WARWICK, NY – Like many other Warwick Valley High School and Middle School musicians, junior Jojo Gagliano recently performed at one of the district’s winter concerts in the high school auditorium. Jojo’s responsibilities, however, went beyond singing with the Meistersingers and the Jazz Choir. For the WVHS Chorus Concert, and for the other four winter concerts, Jojo was the person upstairs in the booth, controlling the sound and lighting. He was the one checking audio levels before concerts and shining the spotlight during performances.
“I watched Jojo run the lights and sound for the winter concerts this season and was impressed,” said WVHS orchestra director Elissa Maynard. “I could tell he took the job seriously.The success of our concerts is in the hands of whoever is behind the light and sound boards that evening. All of the winter concerts were a success, and Jojo was a part of it.”
Jojo’s official title is auditorium manager, a position he’s held since the beginning of last summer. He learned the job from the previous manager and will soon start training his successor.
Most concerts don’t require much audio mixing, Jojo said, because the sounds of the choir voices and the instrument sounds carry enough. Microphones are only needed for introductions or if there are solos.
For the WVHS chorus concert, Jojo was upstairs in the booth doing the lighting cues before he had to go onstage with the Meistersingers and Jazz Choir. For that part of the performance, he had a friend do two or three lighting cues that Jojo had programmed and recorded.
“Jojo has a very calm demeanor and methodical approach which makes him an excellent technician to deal with the pressures of live audio and lighting,” said Dan Cecconie, who teaches Jojo in the studio production class at WVHS. “He is an excellent team member and areassuring leader.”
Although Jojo is a talented singer (he was a NYSSMA Area All-State selection), his goal is a career in audio production. His father Bill Gagliano is an A2 (audio assistant) at the HudsonTheatre in New York City. A few years ago, Jojo shadowed him during the production of “Parisian Woman.”
“In the next month or so I’m going to be shadowing Scott Sanders, the A1 (audio engineer) on “Girl from the North Country,” so I can see what the job of an A1 on Broadway is like,” said Jojo, who plans to study audio engineering in college. “My eventual goal is to be an A1 or an A2 for a theater on Broadway.”
Jojo started working with audio production on the WVMS stage crew. He also does technicalwork for the Warwick Reformed Church theater group and will be doing the audio for the Drama Club’s production of “Little Shop of Horrors” in March.