Oberlin Conservatory Launches Recording Arts and Production Program

February 17, 2020
Erich Burnett
an Oberlin student works in the recording studio with audio production staff and a guest composer.
An Oberlin student scores a film in Clonick Hall with guidance from film and TV composer Adam Cohen '91 (left). Photo credit: Peter Swendsen ’99

Professional Certificate and Artist Diploma capitalize on Oberlin’s singular resources.

Oberlin’s reputation for musical excellence extends more than 150 years and across the worlds of classical, jazz, and other forms of music.

The campus boasts nine inspiring concert venues that host hundreds of performances annually, as well as an acoustically superb recording studio situated at the heart of the conservatory—a hub for the creation of professional recordings throughout the year.

Now this fertile creative climate has been united with the expertise of the conservatory’s own audio professionals for a new program in Recording Arts and Production. Beginning in fall 2020, it will offer studies leading to both a one-year Professional Certificate in Recording Arts and a two-year Artist Diploma that incorporates both Recording Arts and Production.

Designed for students with an undergraduate degree, the programs are embedded in Oberlin’s bustling conservatory concert environment, offering an ideal training ground for careers in the recording arts, with a multitude of opportunities for hands-on learning and a distinctive emphasis on engineering and producing classical and jazz music.

Paul Eachus
Paul Eachus

Students in the program will experience group and individualized instruction, take part in recording projects across a range of musical styles and mediums, and engage with master engineers and producers in residence each semester. Upon completion of the program, graduates are uniquely prepared for essential roles in a wide range of highly skilled audio professions.

“Constant opportunities to apply developing skills are the cornerstone of this program,” says Paul Eachus, Oberlin’s director of Conservatory Audio Services. Eachus and Conservatory Audio Services Associate Director Andrew Tripp serve as codirectors and primary lecturers of the Recording Arts and Production program.

“The diversity of Oberlin’s programming requires us to be ready for everything, from chamber ensembles and electroacoustic works to big band and full symphony orchestras," Tripp adds. "With more than 400 performances each year, we’re able to transform ‘knowledge’ and ‘approach’ into practical application.”

Andrew Tripp
Andrew Tripp

Both the one- and two-year courses of study emphasize a holistic approach to recording arts and production, marrying technical mastery with deep musical understanding. Technically inclined students learn to produce musicians in the studio to bring out their best performances. Likewise, more musically inclined students gain the technological expertise to make recordings of the highest possible quality.

The one-year program, consisting of two semesters of study toward a Professional Certificate in Recording Arts, confirms a demonstrated understanding of the technology, systems, and processes associated with modern audio production. Students acquire a comprehensive familiarity with the recording, live sound, and streaming systems in nine venues across campus and work in support of more than 400 performances and recording sessions.

The two-year program, consisting of four semesters of study toward an Artist Diploma in Recording Arts and Production, requires a proven level of musical literacy. Students who demonstrate firm technical expertise in their first year then focus during their second year on the complete process of producing professional recordings, from start to finish. These recordings serve the needs of Oberlin Conservatory’s official record label, Oberlin Music, as well as archival purposes and other essential functions.

“For Oberlin and especially for our students, these newly established courses of study represent a natural extension of our emphasis on musical excellence,” says Dean of the Conservatory William Quillen. “Perhaps nowhere in the world is there a climate more conducive to learning the craft of audio production than Oberlin, and we are beyond delighted to utilize our unrivaled facilities and outstanding faculty-staff to prepare aspiring audio professionals for fulfilling careers in the field.

“Oberlin students are immersed in a world of exemplary musicianship and commitment to their craft, and we are thrilled to welcome our inaugural class of Recording Arts and Production students into that environment as well.”


For more information, contact Recording Arts and Production codirectors Paul Eachus and Andrew Tripp at Recording.Arts@oberlin.edu or 440-775-6668. Application deadline is June 1 to be considered for fall 2020.

Learn more about Recording Arts and Production 

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