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Two Alums Up for Grammys at this Weekend’s Awards Ceremony


LOWELL ߝ When the Grammy Awards are presented in Los Angeles this weekend, two UMass Lowell alums may be called to the stage.

Adam Ayan and Mark Donahue, both graduates of UMass Lowell’s Sound Recording Technology Program, are nominated for the recording industry’s most prestigious honor. The 50th Annual Grammy Awards will be presented on Sunday, Feb. 10.

Ayan is nominated for his work on country artist Vince Gill’s “These Days,” which is competing for Album of the Year against CDs by Kanye West, Amy Winehouse, Foo Fighters and Herbie Hancock.

Album of the Year is awarded to the artist, as well as the producer, recording engineer, mixer and mastering engineer. Ayan, who graduated from UML in 1997, served as mastering engineer on the CD. Ayan, originally from Malden, lives in Portland, Maine, where he works at Gateway Mastering Studios.

Donahue is nominated for his work as mastering engineer on one of the CDs in the running for Best Classical Album, “Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Sings Peter Lieberson: Neruda Songs.” Donahue, who lives in Malden and is originally from Longmeadow, works for Soundmirror Inc. in Boston.

Ayan ߝ who won a Grammy two years ago in the Best Historical Album category for his work on a boxed set of jazz great Jelly Roll Morton’s music and two Latin Grammys in 2007 for recordings with Juan Luis Guerra ߝ said his UML experience helped him in two important ways.

“It opened my ears to listening to music as an audio engineer, as opposed to a lay listener or even a musician. How you listen as an engineer is a very different way,” Ayan said, adding that UML also helped him build the work ethic needed to be successful. “The program is structured in a way you really have to work hard to do well and I think that’s indicative of the industry itself. I felt really well-prepared when I got out for how hard I was going to have to work in the industry.”

“We are not surprised that these two talented graduates have been nominated for these prestigious awards, and the SRT faculty takes great pride in their accomplishments,” said Prof. William Moylan, a Ph.D. and SRT program coordinator.

UMass Lowell’s Sound Recording Technology Program, part of the University’s Department of Music, is one of only a few in the United States. In the past, breaking into the recording business meant training informally as an apprentice. UML’s program focuses on giving students strong formal training, including the practical experience and theoretical background needed for success in the industry. Getting the right training is particularly important because of the rush of new technologies in recent years that have revolutionized the recording industry as well as giving recording professionals a wide range of opportunities in new media.

“These nominations mean a great deal to the SRT program. Recording positions are highly competitive and extraordinarily demanding.  This proves that the intensive experience provided by our program brings our graduates significant opportunities to lead in today’s recording and audio industries,” Moylan said.

UMass Lowell, with a national reputation in science, engineering and technology, is committed to educating students for lifelong success in a diverse world and conducting research and outreach activities that sustain the economic, environmental and social health. UML offers its 11,000 students more than 120 degree choices, internships, five-year combined bachelor’s to master’s programs and doctoral studies in the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Management, the School of Health and Environment, and the Graduate School of Education. .

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