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CRAS Awards Two Local Arizona High School Student Contest Winners with Live Sound & Recording Sessions

Brittany Tews & Sam Mortimer Performed Their Music Live in the CRAS Live Sound Venue; Both Then Participated in Having Their Music Professionally Recorded in a CRAS World Class Recording Studio

image caption: (Gilbert, Ariz.) Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences’ BE HEARD high school contest winners Sam Mortimer and Brittany Tews during their recording sessions in one of CRAS’ recording studios on June 3. (photo courtesy of CRL Public Relations)

Gilbert, Ariz., June 7, 2017 – You can’t win if you don’t try. The Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences (CRAS;, the premier institution for audio engineering education, is proud to announce that two local Arizona high school BE HEARD contest winners recently had the opportunity to participate in an intimate live performance of their music material in the CRAS Live Sound Venue, and then were able to participate in a recording session of their music with industry professionals in one of CRAS’ world class recording studios.

“Recently, CRAS developed a competition, BE HEARD, for local aspiring singer/songwriters for local high schoolers near our Tempe and Gilbert campuses,” said Kirt Hamm, CRAS administrator. “The BE HEARD competition was based on making contact with the high school counselors/instructors, and present them the opportunity of engaging their musically gifted students to BE HEARD! Submissions were amassed, and the choice for one winner was simply too much. So, CRAS chose two winners instead.”

The two winners are:

  • Brittany Tews; a 17-year-old country pop singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. She has been “writing” her whole life, but became truly serious at age 14 after performing an original song at a freshman year talent show. She currently attends Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale, Ariz.

“I was fortunate enough to get the chance to spend a day recording at CRAS and it was an absolutely amazing experience,” said Tews. “The studios are beyond impressive and it was so cool getting to work with experienced industry professionals. The advice given was invaluable and the engineers were super knowledgeable. Thank you CRAS.”

  • Sam Mortimer; an 18-year-old who wrote an original song for his high school choir. He has always loved music and this is the first song he has written so far. Sam just graduated from Marcos De Niza High School in Tempe, Ariz.

“My experience throughout the CRAS Talent Search has been amazing!” said Mortimer. “I have never been in such a high quality recording studio before with such advanced technology. I’ve always wanted to write music, but never dreamed of recording my first song in a place like CRAS. I can’t thank the recording engineers and staff enough for all their help throughout my experience!”

“Both Sam and Brittany gave an intimate performance for their friends and family in our Live Sound Venue on our Gilbert campus on June 1,” Hamm continued. “Industry professionals then were present to give songwriting insight, instruction, and critique for the June 3 recording session that was hosted in one of our recording studios, also on our Gilbert campus.”

To further foster the educational aspect of this competition, which is the root of all things CRAS, CRAS’ student run Audio Engineering Society (AES) was at the helm of all things technical for both of the winners’ performances and recording sessions.

Hamm explained that for more than 30 years, CRAS has focused very deeply in the art form of audio engineering. “In this time, CRAS has created a route, by way of a world class education, to the greatest heights of the audio industry for thousands of students who hail locally and from all over the world. On a local level, the CRAS presence at high schools in the greater Phoenix area has been received positively, as educators are seeing first hand that there is an immense opportunity for their students that have a passion for the arts. The response, at times, is so overwhelming that CRAS simply has to invite scores of interested high schoolers to the CRAS campus for a tour of the facility and to speak with industry professionals about their desire to enter this field.”

The Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences is composed of two nearby campuses in Gilbert and Tempe, Ariz. A CRAS education includes music, broadcast audio, live sound, film and TV audio, and video game audio, all taught by award-winning instructors who have all excelled in their individual fields, including sound reinforcement, audio recording and production, digital recording, troubleshooting/maintenance, and music business.

CRAS structured programs and highly qualified teaching staff provide a professional and supportive atmosphere, which is complemented by its small class sizes allowing for individual instruction and assistance for students in engineering audio recordings. CRAS has been providing quality vocational training in audio recording for more than three decades. The curriculum and equipment are constantly being updated to keep pace with the rapid advancements in the music and sound recording industries. CRAS’ course offerings and subject matter have always centered around the skills and knowledge necessary for students’ success in the audio recording industries.

The 11-month program is designed to allow every student access to learn and train in all of the Conservatory’s studios which are comprised with state-of-the-art audio recording and mixing gear, the same equipment used in today’s finest studios and remote broadcast facilities, including Pro Tools 12, API Legacy consoles, SSL AWS consoles, Studer Vista consoles, and much more. All students must complete a 280-hour industry internship to graduate from the Master Recording Program II that may ultimately lead to industry employment. Currently, two CRAS graduates have been nominated for 2017 Grammy Awards. In addition, 32 CRAS graduates worked on 101 2017 Grammy-nominated albums and songs across numerous categories.

“We want everyone to see, hear, and feel how our 11-month program focuses exclusively on what a student needs to know to begin living their passion in any one of the many facets of the recording arts,” explained Hamm.

For more info on the Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences, please visit, contact Kirt Hamm, administrator, at 1-866-757-3059, or email to [email protected].

About The Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences

Based in the heart of The Valley of the Sun with two campuses in Gilbert and Tempe, Ariz., The Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences (CRAS) is the country’s premier institution for audio education. The Conservatory has developed a unique and highly effective way to help the future audio professional launch their careers in the recording industry and other related professional audio categories.