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NESCom AES Chapter To Host Lecture By Bob Ludwig

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EDITOR’S NOTE: THE LECTURE HAS BEEN MOVED TO THE GRACIE THEATRE

Bob Ludwig, the legend of mastering is coming to NESCom. Bob Ludwig has mastered countless legendary recordings from Nirvana to Guns N’ Roses to the recent award winning album by Daft Punk, Random Access Memories.

He’ll being his expertise in the field of audio engineering and mastering  to Kominsky Auditorium on April 24th at 7PM. All students are welcome.

Entertainment Production to produce The 25th Annual Putman County Spelling Bee

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This May, The New England School of Communications at Husson University will present the award-winning musical, The 25th Annual Putman County Spelling Bee in the Gracie Black Box Theatre. This is the second musical that has been presented in the school’s experimental theatre. Last year, Studs Terkel’s Working – The Musical launched the space as an intimate alternative performance facility on the Husson campus.

Winner of the Tony and the Drama Desk Awards for Best Book, The 25th Annual Putman County Spelling Bee has charmed audiences across the country. The story focuses on an eclectic group of six high school students who vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home life, they spell their way through a series of [potentially made-up] words, hoping to never hear the soul crushing, pout inducing, life un-affirming “ding” of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves! At least the losers get a juice box! The show is a riotous ride, complete with audience participation. With upbeat, clever music and lyrics by William Finn, and satirical book by Rachel Sheinkin, Spelling Bee gives us a comic and insightful look into youthful aspirations, the overwhelming joy of victory and the bitter-sweet tang of defeat. The musical pulls no punches, and is recommended for mature audiences only.

The NESCom production is staged by Christie Robinson, who is well-known to the Bangor Theatre community, assisted by another local favorite, John Haskell, the music director of countless area musicals and revues. The cast of Spelling Bee misfits will be performed by NESCom’s Musical Theatre Performance class.

Robinson sums up the essence of the play in her director’s notes: “We all have our quirks that make us unique and different. We’ve been teased, had times of being cool or uncool, struggled to be seen for who we truly are (not who others want us to be), had embarrassing acne and let our freak flags fly. You don’t need to look very hard to recognize a little bit of each of us in the characters of ‘the Bee’. Whether this brings back feelings of the good, the bad and the ugly of adolescence, I hope it brings back a feeling of nostalgia. That no matter how high your freak flag flies, you mattered and made a positive difference in someone’s life – win or lose.”

The performances are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, May 2 – 3 at 7:30 PM and on Sunday, May 4th at 2:00 PM. The Gracie Black Box Theatre is located on the second floor of the Gracie Theatre on the campus of Husson University. General Admission tickets are available at the door before each performance. Ticket prices are $5.00 Regular Admission and $3.00 Student admission. Seating is limited to 50 seats for each performance, so get there early, and be prepared to laugh… and maybe to spell!

NESCom Teams With Apple On Cool 2 Career Event

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On May 2, 2014 NESCom and Apple will partner up for the inaugural Cool 2 Career event taking place in the Gracie Theatre at Husson University. Open to students from 7th grade to senior year of high school, the event will be a powerful day for students to learn about how their passion for technology and connectivity can translate into a career.With breakout sessions in game design, iOS app development, graphic design, social media, audio engineering and a host of other area, both attending students and their instructors are sure to leave empowered and excited for the future.

Students from the following schools have already signed up to attend:
Belfast Area High School
Boothbay Elementary School
Bruce Whittier Middle School
Caravel Middle School
Caribou High School
Durham Community School
Foxcroft Academy
Freeport Middle School
Greely High School
Hancock County Technical Center
Maine Dept. of Education
Massabesic High School
Massabesic Middle School
Messalonskee High School
Milbridge Elementary School
Mount View Middle School
Narraguagus High School
Orono High School
Penquis Valley High School
Rangeley Lakes Regional School
Richmond Schools
Searsport District Middle/High School
Troy Howard Middle School

Registration fee is $15 per student or adult participant. Capacity for this initial Cool2Career will be a total of 480, and registration will close when that number is reached.

