WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA, August 31, 2016 — The Audio Technology Program at the Ocean County Vocational Technical School System (OCVTS), in Lakehurst, NJ, provides a challenging academic curriculum for college-prep and adult courses, along with a major in audio production for full time students. The program is literally in its second generation: it was established in 1997 by the late Dennis Bourke, a noted studio owner and engineer in the region and since 2015 has been led by his son, Bill Bourke, along with Zack Slater, himself a graduate of the program and a former student of Dennis’. The mission of the Ocean County Vocational Technical School system is to prepare students for careers or further education, and to that end, the Audio Program has always strived to keep its curriculum and its equipment at the cutting edge, to ready students to enter careers in a fast-changing industry. Guitar Center Professional (GC Pro), the business-to-business (B2B) division of Guitar Center providing highly customized service for professional accounts, has been its close partner for that entire time.
“GC Pro has been our go-to for equipment and expertise for years now, first for my father and now for me,” says Bill Bourke. “Most recently, they were here to upgrade our two Pro Tools systems to Pro Tools HD, which has enabled us to become an Avid Learning Partner and able to provide certifications for our graduates. But my dad was an old-school analog guy, and GC Pro had everything he needed, too. As we grow, they’re there for us.” That’s evident in TechFest, an annual live music festival, a fundraiser that provides scholarship money for the Audio Program. Its sixth edition was held last April in nearby Brick, NJ, and GC Pro provided most of the live-sound technology for the 20 local bands on two stages that operated by the Audio Program’s students. “Now, our students are learning audio for the studio and live, and GC Pro is a big part of that,” says Bourke. Slater adds, “We have always dreamed of giving our students the best real-world experience we can while they are still in high school. GC Pro has helped take our production to the next level and has really enabled us to achieve our goal.”
The Audio Program’s growth has been considerable: the two-year, fulltime day course is offered to high school and post-secondary students who can now receive college credit for taking the course. In 2017 it’s scheduled to expand to a four-year full-time academy through the OCVTS Performing Arts Academy. Rick Rivera, GC Pro Account Manager based in East Brunswick, NJ, says it’s been a pleasure to have served the program for so long and watch it grow. “Their TechFest is a great event — the music is great and it helps provide scholarship money for the students, so we’ve been contributing gift certificates and other things to help it along,” says Rivera. “We have more than just a sales and buyer relationship — we care about what they’re trying to do, which is give students a first-class audio technology education that really prepares them for a career in music or theater or live sound or whatever they want to pursue.”
The Audio Technology Program at the Ocean County Vocational Technical School has one very unique aspect that students won’t find anywhere else: This campus of the school is located in Hangar One on the Lakehurst Naval Air Station, the very hangar where the ill-fated Hindenburg zeppelin crashed on landing in 1937 (historically seen on the Cover of the Led Zeppelin II album). That disaster took place nearly 80 years ago, but what it left behind is intriguing: a massive hangar whose walls produce incredible reverb effects that Bourke has been sampling over the years, using microphones and systems purchased through GC Pro. “We’re talking about ten-second reverb times,” he marvels. “It would make an amazing plug-in — we’ll call it the Hindenverb.”
For more information, please visit http://www.gcpro.com/.
Photo file 1: OCVTS_Student.JPG
Photo caption 1: A student from the Audio Technology Program at the Ocean County Vocational Technical School System, in Lakehurst, NJ, works at a workstation comprising gear sourced through GC Pro.
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Photo caption 2: Students in the Audio Technology Program at the Ocean County Vocational Technical School System, in Lakehurst, NJ, get real-world experience in all aspects of audio engineering, including tracking live bands in an acoustically treated environment with gear sourced through GC Pro.
About Guitar Center Professional
Guitar Center Professional (GC Pro) is the business-to-business division of Guitar Center specializing in Audio, Video and Lighting solutions. Our professional advantages offer companies a dedicated account manager who provides personalized service tailored to the companies’ individual needs. This includes a singular point of contact for all product purchases, on-site surveys, system design and professional recommendations for clients’ project demands, as well as access to the installation and consultation power offered by our nationwide network of Affiliate Program members. Our clients include recording and touring professionals; houses of worship; educational facilities; corporate offices; restaurants and retail establishments; and much more. With offices nationwide, and a strong support/management staff in Westlake Village, CA, GC Pro has access to an unmatched inventory extending far beyond what is on the GC sales floor, as well as full service and support for all the equipment we sell. No matter your Audio, Video or Lighting needs, GC Pro has the right people and products to serve the job with efficiency and professionalism – a philosophy that has been our foundation throughout GC Pro’s 15-year history.
About Guitar Center
Guitar Center is the world’s largest retailer of guitars, amplifiers, drums, keyboards, recording, live sound, DJ, and lighting equipment. With more than 270 stores across the U.S. and one of the top direct sales websites in the industry, Guitar Center has helped people make music for more than 50 years. In addition, Guitar Center’s sister brands included Music & Arts, which operates more than 120 stores specializing in band & orchestral instruments for sale and rental, serving teachers, band directors, college professors and students, and Musician’s Friend, a leading direct marketer of musical instruments in the United States. With an unrivaled in-store experience, an industry-leading online presence and passionate commitment to making gear easy-to-buy, Guitar Center is all about enabling musicians and non-musicians alike to experience the almost indescribable joy that comes from playing an instrument. For more information about Guitar Center, please visit www.guitarcenter.com.
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