21st Parnelli Awards Offer Surprises, Emotions, and Winners
Always full of surprises and the unexpected, the 21st Annual Parnelli Awards held on Friday started out with a big one: Outgoing NAMM CEO/President Joe Lamond was initiated in the Parnelli Hall of Fame with an award.
“I would like to thank someone very special to us at the Parnelli Awards,” said PLSN & FOH magazines founder and Parnelli Executive Producer Terry Lowe in his opening remarks. “In fact, we wouldn’t be here tonight without his leadership and commitment to the event production industry at the NAMM Show. I’m speaking of NAMM’s outgoing President, Mr. Joe Lamond.” Before presenting Lamond with the award, he shared some of the history of the Parnelli Awards being part of NAMM, adding, “We can both agree it has been an excellent place for the Parnelli Awards to be held at. I want to thank you personally for your vision and for making it happen.”
Lamond then turned around and handed out the evening’s first of three lifetime achievement awards, the Audio Innovator, to Marty Garcia. Garcia is a pioneer of in-ear monitors, having his product on Utopia’s 1985 tour that was the first with the full band being on Future Sonics IEMs. (Lamond was in fact a roadie on that tour.)
“Like so many others here, it is amazing to have been and still be a part of creative timeless musicians, touring people, and that we survived to get away with so much with no cell phones,” Garcia said in receiving his honor. “In the earlier days, advancing shows for me was via banks of pay phones. I had plenty of out of order signs to keep those phones free for return calls.”
Tribute to Nook
The show was held in the ballroom at the Anaheim Convention Center, and featured award presenters Kevin Lyman (founder of Vans Warped Tour), Chris Weathers (Live Nation), Willa Snow (Audio Engineer), and Anne Militello (Lighting Designing) handing out 27 “of the year” awards, including a new one, Media Content Creator.
Another especially emotional moment was when last year’s Visionary lifetime honoree, Peter Morse, took the stage to honor Parnelli winning lighting designer and former PLSN Magazine Editor, Nook Schoenfeld. Though he had beaten pancreatic cancer this past year and was cancer-free, he passed away due to complications from that fight resulting in liver failure. Morse introduced a touching video tribute to Schoenfeld, then announced that the Parnelli Board of Advisors had renamed the lighting designer of the year award to the Nook Schoenfeld Lighting Designer of the Year Award, which went to Alec Takahashi for his work with Thomas Rhett.
Keny Whitright received the Parnelli Visionary Award for his work developing scrolling color changers. He was introduced by his friend and lighting designer Allen Branton, who started off by pointing out the two were working a Beach Boys concerts 50 years ago earlier to the day.
The final highlight was Roy Lamb receiving the Parnelli Lifetime Achievement Award for his long career as a touring trucking pioneer and long-time Tour/Production manager for many acts, including The Who since 1981. His tribute video started with call outs congratulation videos from Robert Plant, Pete Townsend, and Roger Daltrey.
Lowe then took the stage for the show’s finale, reminding everyone that we’re doing this again in a few months, as the Parnelli’s return to their normal January date.
Here is the list of winners:
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Roy Lamb
- Visionary Award: Keny Whitright
- Audio Innovator: Marty Garcia
- Lighting Company of the Year: Bandit Lites
- Hometown Hero Lighting Company of the Year: Brown Note Productions
- Nook Schoenfeld Lighting Designer of the Year: Alec Takahashi
- Lighting Director of the Year: Celine Royer
- Production Designer of the Year: Travis Shirley
- Sound Company of the Year: Sound Image
- Hometown Hero Sound Company of the Year: Music Matters Productions
- FOH Mixer of the Year: Jon Lemon
- Monitor Mixer of the Year: François Paré
- Audio System Tech of the Year: Rachael Moser
- Video Production Company of the Year: Solotech
- Video Director of the Year: Colleen Wittenberg
- Media Content Creator of the Year: Treatment Studio
- Staging Company of the Year: All Access
- Rigging Company of the Year: ARS / Atlanta Rigging Systems
- Set Construction Company of the Year: TAIT
- Pyro/Special Effects Company of the Year: Strictly FX
- The Patrick Stansfield Production Manager of the Year: Nicole Massey
- The Patrick Stansfield Tour Manager of the Year: Mark Oglesby
- Coach Company of the Year: Hemphill Brothers
- Trucking Company of the Year: Upstaging
- Freight Forwarding Company of the Year: Rock-it Global
- NextGen Award: Nina Agelvis
- Indispensable Technology – Lighting: Robe – BMFL FollowSpot
- Indispensable Technology – Audio: Allen & Heath – Avantis Console, V1.2
- Indispensable Technology – Video: ROE Visual – Vanish V8T LED Panel
- Indispensable Technology – Staging & Effects: Tyler Truss – GT Truss