For a full schedule of breakout sessions and registration information, visit Cool2Career.com

Workshop with “Beneath The Harvest Sky” Filmmakers Aron Gaudet & Gita Pullapilly

Gita Pullapilly & Aron Gaudet

Gita Pullapilly & Aron Gaudet
Photo By: Shane Leonard

On Friday, April 25th in Kominsky Hall at Husson University, NESCom presents in partnership with the Maine Film Office and the Maine Video & Film AssociationAward-winning filmmakers Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly. From 3 to 5pm they will share their experiences as Maine-based artists and their innovative process of successfully making documentary and narrative films in the state of Maine. Their new feature film, BENEATH THE HARVEST SKY, had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and its US premiere will be at the Tribeca Film Festival. The film was acquired for release by Tribeca Films. Gaudet and Pullapilly were also chosen for Variety’s “10 Directors to Watch” list and signed by the talent agency, UTA.

Gaudet and Pullapilly also made the Emmy-nominated documentary feature, THE WAY WE GET BY, on the Maine Troop Greeters of Bangor, Maine. The film won 18 festival awards, played in over 60 theaters across the country, and aired on the critically acclaimed PBS program POV in 2009 and 2010.

Gaudet and Pullapilly will share their experiences in the research and writing, pre-production, production, and post-production process as well as their strategies for marketing and releasing BENEATH THE HARVEST SKY nationwide. In the past, they have spoken on panels for Film Independent in Los Angeles, IFP in New York City, Silverdocs in Washington D.C., the Toronto International Film Festival, and traveled to Australia to be film mentors for the HIVE LABS.

Following the event, BENEATH THE HARVEST SKY will screen at the Bangor Mall Cinemas, for the Maine premiere, where there will be a live performance from film composer/musician Dustin Hamman and the filmmakers will take part in a Q&A following each of the evening screenings.

For a complimentary ticket to the Maine premiere in Bangor on April 25, please RSVP: events@bangordailynews.com

The workshop in Kominsky Auditorium is free and open to the public.

Kominsky Auditorium at Husson University

Kominsky Auditorium at Husson University

Portland Press Herald Features NESCom

The Portland Press Herald has a great piece on the wonderful work of students of the New England School of Communications. Read the article HERE

Scott Loiselle To Host Free Electronic Music Clinic

 Audio Engineering Assistant Professor Scott Loiselle will host an Electronic Music Clinic for students on Wednesday, February 26th in the NESCom Audio Studio at 6PM. The clinic is free and open to all students.

Included in the clinic will be understanding and utilizing analog modular synthesis (which has had a substantial rise in popularity recently) including patching. Following the introduction using the NESCom modular synth cabinet found in the Electronic Music Production lab, Loiselle will the take the lessons further with an expanded collection of modular synth and MIDI gear.

For a sampling of the types of music creation that will be covered, watch Scott Loiselle and his synth rig.

NESCom Grads Working At Winter Olympics In Sochi

New England School of Communications (NESCom) graduates Brandon Gassett (’09) and Keith Bickford (’10) are at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia working for EVS, a company that provides instant replay capabilities for live sporting events. The two graduates are helping to supply NBC and their broadcast affiliates throughout the world with world-class televised sports coverage of the 22nd Winter Olympic Games.

Keith Bickford at Sochi Olympics

Keith Bickford at Sochi Olympics

Brandon Gassett at Sochi Olympics

Brandon Gassett at Sochi Olympics

EVS has a system that records all media to a server and then manages the media/metadata. Professionals then have the opportunity to edit the content directly off their server, send it to a third party editing applications or play the content on air. The EVS system is being used at the IBC (International Broadcast Center).

“NESCom’s ability to train students on the EVS system and help students get
internships at EVS, resulted in them receiving full time positions,” said Ben Haskell, Executive Vice President and Academic Dean at the New England School of Communications. “Their ability to contribute to large scale professional productions, like the Olympics, is a tribute to the educational quality available to students through NESCom.”

