RUMFORD — Students in Mike Prescott’s advanced audio engineering class at Mountain Valley High School are getting a head start on their future education and careers in music.
“There’s potential for college level credit. It’s a college level course,” Prescott said.
Seven seniors — five from Mountain Valley and two from Dirigo High School in Dixfield — are learning to hook up components, record and individualize standard audio in a studio off Prescott’s classroom. They are responsible for the studio and the equipment.
The class members are Zach Alexander, Jared Arsenault, Matthew Baptiste, Todd Bautista, Leah Perry, Callahan Prendergast and Tucker Rowland.
Most of them are in local bands.
“I’m trying to make this an essential part of music education, along with traditional music,” Prescott said.
Rowland said he plans to attend the University of New Haven for sound engineering. Bautista said he wants to major in audio engineering with a minor in live performance. His goal is to produce his own music. So does Arsenault.
Perry said she wants to get into the business side of music and Baptiste wants to attend the Berklee College of Music or the New England School of Communications. He has a backup plan, though, and is thinking about civil engineering.
“It’s really cool that this course is offered,” Rowland said.
He said he believes classical music is very intelligent.
“The technology and scores are thoroughly written, far beyond anything else,” he said.
Arsenault said he believes he’ll have a leg up on other college freshmen.
Most of the students said they believe vinyl records present far better quality and sound than digitized music.
Vinyl is enjoying an upsurge in manufacturing and sales, perhaps because everything is so digitalized, Prescott said.
“It takes the human element out,” he said.
Prescott said his students won the audio challenge at the New England School of Communications for two straight years before the contests ended.
“It’s most important that you get a degree,” Prescott said. “They don’t know where these interests will take them, but they are focusing on something that maintains their interest. Once you have a degree, that gives you options,” he said.