In response to student interests and the emergence of a growing world-wide music industry, Dr. Edward H. Hammond, president of Fort Hays State University, has announced the creation of a new program in music technology.
The Music Technology Program is an interdisciplinary program shared between the Department of Music and the Department of Information Networking and Telecommunications.
"This program builds on the university's national leadership in the use of information technology and its long-standing strength in music education," said Hammond. "We are taking the synergy of two strong departments to offer a program that is unique to this region of the country."
"The Music Technology Program will teach students music recording and editing techniques and prepare students to work with audio in the music recording, film and video game industries," said Matt Means, interim chair of the Department of Music.
"This program will allow a student to major either in music or media studies in the Department of Information Networking and Telecommunications and to build from the student's interests," said Dr. Mark Bannister, chair of the Department of Information Networking and Telecommunications.
Dr. Tim Crowley, professor of music, is the founder of the university's music label, Auris Tigris, created in 2006. Crowley instructs several of the courses in the program. He noted that university-based music labels are currently rare but are an idea that excites students.
"It is amazing how many high school and college students mess around with music using iPods, laptops, inexpensive software, MP3 files and other tools. We take this energy and creativity and provide students with industry-level skills," said Crowley.
Bannister said that the music recording, dubbing, editing and distribution industry has traditionally been concentrated in a handful of cities, but with today’s technologies, "we are seeing significant studios form in cities such as Kansas City and Denver."
"Even locally in Hays, we have people who are commercially recording music," he said. "We are finding that professionals are editing music for video games and movies from small offices and even the basements of their homes located literally anywhere. Music can be distributed through the Internet worldwide."
"We currently have 15 students in the program and expect to expand the number to 80," said Crowley. "They are creative and excited. For many of these students, this is the dream career. They love music and they love technology."