Trier tunes music to internet, TV audiences
Audio installation central
to enhanced music education program
music is broadcast live on the internet and to 55,000 homes on cable
TV. They mass duplicate their own CDs and plan to do the same with DVDs.
They cover their performances with as many as eight cameras and up to
40 microphones. A professional orchestra working out of a New York recording
studio? Think again. This state-of-the-art technology belongs to the
musicians and chorale groups of New Trier Township High School in Winnetka,
visit to New Trier's Jazz Ensemble site (www.ntjazz.com) will convince
you that this school has made an incredible commitment to the arts.
That commitment is being paid back ten-fold in honors and awards.
Three of New Trier's musical groups, the Symphony Orchestra, the Jazz Ensemble
and the Symphonic Wind Ensemble were named as "Most Outstanding" for
1999 by Downbeat Magazine.
This year, New Trier was a Grammy Signature
School Gold Award winner for its commitment to music
The same commitment has
recently brought new and better technology into the school's rehearsal
rooms and recording studio, putting a new face on how instructors bring
out students' creative talents. Last summer, United Visual significantly
upgraded the music department's systems, wiring four rehearsal rooms,
a concert hall and a recording studio together and adding various audio
and video components. According to Jim Warrick, director of the school's
Jazz Ensemble, instructors now can record or videotape students in any
rehearsal room or the concert hall, then play back the results where
they please, together with professional performances of the same piece.
During concerts, instructors can play live audio and video from on-stage
to groups waiting in the rehearsal rooms, so they know what's going
on. United also hung new microphones from the front wall of each rehearsal
room to enhance the recording quality and added EV speakers, equalizers
and a subwoofer to each for a better listening experience. Finally,
they added Sharp data projection to each room, making it possible to
watch concert videos or PowerPoint or Internet presentations. Best of
all, says Warrick, "it's really simple to do. We turn around, push a
button and we're recording!"
All of this has allowed the music department not only to improve instruction,
but to share their talents with the entire community. While the school
can seat as many as 1600 people in its concert hall, they now reach
a much larger audience. "We do eight live concerts a year, and we broadcast
our recordings on the radio, cable TV and on the Internet" says Warrick.
"Now the whole community sees and hears what we're doing here."