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Dropping beats, mics at Murrow

Smash hit: Dillion Sydney performed a cover of Toni Romiti’s “Nothin’ On Me” to a packed house at Edward R. Murrow High School’s first music tech fest on March 3.
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They ended on a high note!

Teens at Edward R. Murrow High School in Sheepshead Bay showcased their talents at the school’s inaugural Music Tech Fest on March 3. The elaborate show was part of the school’s new music technology program that equips pupils with state-of-the-art gear and tech know-how to make their musical fantasies a reality. And it also fostered a community among aspiring artists, said an organizer.

“I mean, this is a great opportunity for the students to create,” said Sheepshead Bay resident Lisa Willner. “In a world now where there is so much access to creating things through technology and social media tools, this brings the students together. Instead of going off and doing something by themselves, they’re making music together at school.”

The program, dubbed “Music x Technology,” introduced students to sound engineering, audio-visual production, and songwriting with a recording booth and carts tricked out with microphones, amps, and headphones. Donations from Alicia Keys and Levi’s made the program possible. And the Grammy award-winner even kicked off the classes with a special show in 2015.

After months of honing their craft, some 70 students dazzled classmates with their work. Soloists and boy bands brought the house down with covers of hip-hop and rap hits. Homemade music videos and mini-documentaries showed off students’ production and sound engineering skills. And alumni who made a name for themselves in the music industry stopped by to perform.

Bedford-Stuyvesant Rapper CJ Fly graduated from Murrow and founded the hip-hop collective Pro Era with then-classmates Joey Bada$$, Powers Pleasant, and Capital STEEZ — all rappers who have struck it big in the music industry. CJ Fly returned to his alma mater and regaled students with his latest hits. It was a real thrill for his fans, said Willner.

“It was really exciting. Many of the kids look up to CJ Fly and Joey Bada$$, so they find it really inspiring to see them up there,” said Willner. “I think it made them really optimistic about what they can achieve in the future.”

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at cspivack@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2523. Follow her on Twitter @carolinespivack.
Posted 12:00 am, March 9, 2017
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