Dan Brodbeck is program director for Fanshawe College’s music industry arts program, which has been named as the best music school at the Canadian Music Week awards. Brodbeck says faculty see their work as more than a job. (MIKE HENSEN, The London Free Press)
Fanshawe College’s internationally acclaimed music industry arts program was selected top music school in the country at the Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards in Toronto.
The school was up against Durham College, Toronto’s Harris Institute, which won the inaugural award last year, Mississauga’s Metalworks Institute, the Bob Ezrin-founded Nimbus School of Recording in Vancouver, the Trebas Institute in Toronto and London’s Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology.
“It’s pretty exciting,” said program co-ordinator Dan Brodbeck, the 2010 Juno-winning recording engineer for Canberries singer Dolores O’Riordan. He is also nominated for producer of the year at the Country Music Association of Ontario awards being held at Centennial Hall June 11.
“It’s gratifying after doing so much work over the years.”
The program, established in the early 1970s, was the first of its kind in Canada and only the third in the world.
The program has about 220 students in its two-year program, graduating about 100 each year.
Its graduates have gone on to award-winning careers around the world, winning Junos, Grammys, Emmys and even an Oscar.
Among the program’s most notable graduates are:
- London native Trevor Morris, Emmy-winning orchestral composer and music producer best known for creating the soundtracks for the television shows The Tudors, The Pillars of the Earth, The Borgias, and Vikings, the film Olympus Has Fallen and its sequel London Has Fallen. He won Emmys for original main title theme music for The Tudors in 2007 and The Borgias in 2011 and has three other nominations.
- Craig Mann, who won an Oscar in 2015 for sound mixing the film Whiplash with colleagues Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley of Los Angeles-based Technicolor.
- Survivorman creator and star, Les Stroud.
- Sarnia’s Emm Gryner, the Juno Award nominated singer-songwriter who once toured with David Bowie and starred at The Grand Theatre last October in River, the musical tribute to the songs of Joni Mitchell.
- Canadian country singer-songwriter Deric Ruttan, who has written dozens of hit songs for other artists, including Blake Shelton’s Grammy nominated hit, Mine Would Be You co-written with Jessi Alexander and Connie Harrington.
- Multi-Juno winning recording engineer George Seara, nominated this year for recording engineer of the year Juno for the songs Treat You Better and Don’t Be A Fool off Shawn Mendes’s album Illuminate. He won the award in 2012 and also nominated in 2015 and 2008.
London based Kevin Doyle, a Fanshawe graduate and Grammy-nominated and multiple Juno Award winning recording engineer known for his work with Glenn Gould, Alannah Myles, Hall & Oates, Michelle Wright, Anne Murray, Amy Sky and John McDermott, wasn’t surprised to hear the news.
“I’d say its history,” said Doyle of the program’s success. “It was the pioneer for music producing and engineering. There are a lot of schools out there now, but it’s held its own and is still producing quality graduates, a lot of Juno and Grammy award winners came out of there, more than any other school in the country.”
The program was founded in 1973 by pirate radio disc jockey Tom Lodge, initially called creative electronics before it was changed to music industry arts when students built a studio.
Canadian recording icon Jack Richardson, who produced the Guess Who’s albums, was on the faculty for close to 20 years.
Brodbeck credited the program’s success to the depth of experience among its faculty, including:
• Robert Nation, engineering, co-owner of London’s EMAC Studios with Joe Vaughan (also an MIA professor) who just won producer/engineer of the year at the Jack Richardson London Music Awards and was a 1980 graduate.
• Mike Roth, a record company artist recruitment and development expert, known for discovering acts such as Our Lady Peace, Chantal Kreviazuk, Amanda Marshall, The Philosopher Kings, Prozzäk, Junkhouse, Hemingway Corner and Edwin.
• Head technician Harold Kilianski who worked at O’Henry studios in Burbank California and was a technician at McGill University.
“This is not just a job for anyone in the faculty,” said Brodbeck. “The knowledge that we have gained over the many years in the business is passed on to each and every student.”