The NESCom graduates arrived in Sochi three weeks before the opening ceremony to configure the systems. While the games are underway, their responsibility is to monitor the system and make sure it runs without any issues.

In addition to Gassett and Bickford, Nick Barrows (’12) is in NBC’s new sports broadcast center overseeing the EVS operation for the Winter Olympics.

All three graduates studied video production while at NESCom. NESCom’s Mobile Production Unit prepared them for this prominent international sporting event by giving them professional grade experiences in the functional, operational and technical aspects of live production.

NESCom Video Production Students & Faculty Work On Red Bull Frozen Rush

Video Production Student Chris Rancourt

Video Production Student Chris Rancourt

NESCom Instructor Steve Vachon

NESCom Instructor Steve Vachon

Students studying video production at NESCom got some real (chilly) world experience as utility on on the recent Red Bull Frozen Rush off-road truck race event at Sunday River in Newry, ME. The event, which was filmed for broadcast, included Red Bull athletes Ricky Johnson and Bryce Menzies driving the slopes of Sunday River on January 10th. Drivers that dared face the course found a variety of jumps, banked turns, slalom gates and a wild over-under gap jump.

Working the event were students Chris Rancourt and Jack White, both of which were hired by Boombox Productions to work utility on the event. Set up took a week of hard labor running cables and setting up for each camera position. Also working the event was NESCom Video Production Instructor Steve Vachon who was so close to the action a camera op that “…when a passing truck would strike the concrete retaining wall, I could feel the wall nudge against my camera position”.

The event will air nationally this Sunday at 3PM on NBC. For more information on the Frozen Rush series, visit RedBull.com/FrozenRush.

President’s Blog – Spring Semester Begins

It was hard to believe that classes were going to begin tomorrow. For the last two weeks of the New Years break, NESCom was been humming with activity, faculty and students. Last Saturday we worked in the Gracie to present a TedTalks event with students from John Bapst Memorial High School.

TEDxYouth@JBMHS

TEDxYouth@JBMHS

This weekend, again on Saturday, it seemed like classes were in full gear. The recording studio was the site of laying down vocal tracks with Associate Professor Walter Clissen, student Elijah Gudroe, Grammy award winner Christopher Tin and the Anonymous 4.

The Live Truck and its blended crew of professional, faculty and students was broadcasting a Husson basketball doubleheader for Channel 7/Fox from Newman Gymnasium. This was our first use of the newly installed optical fiber backbone and “plug and play” system from the Gym back to NESCom. And, Husson women and men won both games, setting two records. One is the Kissy Walker coached her 400th win, and the men’s team has now extended its streak to 13 wins without a loss.

Anonymous 4 recording at NESCom

Anonymous 4 recording at NESCom

Finally, post-production of Three Brothers was in full swing. The video team has finished the rough edit in our edit suites of 5 scenes. These are ready for post-audio students to begin Foley studio work in the isolation booth and to bring in the actors frothier work on dialogue replacement. Take a look at Mugglenet.com or NESCom on YouTube for some recent news on our student project.

Husson Basketball Mobile Production Coverage

Husson Basketball Mobile Production Coverage

Other work included a site survey of the Cross Insurance Center for high school basketball tournament where NESCom and MPBN will broadcast championship games. Faculty member Steve Vachon was at Sunday River Ski Area as part of the video crew with Red Bull Frozen Rush Event. We have Audio Coordinator and Assistant Professor Eric Ferguson and eight Live Sound Technology students at sea on the Norwegian Pearl working audio for the Trace Adkins Country Cruise. Our thanks to NESCom alum Tim Cabral of Cruise Production for making this possible. I can’t wait to hear about their adventure and to look at the photos they’ll bring back.

It’s hard to believe all of this is going on and, and school hasn’t even begun!

