Sound idea for a livelihood

John Hickey poses in front of the sound stage on Madison Street set up for Thursday Night Live.

John Hickey poses in front of the sound stage on Madison Street set up for Thursday Night Live.

Having grown up in Jefferson City and owning Wise Production Services, John Hickey has seen annual city events evolve into what they are today.

“In the case of the July 4 event, the evolution from where it was 12 or 15 years ago to where it is now,” Hickey said, “That event has gone from essentially a modest fireworks display, to where this year it covers eight city blocks, it’s six stages of entertainment, in addition to the fireworks display which has also grown in its size and scope.”

If there’s sound or audio involved in a local event, Hickey and Wise Production Services more than likely have a hand in it.

“We’re a full-service company, providing sound, lighting, stages, and roofs for festival events, concerts and other events,” Hickey said.

He said the events range from corporate ones to festivals and they span coast to coast.

He travels about six months of the year and said his work with his company, founded in 1999, is the pursuit of his passion. He grew up enthralled by music and home stereos. That interest evolved throughout his childhood and high school years at Jefferson City High School.

He then had the idea of starting Wise Production Group.

He said he has about a dozen or so people who work for him at various times, but three gentlemen who help him the most are Mike Kivett, Quinten Rice and Shane Schmutzler.

“It’s a labor of love for them as much as it is for me,” Hickey said.

Along with providing sound services for Thursday Night Live, Salute to America and other events, Hickey also helps plan the events, serving on the Salute to America Board as a past chairman and serving on the festival’s planning committee.

“Helping those events be a little better than they might have been without me helping,” he said. “That’s kind of the way I look at it.”

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