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Students Set Up Holiday Light Show Extravaganza at Ormsby Educational Center | Community Spirit

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Students Set Up Holiday Light Show Extravaganza at Ormsby Educational Center
Students Set Up Holiday Light Show Extravaganza at Ormsby Educational Center

EAST AURORA, N.Y. - Area students enrolled at the Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES Ormsby Educational Center have set up a holiday light show extravaganza on campus that will be on display every night from 6 to 10 p.m. beginning Thursday, Dec. 16 and ending Monday, Dec. 27.

The light show consists of approximately 2,000 lights forming a variety of shapes and designs that will flash in coordination with holiday songs, making the Ormsby Center a necessary stop for families as they drive around the area to view holiday light and decoration displays.

The Ormsby Center is located at 1010 Center Street in East Aurora across the street from East Aurora High School; guests are encouraged to park in the Ormsby Center parking lot to view the show. Setting the car radio to 106.9 FM will allow guests to hear the narration and the music. There are two different shows that will alternate days; this way, guests will hear and see something new if they return the following night. Each of the two shows include four holiday songs and last approximately 20 minutes, repeating over and over again during the four-hour period.

To build and design the musical light show, students had to start by programming each song sequence using specialized software, a challenging process since each strand of lights had to line up with the music in different ways beat by beat. Using the individual song sequences as a foundation, the students then programmed the show cycles, including introductions, transitions, and conclusions. The data is stored on a computer that they connected to a 16-channel controller, which tells the lights what to do and when to do it. Finally, they connected to the computer to an FM transmitter so that guests will be able to listen to the music in the warmth of their cars.

Area students from the East Aurora, Iroquois, Orchard Park, Holland, and Springville school districts participated in the project, which incorporated many elements of the curriculum. The project was spearheaded by students enrolled in the Ormsby Center’s Pre-Engineering Program and Information Technology/Computer Systems Program under the direction of instructor David Odrobina, and students enrolled in the Construction Technology Program under the direction of instructor David Reed helped by building the wooden frames around which the strands of lights were connected. Students from a variety of other programs also helped with the narration.

The shapes that have been built into the light show include a variety of holiday icons as well as symbols representing some of the 16 Career & Technical Education programs offered at the Ormsby Center.

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