Sophomore uses technical skills to amplify theatrical acoustics

When Daniel Lundberg ’10 was 5 years old, he was not at all interested in singing, but he was nonetheless fascinated by his karaoke machine.  For three years he tinkered with the mechanics of it, adding other equipment to it until he could do no more.

The rest is history.

Lundberg is currently a staff photographer for Vox Populi and a technical theater expert.  Although his parents enrolled him in numerous youth theater programs, acting was never his focus. By the time he quit acting in seventh grade, he knew where his interest lied.

In ninth grade, his first year at Harvard-Westlake, Lundberg enrolled in Performing Arts Production.  That year, he ran the lighting for the middle school play “As You Like It” by William Shakespeare.

“I’m not normally a lighting person but when you’re in the play you have to try everything,” he said.  “It reaffirmed my preference for sound.”

His skills, he said, are largely self-taught.  After getting his first computer with internet access, Lundberg researched the equipment used on Broadway.

“[I would try] to figure out, when would someone use this piece of equipment and how would that benefit them,” he explained. 

By fifth grade, Lundberg was running sound for the choir at Mirman, his elementary school.  Soon he controlled a combination of sound and lighting at performances, assemblies and even graduation.

During January of ninth grade, Lundberg received a letter from upper school English teacher Eric Schrode, who was running the HWS Rembiko Project, which takes students to Edinburgh, Scotland, to perform in a summer theater festival.  Schrode extended a personal invitation to Lundberg, who accepted.

Now at the Upper School, Lundberg is not slowing down.  In this year’s fall musical, “Les Misérables,” he controlled the on-stage microphones, which, he said, involved “bringing up the right microphone on a line by line basis.”  Essentially, he had to switch over 40 microphones on and off between individual lines of dialogue.

Although Lundberg downplays his photographic work, many of his pictures have appeared in the Chronicle, the Spectrum and Vox Populi during the last two years. 
Lundberg learned photography through experience. After getting his first camera during the summer before ninth grade, he started taking pictures, first of his new puppy and then at the first eighth grade football game that year.  He showed the football pictures to yearbook adviser Jennifer Bladen, who added him to the staff as a photographer. 

“I learned about it through experience, not really taking any formal lessons,” Lundberg observed, “and the pictures just went places.”

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