A history of the state-of-the-art Malvern Recording Studio, and where it may lead students in the future
On the second floor of the Duffy Arts Center, right behind the choral room, there are students learning how to make tracks right in our own recording studio.
“It’s a full-fledged recording studio,” Malvern Music Teacher Mr. Emanuel Del Pizzo said. “We have 10 stations, including the main station. With everything in the room, it’s fully capable of doing professional recording sessions.”
Del Pizzo is a longtime musician and teacher who has been working at Malvern in the music department since 1999. After his first year, Del Pizzo said the administration approached him about new courses.
“They asked me, after my first year in 1999, at the end of the year, ‘Is there anything you think would really go well here? Any type of course?’” Del Pizzo said. “I said, ‘well, I have an idea but it’s really expensive.”
Del Pizzo said the administration asked him to present them with a budget that they would then accept or reject.
“So, I came up with something to jump start [the recording studio], back when it was located in the basement of Tolentine, and it got approved,” Del Pizzo said. “So we put it in action the next year.”
Since that point, the Malvern recording studio has grown. Currently, the studio is fitted with all industry-standard, state-of-the-art technology all at a student’s disposal, said Music teacher Mr. Jonathan Springer.
“Students are engaged in music production projects using looping, midi, sampling and recording technologies. They’re also involved in editing of sound effects and soundtracks for film and movie clips.” Springer said.
Each day, two or three Music & Recording Technology classes are held, Del Pizzo said.
“It’s a completely project-based class where students record songs and create projects that they are then graded on.” Del Pizzo said.
A large part of the studio’s operations include live recordings in the band room, Del Pizzo said.
“In Jazz Improv, a large part of the class involves acoustic recording in the [live room]. We’ve also done a lot of recordings for guys doing demos for colleges.” Del Pizzo said.
Since the studio’s inception, there have been Malvern students that have gone on to do impressive things in the music industry who are thankful for their opportunity to use a professional recording studio, according to alumnus and recording artist John Scargall.
“I think having a recording studio on campus is essential for Malvern Prep students, especially for anyone thinking about getting into the music industry,” Scargall said.
Del Pizzo said the studio is a great learning tool for student musicians.
“It almost hyper-jumps you as a musician. You spend a week in the studio, and you come out the other end way better than the day you went in.” Del Pizzo said.
“I find it an amazing teaching tool. I wish other schools had it.” Del Pizzo said.