Tony Dawsey ’79: Integrity and the Joy of Making Multi-Platinum Hits

L-R: Tony Dawsey ’79, Tommy Baez ’78, President of Hyde Schools Malcolm Gauld ’72

Today, Tony Dawsey is one of the most respected and in-demand mastering engineers in the music industry.   As a senior mastering engineer with Masterdisk in New York City, he’s credited on 492 albums, and has worked with 247 artists including Jay-Z, Akon, Kid Rock, Whitney Houston, Redman, Ghostface Killah, Nine Inch Nails, and DMX. He mastered his first multi-platinum album in 1987, just eight years after graduating from Hyde School in Bath, Maine.

Tony has worked on more than 100 platinum, gold, and multi-platinum albums, and more than 10 Grammy award-winning albums.  He’s Jay-Z’s go-to guy; they’ve worked together on his last 10 hit records. “I’m a fortunate man,” Tony says with a smile.  “I’ve spent many years perfecting my craft, one step at a time.”

As a kid growing up in Harlem, New York City, Tony learned about music from his mother, a nurse’s aide who loved radio.  “I assumed music was important to everybody,” he said. When Tony came to Maine to attend Hyde, he became deeply involved with America’s Spirit, which recently celebrated its 45th anniversary.

The performing arts variety show featured original music and choreography, led by students who worked night and day to pull off the production. America’s Spirit toured nationally at venues including the Kennedy Center for the Arts in Washington, D.C.  For Tony, it was an eye-opener.  “What I learned at Hyde was professionalism—what it means to give something your all.  I had that music in my veins.”

Tony continues, “Hyde taught me confidence—I knew to ask, ‘Why can’t I make my mark?’ when I went into the world. I learned to value integrity, and the shared concern for a project’s outcome.  The music industry is about building relationships.  I learned that at Hyde. My best friends came from this school; we went through something important together, and I haven’t forgotten that.”