On Thursday, July 16, Airshow Takoma Park hosted students from Bethesda, Maryland’s Music Center at Strathmore’s High School Summer Intensive for a full day studio tour, seminar, rehearsal and recording session.
Fourteen students from the program’s inaugural year attended the event. The Summer Intensive, run by the Music Center’s Institute for Artistic & Professional Development, is meant to expose musically adventurous high school students eager to work in the music industry to a wide variety of best practices.
Participants arrived at Airshow in the morning and after loading in their instruments assembled in the studio’s brand new tracking room, Allyworld, for an introduction to recording philosophy and studio basics by chief engineer Charlie Pilzer. With a drum kit, two acoustic pianos, and a few guitar and bass amps set up throughout the studio, the groups began to rehearse their respective repertoires, which ranged from jazz standards to contemporary pop to neo-classical string pieces, in preparation for some demo recordings. Each ensemble got a chance to record two pieces and play in front of their peers. (The recording session also served as a dress rehearsal for the following day’s live performance at Strathmore’s brand new venue, AMP.)
Betty Scott, Director of Strathmore’s Artist in Residence (AIR) program, developed the new program and scheduled this event at Airshow. “This experience was perfectly designed to facilitate hands-on knowledge about recording in a professional recording studio,” says Scott. It was also great to have local violinist Chelsey Green back in the studio as well. Chelsey has recorded at Airshow in the past and was serving on this visit as Coordinator of the Summer Intensive and mentor to one of the ensembles. She and four other mentors are alums of Strathmore’s prestigious Artist in Residence program.
For more information about the program, please visit the Strathmore website.
Check out a video as well as some pictures from the sessions (photos by Gabrielle Tillenburg unless otherwise noted).