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ST. PAUL, MN, December 3, 2007 — More than 30 students, along with 10 instructors, from the McNally Smith College of Music have packaged their talents for the season of giving through their recorded holiday album, The Gift Of Hope. For the second year, the school has donated 1,500 of its CDs to the Minnesota AIDS Project, which is being used to raise AIDS awareness and funds toward the nonprofit organization‘s programs.

College senior Warren Griffin, Jr., served as executive producer during The Gift Of Hope recording and production, which he says provided him with a “real-life” experience in music business studies. Throughout the production, which ran between July and October and was recorded in McNally Smith College of Music studios, Griffin, Jr. was responsible for coordinating and overseeing the album‘s recording schedule as well as the mastering and sequencing phases. Additionally, he was responsible for album promotion, working with the Minnesota AIDS Project and its marketing relations and campaign. Griffin, Jr. was also tasked with coordinating sale and distribution opportunities, which included meetings with natural and organic foods retailer, Whole Foods Market.

The Gift Of Hope CD is the closest and truest experience you can get to the music industry as far as learning the steps necessary for putting out an album,” says Griffin, Jr. “It has afforded us a practical application perspective every facet in recording, music technology and production, from start to finish, and is far more valuable than anything that could have been taught from any textbook.”

McNally Smith College of Music President Harry Chalmiers, who is a working guitarist, classical and contemporary music composer, also assumed an active role during the CD production. “Our college is not only about teaching music and the music business, but is also about educating human beings and putting forth graduates who can positively affect the world, a fine balance that is achieved through The Gift Of Hope CD and our affiliation with Minnesota AIDS Project,” explains Chalmiers. “This experience allows our students to utilize their musical gifts and skills, with 100% creative control, while supporting and building awareness for an important cause.”

“Minnesota AIDS Project is appreciative of McNally Smith College of Music and its students for their time and dedication to support our educational, prevention and support services,” says David Folkens, Minnesota AIDS Project Director of Communications. “It‘s outstanding that the school and its students are using their talents to help others. Thanks to their music industry knowledge and the terrific recordings they‘ve produced, our organization is able to bring in additional funds that we might not be able to obtain otherwise.”

The Gift Of Hope features a collection of traditional and original holiday compositions created and produced by McNally Smith students and faculty. All sale proceeds will go toward the Minnesota AIDS Project. Priced at $10.00, The Gift Of Hope is available at It can also be purchased at Minnesota Whole Foods Market locations.

Minnesota AIDS Project envisions a world free of AIDS. Its mission is to lead Minnesota’s fight to stop HIV through advocacy, education and service. Founded in 1983, the Minnesota AIDS Project (MAP) is a statewide, nonprofit agency committed to enhancing the lives of people living with HIV, prevention education for those at risk for HIV, and advocating for the rights of all affected by HIV. From community outreach and legal consultation to emergency financial assistance, MAP is a leader in the fight against HIV.

Founded in 1985, McNally Smith College of Music is devoted to excellence in music industry higher education and in developing music industry professionals. An accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music, McNally Smith College of Music offers music degrees and programs in Music Performance, Recording Technology and Music Business. With 500 students and an 80-member faculty, McNally Smith College of Music students get a personalized music education that combines the art of physics with musical artistry and includes wide access to current music technology, research tools and performance facilities. McNally Smith alumni are working all over the world.