Los Angeles / United States,

University of Southern California

Shure Microphones Help USC Popular Music Students Shine: Professional gear helps prepare young performers for music careers.

Los Angeles, May 2011 - When the faculty at the University of Southern California’s (USC) Thornton School of Music began a Popular Music program in the fall of 2009, they knew professional-grade audio gear was a must. The program is open to instrumentalists, vocalists, and songwriters pursuing studies in contemporary pop/rock, folk-rock, R&B/Urban, Latin/Salsa, and other popular styles, with a concentration on small ensemble performance, live performance, studio, and film scoring sessions. Renowned front of house engineer J.D. Brill, who has worked with legendary bands like the Eagles, visited the school and immediately told professors what they needed to make the program a success: Shure microphones.

“J.D. said that in order for these kids to learn their craft, we needed to give them Shure gear to work with,” recalls Christopher Sampson, Associate Dean of the Thornton School of Music. “He feels there are no better tools to teach them about striving for the best possible sound quality. As a performer myself, who’s used Shure microphones for years, I knew he was right.”

Brill helped Sampson reach out to Shure, and in the fall of 2010, Sampson was able to outfit the School’s new 3,200 square foot soundstage exclusively with Shure microphones, including SM57s and SM58®s for vocals, a complete drum package, and several KSM series microphones.

“Music education is part of our passion,” says Shure President and CEO Sandy LaMantia. “We’re pleased that Shure microphones are helping to give these talented students a solid foundation, as they prepare for careers in the music industry.”

“We’ve used Shure gear for two semesters now, both with our Popular Music and Sound Reinforcement students, and the results have just been outstanding. I can’t tell you how much these kids are learning by working with these microphones as they perform and record.”

Sampson says having an array of Shure microphones at their fingertips has helped his students understand what they need to look for when choosing a mic for a specific application or performance.

“They’re learning what to expect in terms of coloration and response. They get that a microphone is really an extension of their instrument and that it’s crucial to pick the right one. I really believe the Shure mics have brought their professional knowledge to a whole new level.”

Sampson’s students have written number one songs, won national songwriting competitions, placed songs in numerous television shows and films, and currently work in multiple areas of the music industry.

“I can say without a doubt that a number of these students will go on to become professional performers,” Sampson adds. “I expect them all to be leaders in the industry in one way or another, and I couldn’t be more proud that they’re getting their start here.” 

About the USC Thornton School of Music

The USC Thornton School of Music brings together a stellar faculty chosen from a broad spectrum of the music profession and musically gifted students from around the globe. Founded in 1884 and today the oldest continually operating cultural institution in Los Angeles, the Thornton School consistently ranks among the nation’s top music schools and conservatories. Graduates of the school attain positions with major orchestras, ensembles, recording studios, and music industry firms and perform on stages and in studios around the world. Blending the rigors of a traditional conservatory-style education with the benefits of studying at a leading research university, the Thornton School offers students a thorough music education in a real-world context. Located at the center of Los Angeles, the school is the collegiate partner of choice for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Opera, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and the GRAMMY Foundation to name a few.

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