While some of you may or may not know, the Cheverus Music Department now has a new, state-of-the-art recording studio. Located In room 8 of the basement of Loyola Hall, lies the newest addition to Cheverus's music department. Music Teacher Chris Humphrey and his students are very excited about it and have already used it many times. Mr. Humphrey, with help from the Advancement Department, originally applied for a $25,000 grant but was awarded $10,000. The grant is funded by the Narragansett One Foundation, a charitable foundation dedicated to helping public charities in Maine, according to their website. According to Mr. Humphrey “the studio has new vocal mics, new instrumental mics, a new state of the art Macintosh iMac computer, digital audio workstation software (LOGIC PROX), studio speakers, external hard drive and 3 digital interfaces.” This is a lot, and the many music classes at Cheverus will put it to great use.
Already, Band and Choir classes have started using the studio, including to record for their concerts, and it has even been used for the voice-over of a Cheverus ad. Most recently, the studio was used to record multiple musical pieces for the Cheverus Gala.
With all this info, you must ask - what’s in it for the students?
Nate Cook, a senior, plans on majoring in Audio Engineering in college. He has been exploring and using the studio since the Fall. Nate has been able to record using the studio, and edit tracks himself. “For me, it has been really fun to record in there, and then to watch Mr. Humphrey further edit the tracks. It has also been fun to work on editing some tracks myself.” Mr. Humphrey says that “Students have also used it so far to record auditions for music festivals and college admissions.” This gives all students interested in further pursuing music in High School and beyond the ability to show their talents to colleges and judges.
Going into college, Nate is thankful that he has some background in studio work and editing. “I think that being able to use the studio at Cheverus has given me a good idea of how the whole recording process works... giving me the opportunity of learning the basics of recording programs which I think will give me a bit of a headstart in college.” Nate will be attending Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, this Fall.
The addition of the recording studio also comes at a great time, with COVID restrictions limiting many schools to not singing and playing at all. Cheverus students though can practice, and record virtual concerts using the studio and surrounding rooms. “Students in classes can record projects, and during the pandemic [what is] especially helpful is the ability to record literature that the classes are working on,” says Humphrey. Unfortunately for students, especially seniors who are in their last year at Cheverus, these recordings have had to replace traditional concerts. Nate says about the concerts being canceled, that “it is a bit disappointing to not have concerts this year... It is a bit of a bittersweet situation because we cannot have concerts, yet it allows us to do lots of work in the studio, which I think will be beneficial later on down the line.” One good thing though, that comes out of this, is that many of the high-quality recordings can be available to all the students and staff, through social media.
Looking to the future, the music department plans on acquiring another grant, for $15,000, in addition to the original $10,000 grant. The studio will hopefully spark interest and bring more people into the music program at Cheverus.
Danny McCartney, Co-Editor in Chief