About The Gazette Search Back Issues Contact Us    
The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University January 24, 2005 | Vol. 34 No. 19
Celebrating Recording Arts at Peabody

Alan Kefauver, founder and director of the Recording Arts and Sciences Program at Peabody, at the school's Sony Oxford console, one of only 37 in the world.

Unique program is a collaboration of Peabody and Engineering

By Greg Rienzi
The Gazette

Students enrolled in Peabody's Recording Arts and Sciences Program learn, in essence, about recorded music's complete journey, from the moment a sound is first generated to its digital dwelling on CD or tape.

The program, whose first students matriculated in 1985, is a collaboration of the Peabody Conservatory of Music and the Whiting School of Engineering and was envisioned to be the premier training program of its kind in the United States. Twenty years later, it is considered the nation's most comprehensive recording arts program, distinguished by its innovative double-degree curriculum that combines music and engineering.

"This program is truly unique. Our students not only focus on a musical instrument, calculus, physics and electrical engineering, but they also learn everything on the audio recording and production side," said Alan P. Kefauver, founder and director of the Recording Arts and Sciences Program. "Students receive a very in-depth look at recording, from the nature of sound through audio post-production using today's state-of-the-art equipment."

To celebrate the anniversary of Recording Arts and Sciences, the Peabody Institute on Saturday, Jan. 29, will host a public panel discussion, "The State of the Art: Looking Ahead to the Next 20 Years," featuring some of the industry's most distinguished leaders.

The event will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. in Peabody's Cohen-Davison Family Theatre. Following the panel, tours of Peabody's recording studios will be offered. Among them is the new state-of-the-art multitrack Studio 220, which features a Sony Oxford console, one of only 37 in the world. It was created as part of the institute's recent $26.8 million renovation.

The bachelor of recording arts and sciences degree combines courses and performance requirements of Peabody's music program with electrical engineering, math, science and computer courses from the schools of Engineering and Arts and Sciences, along with specialized courses in the recording arts and sciences taught in Peabody's facilities.

In 1998, a master of arts degree in recording and acoustics was created, ushering in a new era in audio education. The program was developed in collaboration with members of the professional audio community to provide the technical knowledge and musical skills necessary to work at an advanced level in the field of audio/video and/or acoustics.

Today, there are 38 students enrolled in the Recording Arts and Sciences Program. Graduates hold positions in major-market public and commercial radio and television stations, the recording industry, the audio-equipment industry, video post-production facilities and academia.

Kefauver, whose contribution to Peabody will be honored at the event, has served as recording consultant for the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico, recording engineer for the Inter-American Arts Festival, recording engineer/producer for the Aspen Music Festival and principal instructor at Aspen Audio Institute, which he helped found. He has designed and built studios for several universities, including the University of Mexico, Mexico City, and the new recording arts facilities for the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of the National University of Singapore. He has engineered audio recordings for compact discs and worldwide television and radio broadcasts, as well as recordings and benefit specials for John Denver, Victor Borge, Misha Dichter, the Cleveland Quartet and Tommy Newsom.

At Peabody, he pioneered the establishment of a comprehensive professional multitrack recording complex and developed the bachelor of recording arts and sciences degree and the master of arts in recording and acoustics degree. He is the author of Fundamentals of Digital Audio and The Audio Recording Handbook.

The panelists for the Jan. 29 event include Matthew Polk, co-founder of Polk Audio; John Eargle, engineer at the Delos label and author of The Microphone Book; Bob Goldstein, owner of Maryland Sound; Lawrence Manchester, film score engineer (The Red Violin, Frida); George Massenburg, former JHU student and founder of GML; Charles Thompson, senior engineer at National Public Radio; and Tony Warner, Peabody alumnus and director of audio-visual design for the Baltimore-based architecture firm RTKL.

An exhibit documenting the history of the Recording Arts Program at Peabody will be on view during a reception from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the school's Bank of America Mews Gallery. A concert by the Peabody Symphony Orchestra, playing works by Schoenberg, Mahler and Beethoven, is scheduled for 8 p.m. in Friedberg Hall.


The Gazette | The Johns Hopkins University | Suite 540 | 901 S. Bond St. | Baltimore, MD 21231 | 443-287-9900 |