Three Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences (Tempe, Ariz.) passed away on June 7 due to a fire in their Chicago apartment, which was located across the street from Rax Trax Studios where they were interning. Justin McDonald, Tanner Osborn and Christopher Ross had completed the school’s Master Recording Program II, which requires an internship.
“We are completely devastated by the tragic passing of our three talented and promising young interns,” said Rick Barnes, studio manager at Rax Trax. “Chris showed a quick and early talent for mixing. He recently resurrected a project from limbo with flying colors. I was very impressed at his sophistication for a lad of 19 years. Justin McDonald, 21, was a passionate singer/songwriter, constantly recording and finding new ways to improve his craft. I could always count on his dedication and loyalty to the studio. Because of that, he became our weekend manager and assistant engineer. Tanner “TJ” Osborn, 21, was a very street-smart kid who was an able DJ, creating progressive hip hop and ambient tracks. He and two producer friends recently rented a spare room at the studio and turned it into a hip hop paradise with three turntables, a computer station, two MPCs, an ASR and a huge esoteric record collection. These three young students of music will be missed.”
Kirt Hamm, administrator of CRAS, said, “Chris, Tanner and Justin were the best of the best that come through our program at the Conservatory. They were full of life and were excited about starting their careers in Chicago. The faculty and staff were devastated at the news and we all shared memories of their time in school.”