St. Paul, MN, February 20, 2008 – Al Schmitt, 19-time Grammy winning recording engineer and record producer recently got up-close-and-personal with more than 400 students at McNally Smith College of Music to inaugurate the school‘s first installment of its new Masters Lecture Series, produced by the Music Business Department and hosted by the Recording Technology Department.
“McNally Smith College of Music prides itself on providing its students with practical experience and knowledge within the music arena,” explains McNally Smith College of Music Dean of Music Industries André Fischer, who is responsible for establishing the new lecture series that will showcase music industry legends including engineer and producer George Massenburg, bassist and record producer Don Was, and music producer/engineer Ed Cherney.
Fisher continues, “By establishing a lecture series that brings some of the music industry‘s top ‘masters‘ into our students‘ worlds, the students receive a real-life perspective from music professionals who they look up to and aspire to emulate. In addition, they receive first-hand insight into all facets of the music pro‘s job responsibilities including recording, technology, business, production, performance and composition.”
Mirroring the format of Bravo‘s “Inside the Actors Studio,” some of McNally Smith College of Music‘s leading instructors interviewed Schmitt, who spoke candidly for 90 minutes, discussing his personal road to establishing fruitful careers in music engineering and producing while also offering helpful tips for achieving success. Upon finishing his interview segment, he participated in a Q&A with students in attendance.
In receiving such a rare opportunity as meeting a legend in the music production and engineering world, college senior Vyacheslav Kuharchuk, who travels to McNally Smith from the Ukraine each year to pursue his career in recording technology, says it was an enlightening and inspiring experience.
“In this industry, it takes a certain degree of pioneering, dedication and strength to succeed at the level at which Al Schmitt stands,” says Kuharchuk. “I am thankful to McNally Smith for giving me the chance to meet Al, who has enhanced my passion and drive for success within the music business.”
College senior Veronica Rodriguez of St. Paul, who is majoring in production, shares Kuharchuk‘s sentiments. “I feel very fortunate to have somebody of Al Schmitt‘s caliber visiting our college and speaking with us in an intimate setting. It was wonderful receiving his inside microphone techniques. Meeting him is something I will always remember and will surely be bragging about.”
In recognition of his time and dedication to the college and its students, Schmitt was given the honor of being the first to receive McNally Smith College of Music‘s newest nationally accredited degree, its Bachelor of Science in Music (Music Producer). He was also presented with an Honorary Professor of Recording Technology certificate.
“McNally Smith College of Music goes above and beyond when it comes to music instruction and higher learning,” says Schmitt. “It was a pleasant surprise to become the first recipient of McNally Smith‘s new Bachelor of Science in Music degree. This is a prime example of the college‘s commitment to providing quality programs and instruction to its students. It was also a privilege being the first guest speaker to kick off the McNally Smith College of Music‘s new Master Lecture Series. It was great to have had the opportunity to sit down with McNally Smith‘s fine students and share my experience and insight into the music industry. I was very impressed with their knowledge, skills and talent and believe that they truly represent the music professionals of tomorrow.”
In addition, Schmitt received a personal tour of the McNally Smith‘s first-class campus and its 12 recording studios, which includes two new SSL Duality consoles. He also led two Master Recording Classes during his visit.
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 Recording Technology, Music Business, Music Performance and Composition. With more than 500 students and a 92-member faculty, McNally Smith College of Music students get a personalized music education that combines cutting edge technology with musical artistry and includes wide access to research tools, real world knowledge and great performance facilities. McNally Smith alumni are working all over the world.