Event Tech Crew works at West Salem Jazz Festival

Q&A with junior Jason Katin

You have recently worked at the West Salem Jazz Festival. What was the Festival about and what was your job there?

So the festival was a place for schools all around Oregon to come and compete and get tips for improving or self-improvement. My job there was to set up three sound systems along with a group of nine others, and we were there to record everybody’s group and get the judge’s recording and upload it to a file.


What different roles were in the West Salem Jazz Festival?

There were people mixing the sound, mixing the sound for the live audience, and then there were people working on recording the audio and getting it uploaded to the cloud. 


So there were basically only two jobs?

There were two jobs, but then there were three stations. Three different recording rooms. Three different bands were playing at a single time. 


Usually you do events for Event Tech. How is that different from the West Salem Jazz Festival in hours? How long do you usually work on a normal event, and how long did you work at the Festival?

I would probably consider a band concert that we do in the auditorium [for] two to three hours. We just stream and that’s usually the most complicated job. A little bit of mixing. We had to spend six hours on Friday. We had to drive up to West Salem after school. We had to unload the truck and we had to set up three sound systems. Once we finished that we went home, but that took us six hours and we didn’t get finished until about 10:30 at night. We worked a total of 24 hours over two days. The second day working 18 hours. 


What was the reason for you to join Event Tech? Was there a specific reason why you joined, were you just put into the class, or had you heard reviews?

I wanted to join a technology class. Wasn’t 100% sure what the class was about. Then, once I joined it, I really loved the content, so I stuck with the class. The classes are a lot of fun. Does demand some physical work, but it is a lot of fun.


What is the part you most like about event tech?

Getting to work with my friends on a lot of setups. I think the setup for me is the most fun part because it’s the most interactive. Everyone is constantly working.


That leads to a new question. Is it difficult to work with other people and have to rely on them?

Takes a bit of time to learn everybody and to learn their strengths and weaknesses and how well they work with others. But once you start to learn the people and understand them, it’s quite easy to work with people, especially if you all know the same stuff.


Why is this class so special for you compared to other classes? What makes this class so special for you?

It’s a good question … The work in this class is not like, ‘write an essay, solve this math equation…’ It is actually fun, interactive work. You get to really get involved in the behind scenes of theater and band concerts and understand what effort is put into it to make it run smoothly.


What would you say is your favorite job and what is your least favorite job in Event Tech or in an event?

I’m gonna say my favorite job is streaming. I love working with the computer and video [and] getting it to look good for other families to watch that couldn’t make it to the event. I don’t really have a least favorite job. My least favorite thing is coiling the 100-foot power cable. But other than that, most of the stuff in Event Tech I enjoy doing. 


What are some things that you are working on in the future?

In the future, we are working on putting stuff together for the ‘Wizard of Oz’ musical. We are going to be putting a lot of effort into it as a class to really polish the fine details and get involved.