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Purchase College Team Wins Shure’s Fantastic Scholastic Recording Competition

The winning team, seated, from left: Joe Yonkers, Brendan Williams, Pat Linehan. Standing, from left: Peter Denenberg (Chair of Studio Production and Studio Composition Departments), Trevor Fedele, Josh Pleeter, Silas Brown (Professor of Studio Production and Faculty Advisor)

Shure Incorporated announces that a team from Purchase College is this year’s Grand Prize Winner of the company’s ninth annual Fantastic Scholastic Recording Competition. The team of students Trevor Fedele, Patrick Linehan, Joshua Pleeter, Brendan Williams, and Joseph Yonkers, along with faculty advisor Professor Silas Brown, won this year’s contest with an original composition by Sean McVerry and Coyote Campus entitled “Soviet Union.”

“This year’s competition featured a very diverse mix of programs, including a few newcomers in addition to several programs that have competed and won before,” says Dave Mendez, Market Development Specialist for Shure. “I felt like all of the entries were very well done, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that this year’s competition resulted in one of the tightest, closest ever. We appreciate all of the talent and hard work done by the students, and also the time and effort of our judges.”

The judges for this year’s competition were Carlos Alvarez, Steve Churchyard, Billy Perez, Mark Rubel, and Zoe Thrall. They evaluated each of the recordings based on their overall fidelity, clarity, and sonic balance as well as creativity in selection and placement of microphones.

“One of the things I liked best about participating in the Shure Recording Competition was having the opportunity to gauge the quality of some of the different recording programs around the country,” says Alvarez, one of this year’s judges from the Hit Factory Miami. “As a member of the National Steering Committee for the Producer and Engineer Wing of the Recording Academy, the quality of students graduating from these programs has been a topic of great interest and discussion.

“This is an excellent competition for many reasons,” Alvarez continues, “but in the end, the winning entries had the best presentations. The presentation submitted by Purchase College was top shelf—an excellent recording.”

Each of the 10 student teams worked on a recording project that required tracking and mixing a performance, exclusively using a “microphone locker” provided by Shure for the competition. Teams submitted an unmastered stereo mix for review by a panel of industry professionals who were invited to judge the competition.

“The team had an incredible time working on this recording,” says Brown, faculty advisor for the winning team from Purchase College. “It was completely a win-win situation because whether we won or lost the competition, the team was given the opportunity to get to know some amazing mics and other gear—a lot of which we had not used before. As long as we approached it thoughtfully, we knew we were going to learn a lot.”

Having the microphone locker enabled the students to gain experience with some microphones that none of them had previously used, and to experiment with different mics on different instruments as well as a variety of microphone placements.

In addition to the winning team from Purchase College, there were nine other competing teams from Anderson University, Appalachian State University (Hayes School of Music), Belmont University, Berklee College of Music, Ex’pression College for Digital Arts, Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, University of Miami (Frost School of Music), the University of North Alabama, and the University of South Carolina.

The runner-up in this year’s competition was the team from the University of North Alabama. The students from Belmont University received an honorable mention.

As the winning school, Purchase College takes ownership of a selection of Shure KSM recording microphones, comprising two KSM313 ribbon microphones, two KSM44A, one KSM42/SG, two KSM32/SL, one KSM141/SL stereo mic pair with A27M stereo mic stand adapter, two SM27-SC, two BETA 181/S, two RPM181/O, and six SRH840 Professional Monitoring Headphones. The entire prize package is valued at more than $11,000. In addition, each member of the winning team will receive a KSM42/SG, valued at $999 MSRP.

For more information about the winners and to listen to the winning song, go to the Shure blog.

Watch the teams’ video recaps of their experiences in the planning, tracking, and post-production phases of the contest.