His most recent project is audio, visual and lighting for the Raleigh Playhouse in uptown Beckley, which he expects to be complete by the end of September.
With this project nearing completion, Vandall is hoping to start doing audio/visual services for more churches in southern West Virginia.
“My work with The Greenbrier translates well into the church because of the need for audio services for public speaking and live music.”
Vandall manages, designs, installs and purchases the equipment needed for the job. He will then train his customers to use all the newly installed equipment.
“Everything is a custom job. I have access to just about every audio/visual manufacturer and I’ll do whatever is appropriate for the job.”
He said he will work with customers to ensure the most cost-effective plan for the project.
“After 17 years at The Greenbrier, not only did I learn the technical side of the work, but I learned to provide the best customer service possible. I’ve taken that attitude into this business.”
For more information about Vandall’s audio/visual services, visit www.soundsolutionswv.com or call 304-763-4654.