Mt. Pleasant, Utah, August 6, 2019 — Wasatch Academy announces the opening of the Center for Contemporary Music (CCM) under the direction of GRAMMY-nominated educator, musician, author, and producer Caleb Chapman. The senior faculty for the Center includes Matthew Harding, Joseph Hanks, and Sarah Dorian. The inaugural class will enroll in fall 2019 and study a wide range of contemporary styles including rock, jazz, pop, funk, R&B, hip hop, electronic, Latin, country, and more.
“This program is the first of its kind anywhere. Students have access to instruction and performance opportunities typically reserved only for musicians at the university level,” said Chapman. “Wasatch Academy prepares them at the highest level and sets them up for success with achievements previously believed to be unattainable for this age group.”
The curriculum being designed is the finest in the nation with input from members of the CCM’s newly organized Advisory Board, which includes Will Calhoun (Living Colour), Steve Smith (Journey), Todd Stoll (Jazz at Lincoln Center), Dr. Darla Hanley (Berklee College of Music), Ron Blake (Saturday Night Live Band, The Juilliard School), Rey Sanchez (University of Miami), and Christopher Sampson (USC). Combined, members of the Advisory Board have sold well over 100 million albums and embody over two centuries of music education experience.
“The Center for Contemporary Music attracts talented students from all corners of the world in alignment with the Wasatch Academy mission of preparing young people for influence and success in a globally interconnected society,” Head of School Joseph Loftin said. “I look forward to the dynamism this educational opportunity generates for the Wasatch Academy community.”
The CCM features two multiyear certificate programs: Music Performance and Music Production. The certificate requirements reflect the evolving nature of music in the digital age. Students develop skills in digital production and recording, music synthesis, songwriting, and scoring, and they learn valuable business skills needed for success in the industry. They also collaborate on songwriting and production projects with the musicians that support the program.
Students participating in the Music Performance Certificate have the opportunity to rehearse, perform, record, and tour with Caleb Chapman’s Soundhouse, the nation’s leading music performance training program. This is made possible thanks to an exclusive partnership with the organization headquartered in American Fork, Utah.
Soundhouse industry accolades include 75 national awards from DownBeat Magazine and three Utah Best of State Statue Awards for education and arts & entertainment. Previously, Soundhouse artists have worked with many accomplished musicians including scores of GRAMMY-winning jazz artists and members of Journey, The Killers, Tower of Power, the Saturday Night Live Band, AC/DC, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, the Blues Brothers, Genesis, and many others.
Music Production Certificate students have the chance to assist on major recording projects at the June Audio Recording Studio in Provo, Utah. The studio has done projects for major artists such as Imagine Dragons, The Moth & The Flame, Kaskade, The Aces, Neon Trees, and countless others.
Additionally, the Center features a variety of top-tier guest artists and lecturers. This includes 2019/2020 Wasatch Academy Artists in Residence: Jeff Coffin, 3-time GRAMMY-winning member of the Dave Matthews Band, Branden Campbell, member of multi-platinum selling band Neon Trees, and Keith Carlock, member of Steely Dan (appearances with Toto, John Mayer, Sting, James Taylor, and Chris Botti).
Members of the 2019/2020 CCM premier band, Analog Crush, have already been selected and will represent Wasatch Academy at events and concerts throughout the year. Members were selected for both their advanced musical ability and highly-developed performance skills. The band will perform original material written by its members, as well as covers of popular songs. Chapman commented, “There really is no other band at the high school level that can execute performances at the caliber of Analog Crush. I’m so excited that they will be representing Wasatch Academy as we go into uncharted territory with the CCM!”
“This program is the culmination of a lot of hard work, creative minds, and commitment,” Assistant Head of School and CCM Advisory Board Chair Jim Detjen said. “We are very excited about the top-flight talent that has come together to make this a world-class program representing a ground-breaking approach to modern music at the secondary level.”
The CCM is a partner with some of the biggest brands in music today including Fender, Zildjian, D’Addario Strings, DW Drums, Planet Waves Cables, ProMark Drumsticks, Evans Drumheads, PreSonus, Shure, LP Latin Percussion, Dexibell, Hercules Stands, Aguilar Amplifiers, and Remo Percussion.
The Center’s home is the Bernadette and Edward Feeney Music Conservatory, a 13,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art facility. This building, originally built in 1922 as the Wasatch Presbyterian Church and expanded in 2015, features professional-quality acoustics, soundproof practice rooms, an intimate concert hall, and a fully functional recording studio. A new website dedicated to the CCM will launch in October 2019.