Florida A&M University has recently purchased more than $50,000 of new professional recording hardware and software, including the popular ProTools music production program for its Music Department.
The Jazz Studies/Commercial Music Program will benefit directly from the recent purchase which was made in an effort to revive the commercial music component of the program.
The commercial music component has been defunct since the recording equipment was stolen from the school in the 1990s.
Lindsey B. Sarjeant, director of the program, said the school is anticipating the revitalizing of the component.
“We are very excited about the program,” he said.
Diron T. Holloway, a professor of applied saxophone and a professional jazz musician, said the program will bring various types of musicians to the school.
“I think it will attract people to the school and bring notoriety,” he said. “It is an excellent addition to the department.”
Sarjeant said the two will remain “married to each other,” because of an emphasis on musicianship.
“People must be musicians first and technicians second,” he said.
Gregory Beacham, 22, a senior jazz studies/commercial music student said more people should take advantage of the program.
“It’s too many cats out here being phony musicians,” Beachman said. “Learn the craft.”
Sarjeant said the proposed commercial music curriculum is currently being devised and the goal is to have the program approved by the fall of this year.
He also said interviews are being conducted to fill faculty positions for the technological aspect of the program.
The new degree will add courses to the existing curriculum such as, Studio Recording Techniques, Midi Synthesis, Film Scoring and a course in Hip Hop.
“Hip Hop will be an important part of the program,” Sarjeant said.
The present music facilities will undergo minor renovations to accommodate for the new program. The school’s music library will be converted into a master lab (studio), and other vacant rooms will be used as editing facilities.
Patrick Nunn, 22, a senior jazz studies/commercial music student, said he is happy to see FAMU update the facilities.
“I’m glad future students can have somewhere to record without having to go across the tracks,” he said.
Besides updated facilities, the new program will afford students internship opportunities. According to Sarjeant, the existing program previously had an internship relationship with Disney.
“We are in the process of rekindling our relationship with Disney,” Sarjeant said.
Students will also have internship opportunities available at record companies including, LaFace, Arista and Universal Records, Sarjeant said.