Thom Johnston
President

NESCom Recording Session to be Included in Album Featuring London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Husson University’s New England School of Communications (NESCom) announced today that one of its professional quality audio recording studios, Studio D with the API Vision console, will be used for recording vocal tracks with the quartet, the Anonymous 4, on January 18 at 3:30 p.m. The audio recorded here in Bangor will part of an album featuring the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London.

API Console

“We are honored to be a part of this groundbreaking album composed by Christopher Tin,” said Associate Professor Walter Clissen, a member of the audio engineering and live sound technology faculty at NESCom. “His last album, ‘Calling All Dawns,’ was a multiple Grammy Award winning effort. Being able to participate in Mr. Tin’s latest project will be a great educational experience for our students and a tribute to the educational program we provide to aspiring audio professionals.”

The audio tracks recorded in Bangor are for Tin’s new piece “Seirenes,” a work for orchestra and vocal quartet commissioned by the Bangor Symphony Orchestra that will have its world premiere with the BSO on Sunday, January 19 at the Collins Center for the Arts. The piece uses text from Homer’s The Odyssey and is part of a larger song cycle called “The Drop That Contained the Sea.” The full song cycle, including the tracks recorded at NESCom, will be part of an album featuring London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra set to be released later this year.

“Once the session is completed, NESCom will be able to use the recorded material for educational purposes. This material will be a great addition to our audio recording and sound mixing curricula,” said Clissen.

More About Christopher Tin:
Christopher Tin is a two-time Grammy-winning composer. His work covers diverse terrain: from fusions of orchestral and world music, to reinventions of 90s electronica, to award winning scores for film, video games, and commercials.

His debut album Calling All Dawns won two Grammys at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards: Best Classical Crossover Album and Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists for the song ‘Baba Yetu.’ Both wins were historic: Calling All Dawns was the last album ever to win the Best Classical Crossover Album category, and ‘Baba Yetu’ made history as the first piece of music written for a video game ever to be nominated for, or win, a Grammy.

He received his undergraduate education at Stanford University, studying Music Composition, Conducting, and English Literature. After a brief stint as an exchange student at Oxford University, he won a Fulbright Scholarship to continue his studies at the elite Royal College of Music in London. There, he earned an MMus with Distinction, graduating with the highest marks in his class, and winning the Horovitz Composition Prize. He is also a Sundance Institute fellow.

Many distinguished orchestras, including the National Symphony Orchestra, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Philharmonia, Metropole Orchestra, and hundreds of amateur ensembles around the world, have performed Tin’s music live. In addition to his album work, he is also an active composer of music for films, video games, advertising, and other media. He has won awards for his video game music, for titles such as Civilization IV and Pirates Of The Caribbean Online. He has written music for such Hollywood blockbusters as X2: X-Men United and Lilo And Stitch 2, and a host of independent features, documentaries and TV specials. Major advertising clients include Puma, Verizon, The Gap, and others.

More About the Anonymous 4
Four women got together for a music reading session one afternoon in the spring of 1986; they wanted to hear what medieval chant and polyphony would sound like when sung by female voices. Twenty-five years later, Anonymous 4 has performed for sold-out audiences on major concert series and at festivals throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East; and has made 19 recordings for harmonia mundi usa, selling over two million copies.

Anonymous 4′s programs have included music from the year 1000; the ecstatic music and poetry of the 12th-century abbess and mystic, Hildegard of Bingen; 13th- and 14th-century chant and polyphony from England, France, and Spain; medieval and modern carols from the British Isles; American folksongs, shape note tunes, and gospel songs; and works newly written for the group.

Their recordings have received France’s prestigious Diapason d’Or, Classic CD’s Disc of the Year, Classic FM’s Early Music Recording of the Year, several Gramophone Editor’s Choice awards, Italy’s Antonio Vivaldi Award, Le Monde de la Musique’s Choc award; the group has also twice been voted one of Billboard’s top classical artists. Anonymous 4 recently returned to the Billboard charts with the release of Secret Voices (2011), music from the 13th-century, Spanish Codex Las Huelgas.