by Gary Powell
As an alumnus of the University of California at Irvine, Ted Kryczko, VP of A&R Catalog Development at Walt Disney Records, has rekindled a close relationship with the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at UC Irvine. As an distinguished alumnus, Ted offered a recent opportunity to the singers from its School of Performing Arts where they could be heard and critiqued by industry professionals. This studio session was a callback from an audition we held on the UC Irvine campus on November 17, 2007. In 2005, Ted and I offered a similar vocal workshop for singers at the “Buffalo Summer Institute in Media Writing and Production” in Buffalo, New York.
Most of these singers from UC Irvine had either never sung in a professional recording studio or had not performed as a soloist in a studio before. For this session Ted chose the studio Soundworks, which is owned by engineer and long time associate Jeff Sheridan. Soundworks, located in North Hollywood, is well-known for providing audio production services for a wide range of recordings for television, radio and music projects.
Just singing in the studio with headphones on and re-learning how to sing in tune in this unfamiliar environment is a major adjustment for any singer, but on this day, the singers were also challenged to learn a song in under fifteen minutes. Each singer was then given about thirty minutes to record the song with my vocal coaching set on speed-dial. I can attest that these vocal performers are being taught something wonderful at UC Irvine. I found each of them professional in their demeanor with an excellent set of ear-training skills as well. I was amazed at how comfortable these singers were in being coached at this level of detail while under pressure. Let’s hope we all will get to know these names as they move forward in their performing careers.
My special thanks to all of the UCI singers for a really fun day: Katie Horwitch, Mazie Wilson, Kristen Rude, Laura D’Andre, Melissa Dunham, Julia Goretsky, Zach Reiner-Harris, Ian Stuart, Ryan Farnsworth, Jeffrey Benson Parker and Kari Hall
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