Breaking walls to create a live learning lab

Construction is underway for the new Music Technology SuiteThe combination of passionate professors and motivated students sparked the vision for Montgomery County Community College’s new Music Technology Suite—a live learning lab where students can learn firsthand from music industry professionals who will be invited to use the facilities and share their experiences.

The College celebrated the launch of the project with a ceremonial wall-breaking event on Nov. 9, during which community members and visitors from the regional music industry were invited to learn more about the project and see the early stages of construction.

The new mixing and mastering suite will feature the very latest cutting edge music and audio production technology alongside state-of-the-art vintage gear including analog tape machines and the SSL XL 9000 K Mixing Console with 5.1 Surround Sound.

"With this new addition, we will be able to offer the entire scope of the recording process for our students,” said Michael Kelly, assistant professor of music and coordinator of the Sound Recording and Music Technology program. “And, with this collaborative approach, we hope to grow a network of professionals in the region and become a hub where artists of all levels can grow and share knowledge.”

MCCC’s Sound Recording and Music Technology degree program provides a comprehensive background in sound recording and music production and technology. Earning this degree, students have the option to continue their education or to find employment in a variety of occupations, including sound recording studio technician, sound engineer for animation and film, audio engineer, audio or music producer, digital audio editor and production assistant, among others.

news-srt-02For MCCC 2017 graduate Kevin Folk, the program was life changing.

“If someone had told me when I graduated high school what I would be doing today, I never would have believed them,” said Folk, who has worked with Paul Worley, the original producer of the Dixie Chicks, and who was recently hired as engineer/producer for Screaming Parrot Studios in Pottstown.

The faculty involved in the project—Kelly, David Ivory and Steve Wanna—are a model of the collaborative process they wish to foster. Combining their talents and experience, they have worked with PZS Architects of Philadelphia and WSDG Architectural Acoustic Consulting Services of New York to create the suite, working on an accelerated timeline spurred by the availability of state funding. Funds are still needed to complete the project and provide scholarships for students.

The new suite also will be available to the visiting artists who perform at MCCC as part of its Lively Arts Series. Many of the visiting artists provide master classes and discussions for MCCC students, as well as students from area school districts.