The DSU Department of Music is now widening the educational possibilities for its students with the addition of a professional music technology lab and recording studio.
The facility additions are expanding the aspirations of DSU music students beyond the performance and music teaching arena, and into the diverse areas that make up the music industry.
Andre Dubose (l) and Vernon "Telly" work on a keyboard track in the studio.
These music department enhancements have been largely the result of a generous $400,000 gift by an anonymous donor. The funding allowed the department to expand its existing music technology lab in the Education and Humanities Building, as well as design and renovate an adjacent area into a recording studio.
Dr. Yvonne Johnson, chair of the Department of Music, was instrumental in the planning of the new facilities and in working with the anonymous donor.
The music facilities expansion includes the installation of 12 synthesizer keyboards in its technology lab, each one outfitted with a Mac computer workstation that are all loaded with the latest music technology software. The expansion also included the construction of a sound-proof recording studio that features a Pro Tools HD integrated C-24 mixing console.
The technological enhancements are moving the department to an expansion of its degree offering – in which a student pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Music will be able to earn it with a concentration of Music Industry. The new concentration is pending Faculty Senate approval, which could happen before the end of the 2011 spring semester.
“Under a music industry concentration, students will be able to gain skills in recording technology, commercial composition, as well as in the business side that includes marketing, promotions and music management,” said Dr. David Tolley, associate professor of music.
Jenee Gueh of Baltimore has recorded some Christian music tracks in the studio.
The new recording facility has opened up a new internship opportunity for music students, as it has resulted in the establishment of a student-run Class Records, which is responsible for putting together compilation CD projects and marketing them. The students split up the their responsibilities into the areas of marketing, sales, artists & repertoire and internet.
Already one year old, Class Records is slated to release its third compilation CD this spring semester.
“Instead of doing their internship working for a company, they are the company,” Dr. Tolley said.
Jenee Gueh, a music major from Baltimore, has used the studio to lay down some Christian Music vocal tracks. “I have benefited tremendously from this studio here,” Ms. Gueh said. “Now I don’t have to go to an unfamiliar studio and get charged an arm and a leg.”
Randy McClure, sophomore music major from Dover, said the new music facilities provide great opportunities for musical development. “There are a lot of resources here to help us,” Mr. McClure said. “This will make us better musicians.”
Mr. McClure added that the recording studio and music technology lab help to raise the students level of professionalism. "It makes us more legitimate, because we can showcase our talent by recording it and then putting it into distribution.
“We are attracting students from all majors who are interested in working with the technology that we have available here,” said Marty Denson, the department’s music technology specialist.
(L-r) Albert Holden, Randy McClure, Nicole McCrae and Marty Denson get their music groove on in the studio.