Return to Headlines

New major in music performance and technology coming to MCVTS this fall

New major in music performance and technology coming to MCVTS this fall

A new career major in music performance and technology will be offered in the fall by the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools.

The new major, the district’s 34th career major, will be part of the School of the Arts on the MCVTS East Brunswick Campus.

“We have an extensive arts program in our district, but one thing we haven’t had is a music performance major,” Superintendent of Schools Dianne D. Veilleux said. “There’s a lot of enthusiasm and excitement among the students about bringing in a music program.

“We have theater, dance, graphic design, digital film, and our newest addition was theater technology,” said Sean McDonald, MCVTS director of career and technical education. “This is a natural area for us to grow into.”

“We have students in the arts program who have an interest in and a talent for music,” Veilleux said, adding that she expects some current students to apply for the new major.

MCVTS also will reach out to sending districts to recruit incoming freshmen for the music program, she said.

McDonald said a 20-member advisory committee that includes representatives of audio companies, music studios, recording studios, and craft unions has been meeting for about a year to advise the MCVTS administration about the curriculum. Among those involved were the principals of Star LLC, who worked closely with the stagehands union in setting up the theater technology program, and the Rock and Roll Forever Foundation, which was established by Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Steven Van Zandt.

It is expected that a core instructor will be assisted by visiting professionals.

“Students will be immersed in music theory, composition, ear training, vocal, and such instruments as piano, guitar, bass and percussion, as well as setting up the audio for live and recorded music,” McDonald said. “We’re going to offer a more directed musical education that they can’t get in other high schools.”

“This will be a five-day-a-week intensive immersion to prepare for a career in music,” Veilleux said.

A large existing room will be renovated to include a flexible teaching space, a recording studio, a control room, an editing room, and practice rooms, McDonald said. Federal Perkins Act funds will be used to purchase equipment and supplies.