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Sound Recording Technology Turns 30

SRT Looks to Gather 1,000 Alums in Sept.

SRT studio
SRT students get some tips on recording drum levels.

By David Perry

The university’s Sound Recording Technology (SRT) department is putting out the call for its graduates to attend a fall 30th anniversary celebration.

Having graduated its 30th class in May, the SRT department is planning a Sept. 26-28 reunion for those who have gone through the program since it began in the fall of 1983. The anniversary event will kick off Friday afternoon and over three days feature panel and expert discussions, informal social gatherings, student demonstrations and more.
Those interested in being alumni speakers, serving on the organizing committee or helping with the event in any other capacity should contact William Moylan or Michael Testa or call 978-934-4637.

The group has a Facebook page to share memories in advance and those wishing to RSVP may do so by emailing or calling 978-934-3140.

In all, says Moylan, coordinator of SRT, “close to 1,000” graduates have been produced by the program.

“Our graduates have in common some of the core elements of the curriculum. The critical listening experience is something I had in the program from the beginning. It has morphed over the years, with the appearance of new technology. But I have always told students to think of technology as a musical instrument. It’s a tool.” 

Moylan would know – he arrived at the university concurrent to the birth of the program, in the fall of 1983. Moylan built the program into a nationally renowned training ground for TV, radio and recording studio experts in capturing sound. It is one of the nation’s premier recording technology programs.

In fact, Moylan notes, the first graduate, William Carman, is still here. He is associate director of SRT Facilities.

“He went to work in the industry for a while, and then I was able to hire him part-time, then full-time,” says Moylan. 

For the first decade of the program, Moylan was its only full-time faculty. There are now four full-time faculty, plus one full-timer shared with another department.

Moylan stresses he always wanted SRT to include a broad variety of personalities and approaches to records. 

“I never wanted it to be a reflection of just me,” he says emphatically. To ensure variety, he taught just one SRT class per semester, with part-time instructors handling the rest. “It had to be well-rounded.”

The last SRT reunion, the 20th, drew about 100 alumni.

“Our former students are a pretty tight group,” says Moylan. Of course, things change over time.

“Students are different, a lot more tech-savvy now from the time they arrive,” says Moylan. “They’ve had technology in their pocket for the past 30 years. Not long ago, we were talking about iPods. The folks coming to us now grew up with that.”

A limited number of rooms are available at Courtyard Boston Lowell/Chelmsford in Lowell through Sept. 4. The rate is $99. To reserve a room, call 800-321-2211 and mention the UMass Lowell SRT room block.