Hyde School Hosts Annual Songwriters Workshop

[Bath, ME]— For the eighth consecutive year, Hyde School in Bath, Maine, hosted a five-day music workshop on January 23 through January 28. The Singer-Songwriter Workshop, designed for students who are interested in perfecting their musical craft in writing, producing, or singing, was led by music great Don Cook.

Students from both Hyde School boarding campuses in Woodstock, Connecticut and Bath, Maine, attended the workshop.  Hyde also extended the invitation through the music departments at local public high schools for area students to take part in the workshop.

Matt Newberg, director of music at Hyde School, said all student participants need are in strong academic standing, have a passion for music with relevant experience and course work, as well as instrumental proficiency.

Students received hands-on training from Cook and other music professionals who volunteered their time to work as facilitators for the workshop.  Cook is one of Nashville’s premier songwriters and producers. A former chief creative director for Sony Music Publishing Nashville, he has more than 30 years of experience in the music industry. Cook has worked with legendary groups including Brooks & Dunn, Alabama, and The Mavericks.

Participants in the workshop showcase the music they produced over the five-day period at Portland’s Bayside Bowl. Later in the year, some Hyde School students will travel to Nashville to write and professionally record their own music.  Newberg spearheaded the program in 2003, a result of connecting accomplished musicians with students pursuing music careers.

Newberg says, “We have a gifted group of parents and alumni who want to share their musical experience and understanding of music with young musicians. I couldn’t think of a better way to connect the two than to provide a place where musicians could learn from one another.”

Hyde recently announced that its on-campus music studio will undergo major upgrades thanks to a gift from Michael McDonald, formerly of The Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan and father of a Hyde alumnus. McDonald has been an involved supporter of the Singer-Songwriter Workshop since its inception.

Hyde School’s music and performing arts program has a rich history, dating back to the late 70’s when the touring production of Hyde’s original work, America’s Spirit, played in such venues as the Kennedy Center.  Today each student at Hyde is required to be involved in the annual spring performing arts show.  Students may also take more focused music classes throughout the year, including Advanced Theory and Performing, Songwriting and Sound Engineering, and Stage Production.