April finds the students and families of Hyde engaged in the Spring Family Weekend and, come Sunday, while most of the Hyde community looked forward to a few days of relaxation, a group of seven students and two faculty members boarded a flight to “Music City,” Nashville, TN. Faculty members Matt Newberg and Rose Dorian and Hyde-Bath students Tia Bauer-Hummel ’13, Bailey Evans ’15, Matt Lupovich ’14, Sonya Kobayashi ’14, Qin “Sabrina” Wang ’14, Olivia Griffing ’14 and Hyde-Woodstock student Evan Berger ’14, flew south to participate in what has become an annual expedition.
The trip began with two days of demo recording in Richard Downs’ studio outside of town. Students created demos with the help of Hyde alums Dylan McDonald and Brian Thompson as well as a host of talented studio musicians. The songs were later mixed in Bath at the school’s studio and have been posted on the Nashville page of the Hyde website. Last year the school’s studio underwent a major upgrade thanks to the generous support of Michael McDonald of Doobie Brothers fame and a Hyde alumni parent. The update allows for a high level of quality for the student’s music recording and mixings.
The group then spent two days touring various music industry spots such as Sony Music Publishing and SESAC performing rights organization. Both lunch meetings were hosted by legendary music producer, writer and HAPA Don Cook. New this year was a session at Soundshop Studios where the students were treated to a presentation from two-time Grammy winning songwriter John Jarvis. After visits to The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and the famous Broadway lined with honky-tonks, the trip was complete. It was an exciting week for the very talented and energetic group of music students.
The venture is part of a year-long music course offered by Hyde teacher and Maine musician Matt Newberg. The first section of the program was held on the campus over a five-day period in January, where students had the opportunity to polish up their songwriting skills under the mentorship of a group of select facilitators, all of who work professionally in the music business. The week of music-making culminated with a concert at the Frontier Café in Brunswick.
The workshops are the brainchild of Cook, who was the chief creative director for Sony Music Publishing Nashville and has more than 30 years of experience in the music industry working with country music stars such as Brooks and Dunn, Alabama, and The Mavericks. Cook, McDonald, and Hiatt all live in Tennessee and are either current or alumni Hyde parents.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for students who are musically driven and interested in pursuing a career in music to have hands-on experience,” states Newberg.
“This workshop is a way for we parents who are involved professionally in the music industry to get involved more with the students and use what we know to teach Hyde’s character curriculum. I love doing this. I look forward to it every year,” shared Cook.