Students open music label and state of the art recording studio at Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School

Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School students have a great reason to get amped up.

Warner Music Nashville recording artists The Farm and Tom Gossin from the award-winning group, Gloriana, made a special appearance at the school’s red carpet event today that featured Mayor Karl Dean and more than 150 community guests. The artists highlighted the unveiling of a state-of-the art recording studio and record label.

The Farm’s debut single “Home Sweet Home” climbed into the top 20 and was nominated for the American Country Awards’ “New Artist Single of the Year.”  The Farm presented a Gibson guitar to students participating in the recording studio and record label, along with Dr. Jesse Register, director of Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, to mark the celebration.

“The Pearl-Cohn studio and record label are great examples of how community and business partners can make a difference to our schools and students,” said Dr. Register, director of schools. “Warner Music Nashville, The Recording Academy’s Producers & Engineers Wing, Mayor Karl Dean and Music Makes Us supporters are terrific partners. We all share high expectations for this program and for our students.”

The estimated cost of the recording studio and record label is more than $1.2 million, not including the many hours of labor donated to the project.  Pearl-Cohn, supported by the Music Makes Us initiative, is the nation’s only high school with a student-run record label partnering with Warner Music Nashville for distribution of recordings.

“My vision for Music City is to have the best music education program in the world,” Mayor Dean said. “The music industry and philanthropic community have embraced this vision and are working tirelessly with the city and Metro Schools to make it a reality. The opening of this label and studio are wonderful milestones in the development of Music Makes Us and moves us closer to that ultimate goal.”

The studio and record label launch is an achievement highlighted by generous donors and vital partnerships. Guiding the project were: John Esposito, president and CEO of Warner Music Nashville; The Recording Academy’s Producers & Engineers Wing; and award-winning recording studio designer Steven Durr, a Nashville resident and owner of Steven Durr Designs.

"Warner Music Nashville is thrilled to partner with Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School," Esposito, president and CEO of Warner Music Nashville, said. "Pearl-Cohn is the only high school in the country with a student-run record label affiliated with a major label and they are already putting out amazing music like 'Lift Every Voice.'  It is fantastic that the city of Nashville made such a commitment to the students and curriculum. Warner Music Nashville enjoys hosting the kids during the summer for their internships. These kids remind us how lucky we are."

Renowned GRAMMY award-winning producer Scott Hendricks, senior vice president of A&R at Warner Music Nashville, said, "The goal of starting a high school record label and building a professional recording studio within one year was incredibly ambitious, but, here we are. This is truly a testament to a large team of people from all across Nashville who gave above and beyond to see this vision become a reality. These students and the ones to follow now have the tools to hone their craft and pursue their musical dreams. Nashville should be proud."

The recording studio rivals some of the best commercial studios featured on Music Row in Nashville. The studio boasts the latest in top-quality equipment for students.

“The Producers & Engineers Wing of The Recording Academy has gone above and beyond our wildest expectations to design and install a state-of-the-art studio in Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School,” said Nancy Shapiro, senior vice president, The Recording Academy®.  “GRAMMY-winning producers and engineers have put in sweat equity, talent and dedication to make this dream a reality. The Recording Academy is proud to place a jewel in the crown of the Music Makes Us initiative. We know the creative and technical process of recording music will positively impact the students on whatever path they take as they become successful and productive citizens.”

The recording studio features a 32-channel API 1608 console in the main control room. It has two editing suites and audio equipment from industry leaders, including Harman Professional, which includes the JBL/AKG/ and Lexicon brands; API; Audio-Technica; Fredenstein Professional Audio; Shure, Inc.; and Solid State Logic.

"It's great to see the whole community come together over this — teachers, artists, engineers, producers," said Nashville Recording Academy Chapter President Jeff Balding, who has multiple GRAMMY nominations and is currently working with Ronnie Dunn, Thompson Square and Don Henley. "I believe in pouring our experience into the generation coming after us. If we can take our ceiling and make that their floor, it will allow them to take our industry to a much higher level, and that's exciting to me."

At Pearl-Cohn, students run a record label modeled after a corporate music label. Every year, a Pearl-Cohn student is named head of the record label. Pearl-Cohn students sign, record and promote student artists from the school district. Revenue generated from the school’s record label through the sale of songs will go to advancing music education through Music Makes Us.

“I truly feel that Pearl-Cohn High School will be an inspiration for generations of students,” Pearl-Cohn senior Vincent Zirker, who participates in the Music Makes US program, said. “This lets them know that your environment does not control your destiny."