Not too many colleges can brag about the platinum record sales of their faculty and professional-grade-production studio. But Phoenix College can.
Officially opening fall of 2021, PC will open the doors to its latest creation: a recording facility and digital audio lab the likes of no other college. The men “behind the glass” are Jamison Weddle, Music Industry Studies Coordinator & Professor, and Mike Bolenbach, owner of Full Well Studio & adjunct professor -each of them with laudable accolades. Weddle himself has four platinum record awards, each with more than 1 million units in sales.
The two engineers have worked and continue to work with some of the industry's biggest names like DMX, Kenny Rogers, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Billy Preston, Paul Rodgers, Bruce Springsteen, Nils Lofgren, Soulfly, and Alice Cooper, to name a few.
“We are not only actively still working in the audio production industry – we teach it the way things really work in the professional world,” says Weddle. “The program goes beyond teaching students how to run the equipment behind the glass of the sound booth, but also to be prepared to work with high-caliber musicians.”
You don’t get much more hands-on than that.
The studio has been a long time in the making. Weddle has been teaching at PC since 2000 – improvising sound studios to teach in. Not anymore.
“Sister schools like Mesa, Glendale, Paradise Valley and Scottsdale all have facilities, but not quite like this,” Weddle says. “A lot goes into the construction of what makes a great studio. This is an industry-standard, professionally built recording facility, yet also designed with the help of our IT/Media department to integrate the most effective methods of teaching these skills.”
Classes fill up quickly, too. Audio Production was a popular program even before covid (in-person classes available this summer). Weddle helped create the curriculum with other instructors in Maricopa, knowing exactly what new grads would need to know to hit the workforce. Each student gets hands-on time in the studio right away, within the second week of class. Students also learn the concepts and theory associated with recording arts technologies, and then they apply them in the new lab.
Other faculty in the program include Matt Kirkpatrick (music business) with 20+ years in the radio business; Karl Schindler (electronic music and sound design) with 30 years as a professional composer and sound designer; and Patrick Driscoll (live sound) with 20+ years under his belt as a traveling FOH engineer.
PC offers both certificates and associates in audio production and music business. The program is robust enough to take students in several career directions such as recording engineer, mixing engineer, FOH engineer, mastering engineer, music producing, broadcasting, podcasting, audio/visual engineering and more --- finding work in studios, live sound venues, corporate events, radio stations, film & TV – anywhere there’s sound, basically!
Now that’s a career to watch!