T he Whitehall Athletic Club has hired a local musician to plan and organize concerts inside the converted Armory.
Club owner Greg Gross announced last week that he has hired Alex Hyatt, a 1989 graduate of Whitehall High School, as director of music events.
“Alex will be the point man for show budgeting, booking talent, concert promotion, hiring sound and security, and creating a relationship between WAC and our potential concert audiences,” Gross said. “He’s got a lot of experience in the music industry, as well as in marketing and public relations, and I’m looking forward to working with him.”
Hyatt, who is a former member of prominent local musical groups such as Stem and Livingston Bramble, is a working musician, concert promoter and public relations professional.
He has performed several times in Whitehall over the past six months and helped organize a highly successful memorial concert for former band member and friend, Dan Lafayette, that was held at the WAC in late November.
“I’ve said in the past that Whitehall is a very musical town and this is a tremendous opportunity not only for the Whitehall Athletic Club, but for Whitehall as a gateway to the Adirondacks to do something special,” Hyatt said.
He said he envisions the WAC eventually becoming a music venue on par with concert halls in the Capital District and an alternative musicians can turn to when they’re traveling between shows in Montreal and New York City.
“We have a great venue with many resources on site. We have a willing owner and a professional staff that works together. We have a ticketing system, a nice stage, and an incredible chance to do something that can galvanize my hometown,” Hyatt said.
The main event area, which used to serve as the drill shed when the Armory still existed, has the capacity to seat 750 people, has an expansive stage, professional lighting and rigging, and a large display screen.
Hyatt said he plans to market everything from country shows to rock concerts as he tries to gauge the market and compared the upcoming year to a rebuilding season for a baseball or football team.
“We need to find our audience and test the waters,” Hyatt said. “We have to find our niche.”
Since purchasing the Armory in the fall of 2011, Gross has expended untold resources transforming the building into Whitehall’s premier events venue.
A number of community events, including the Skene Manor Basket Party and the 2012 Bridge Theater season have been held in the building as have a series of professional wrestling events that have featured nationally known athletes.
Hyatt said concerts will feature both VIP seating and general admission.
He said six concerts are tentatively planned for 2013 and a summer “festival style” event will be announced in May. The first concert, which will be held in March, is expected to be announced next week.