Academics and Research / Magazine Feature

DU music students record strong finish in competition

A two-student team from the audio production program at DU’s Lamont School of Music was this year’s runner-up in Shure Inc.’s Fantastic Scholastic Recording Competition.

Clark Smith, a senior music performance major, and Dylan Johnson (BA ’09) entered the competition with a recording of a jazz performance by DU faculty and vocalist Rene Marie.

“We had a really good band made up of some Lamont faculty and some local artists who tour nationally,” Smith says. “Then, we spent a lot of time mixing it and sent it in.”

It was the first year the University of Denver entered the competition. Shure Inc., an audio electronics manufacturer, conducts a lottery to decide which 10 schools can compete. The students were required to make a five-minute recording using any of the 10 microphones Shure lent the school.

“The scoring margin between entries was the closest it has been in years, which just goes to show the high quality of work that all the students submitted,” said Shure market development specialist Dave Mendez, who coordinated the competition.

The competition judges evaluated the recordings for their overall fidelity, clarity, sonic balance and creativity in selection and placement of microphones.

“I was thrilled because it is the third year in a row students from the audio production program have won a national award,” says Michael Schulze, director of the DU program. “I think it shows that our students, who are music performance majors, succeed at being better engineers because of their music background.”

Because of the runner-up placement, the Lamont School of Music received $2,000 worth of microphones and $1,500. The students each received a $300 microphone. Lamont allowed the students to split the $1,500.

“I think the facilities at Lamont are really good, and being able to spend time in the studio and have hands-on learning time was critical,” Smith says. “Michael [Schulze] pushed us to put more and more hours in on this and other projects. It is what has resulted in the kind of progress we’ve had.”

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