Augustana School of Music Creates Multimedia Entrepreneurs Through Innovative Programs and Technology


When Gilbert DeWitte ’24, a student at the University of Augustana, heard about the new Multimedia entrepreneurship Program within the Augustana School of Music, he knew this was the one for him.

“I chose Augustana not only because they offer a specialization like Multimedia Entrepreneurship that is what I’m looking for in a career path, but I’ve grown to love the faculty and the people here all over the place. throughout my many years at Augie for music lessons and other events, ”said DeWitte.

As a native of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, DeWitte had long been aware of AU’s reputation for providing an experience unlike any other in the Midwest.

The School of Music, which has been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music since 1972, is well known for its long tradition of excellence in music. It offers performance experiences that include international and regional tours, performances in the famous Mary W. Sommervold Hall in the Washington Pavilion, and the opportunity to perform and learn from nationally renowned guest artists.

Music may be timeless, but the School of Music recognizes that musicians need to be in tune with the demands and spirit of today’s digital age – this is where the Entrepreneurship Major comes in. multimedia.

The interdisciplinary program is a partnership with the Berklee College of Music and Tech-hungry (as a learning partner), and is made possible by the Midco Media Campus and Production Center. The program turns today’s musicians into the creative and independent entrepreneurs of tomorrow. These are the future artists who can do their own commercials – the ones who can do it all on their own, from storytelling, video shooting, and music creation to copyright licensing.

“Higher education can do a lot more for musicians, because right now most universities only prepare them to teach or maybe perform for the rest of their lives, and realistically, it’s only a piece of the cake, ”Dr. Peter Folliard, Dean of the School of Music, said. “The skills needed to exist and survive as a musician, performer or creative artist in the 21st century include performance, teaching, composition, as well as video and audio production. “

Source: Augustana University

That is why students will study three main areas within the School of Music curriculum: Basic Music Education, Entrepreneurship Minor taught by the AU Department of Business, and Certificate Programs in Avid Pro. Tools, Media Composer and Sibelius. Students are also required to complete an internship and other elective courses.

For media users and organizations – in film, television and music – who want to create more impactful stories, Avid Technology offers a range of innovative tools, platforms and industry-recognized solutions using powerful technology. Students will be able to participate and become certified, allowing them to navigate and produce a wide range of media, including videos and podcasts, with greater ease and confidence.

Avid’s Professional tools provides various audio production software, hardware and controls to help improve the acoustics of movies, videos and TV programs. With a variety of plug-ins, users can record, produce, edit, as well as mix and master their productions to sound exactly the way they want.

Multimedia composer is another useful tool that comes with smarter video editing software like Avid Media Engine. Users can edit and read large source files while automated tools do the tedious background work. The industry-leading Avid NEXIS shared storage platform also enables on-demand remote collaboration and editing.

Avid’s music notation tool, Sibelius, allows users to compose, arrange and write music with up to 16 instruments on a variety of multimedia devices, including iPads, desktops and mobile devices. They can share, publish and even make sheet music interactive.

Combining these tools with access to top-notch facilities and the latest technology, it’s no surprise that DeWitte’s most memorable experience was her recording of the Augustana Christmas Vespers 2020 concert.

“Every aspect of the process, from playing in the gig to figuring out how to record great ensembles in the midst of a pandemic, was truly amazing,” DeWitte said.

DeWitte attributes her positive entrepreneurial transformation to Augustana’s hands-on learning approach and support from Folliard and other faculty members.

“As I strive to become a music producer, I find myself pushed by the Augustana community to aim and do more with myself here, both academically and musically,” said DeWitte.

Along with his studies in multimedia entrepreneurship, DeWitte discovered the many social opportunities offered by the School of Music. He is involved in many musical groups – his favorite of which is the Augustana Orchestra because he plays beautiful music like all of Beethoven’s symphonies. DeWitte is also part of the Augustana Volleyball Club and is part of the Welcome Week committee.

DeWitte said the music school has enriched him in more ways than he ever thought possible, and hopes it can. the same for the other students.

Follow Augustana School of Music on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube.


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