Category Archives: Music

5 Reasons You Should Love Carter Family Music

The original Carter Family – A.P. and Sara Carter, and her cousin (and his sister-in-law) Maybelle Carter have been called “the first family of country music.” They recorded hundreds of songs in the 1920s–40s and Maybelle’s innovative style of guitar playing was enormously influential.

If you haven’t heard of them, you’ve almost certainly heard of Johnny Cash, who married Maybelle’s daughter June. Here are some other fun facts about the Carter Family and their music:

  1. Posters promoting Carter Family concerts featured the charming tagline, “the program is morally good.”
  2. Their concerts may indeed have been morally good, but there were plenty of juicy goings-on behind the scenes!
  3. The Carter Family back story includes the almost unbelievable tale of one Dr. Brinkley, purveyor of goat glands to a large and willing audience. No kidding!
  4. Maybelle Carter’s pioneering style, now known as the Carter scratch, changed acoustic guitar playing forever.
  5. Carter family descendants still run the Carter Family Fold in the location of the original homestead, featuring concerts and festivals year-round.

If you have any interest in early country or “hillbilly” music, we’d love to share the music of the Carter Family with you in an upcoming class offered by Parkland College Community Education. We will play and sing lots of their songs, and also talk about their history, why they were so popular, and why their music still endures today.

Mondays, September 14-October 5, 7 to 8:30pm, $45. Sign up by calling Community Education at 217/353-2055.

Feature image: Carter Family, the, Photograph, from Britannica Online for Kids, accessed August 28, 2015, http://kids.britannica.com/comptons/art-107922.

New Music Recording Class Starts Up This Fall!

MUS 161 (Introduction to Music Recording) is an exciting new course coming to Parkland fall semester 2015.

The purpose of this course is to help students develop a knowledge and understanding of key recording techniques and apply them through hands-on practice in a multi-track studio environment, right here on Parkland’s campus!

Basic audio and recording concepts will be covered, including sound principles; perceptions of direction and space; microphone types, patterns, and placements; console features; effects processing; signal flow; and much more.

This project-based class will enable students to run real recording sessions on campus and learn how to do everything from setting up, tracking, and mixing to mastering a song.

MUS 161 will utilize a new recording space in Room C140 that is equipped with a top-of-the-line console and microphone collection. (Right now we’re in the beginning stages of building the studio.)

For any questions or more information on the course, please do not hesitate to contact instructor Adam Porter at aporter@parkland.edu.

“I wanna rock and roll all night…”

First Gig Rock N’ Roll Camp for Kids is a six-day camp for ages 10–18 years who love music and are ready for the full Rock n’ Roll band experience, including the thrill of performing live in front of an audience.

This summer’s camp at Parkland College will take place July 20–25, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.  Registration information available here.

First Gig was built in Danville in 2012, incorporating talent from central Illinois. While the notion is not original, the formula most definitely is. The resources and connections used here were developed over 20 years in the industry. The camp brings together local and regional artists in the field of music, overseen by members of the Chicago Blackhawks Band (the official band of the the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team). They not only teach students valuable knowledge but also guarantee a fun time for all.

More than 25 area musicians will serve as camp instructors, sharing years of stage experience and teaching children the difference between playing music and performing live in front of an audience. It’s a luxury for us not only to have talented people at our fingertips but to have these people share an appreciation for working with the next generation of musicians.

How it Works
First Gig staff members place all incoming students in a band, then assign each band a professional leader. The band then works as a team to choose a name and pick songs to learn.

Participants spend their time rehearsing as a band and studying individually with guest musicians from some of the area’s most popular bands, who excel in their field. Students develop their skills and talent in guitar, bass, drums, or vocals. They also participate in other hands-on activities, including photo shoots, studio recording, sound production, and merchandising.

Guest speakers from across the music industry will cover various topics of relevance, like management, talent buying, marketing, etc.

The week culminates with a live public performance by the bands.

For more information, visit www.parkland.edu/communityed/firstgig.aspx

Listen. Learn. Live…on WPCD

Did you know Parkland College has its own radio station on the FM dial? I didn’t either, until I took COM 141 (Basic Broadcast Announcing) as an elective and now, the rest is history!

WPCD 88.7  FM blasts new up and coming alternative artists as well as the forefathers of alternative music 24/7 and allows Parkland students the chance to hone their radio skills live on the air. To go along with their on-air training, students are tasked with making promotional spots and writing their own copy for public service announcements, news segments, and weather spots. There is also a chance to do live on-air spots from shows happening throughout Champaign-Urbana.

As you progress in the radio courses, there is an opportunity to interview bands and artists live in the studio or over the phone, which then allows you to use the editing skills you learned in class to produce an interview segment you can play during your radio show.  Whether you are into the music playing on WPCD or not, the experience you gain from the course work and on-air spots is an amazing one. It has given me much more confidence in other courses and in life as well.

Being on air at WPCD brings loads of real-life experience and gives you the feeling that you are actually working at a radio station. Even if radio isn’t your thing or your dream, being in an environment that promotes creativity while teaching life skills is an invaluable one that I would suggest to anyone who is attending Parkland!

 

Aron Ammann is a Virgo who likes long walks on the beach and spending time in the kitchen whipping up culinary masterpieces. He also enjoys spending time on 88.7 WPCD as the co-host of “The Mid-Morning Mess” alongside Chad Myler.  Aron stumbled upon the COM 141 class as an elective for his program of study and found that he really enjoyed the art of radio. An Iraq veteran, Aron has found his time on the air to be a therapeutic experience as well.