By Alex Jansen
What do sporting events, church services and symphonies at Campbell University all have in common? They all need technical support for sound, and Appalachian State University alumnus Adam Campbell ’18 plays a hand in making sure each event has it.
Campbell, from Concord, graduated from Appalachian’s Hayes School of Music (HSOM) with a Bachelor of Science in music industry studies with a concentration in recording and production. He is now an audiovisual technician at Campbell University.
He is responsible for a plethora of tasks: recording concerts in the university’s Scott Concert Hall, providing sound support for events in the university’s Butler Chapel and running the sound during sporting events for the Fighting Camels. When not working events, Campbell focuses on improving the sound in the university’s halls and auditoriums.
Campbell said the diversity of tasks is his favorite aspect of the job. “Whenever I am tasked to work an event that is new to me, it gives me the opportunity to learn the most efficient ways to provide audio and visual support, making me an even better audiovisual technician,” he said.
As a student, Campbell, far right, poses in Appalachian’s Robert R. Gilley Recording Studio with, from left, Jordan Bailey ’15 and Graham Sloboda ’17. All three worked as recording engineers at the Aspen Music Festival and School in 2017. Photo by Sam Utz
He honed the necessary skills for his day-to-day work at Appalachian.
“The (music industry studies) program really made me adept in working with a wide variety of gear and instilled strong fundamentals in me,” Campbell said. “Honestly, I would feel very comfortable working anywhere thanks to the experience that I got at Appalachian.”
At Appalachian, Campbell was drawn to the music industry studies recording and production program. He said the instructors were fantastic — specifically professor and Chief Recording Engineer Scott Wynne and trombone instructor Dr. Drew Leslie — and the commercial gear in the Robert F. Gilley Recording Studio is the same used at major recording studios across the world.
In addition to practicing trombone and honing his skills as a recording engineer, Campbell engaged in cocurricular opportunities while at Appalachian, such as joining various ensembles, mixing music for clients, and founding and directing the Appalachian State University Video Game Ensemble, a symphony band that performs video game music.
Campbell also worked two summers at the Aspen Music Festival and School (AMFS) in Colorado. He was part of a team charged with recording some 300 festival concerts over eight weeks. The team included Wynne, who serves as the festival’s chief recording engineer.
Campbell conducts the Appalachian State University Video Game Ensemble in the Broyhill Music Center’s Rosen Concert Hall in spring 2016. The ensemble — a symphony band Campbell founded and directed — performs music from classic as well as contemporary video games. Photo submitted
In his first year working the festival, Campbell was an assistant recording engineer, and last year, he was promoted to recording engineer.
Reflecting on the experience, Campbell said, “When you’re working for the largest classical music festival in the country and you feel that your school has armed you with the knowledge you need to be successful there, it really puts things in perspective. Working at AMFS really showed me that Appalachian had given me the knowledge to be a professional in the recording world.”
About the Hayes School of Music
The Hayes School of Music prepares young musicians for professional lives as performers, composers, music educators, music therapists, conductors and music industry professionals, ensuring the next generation of musical leadership for the state, region and nation. Noted for quality instruction by national and internationally recognized faculty musicians, the school offers four undergraduate degree programs and three graduate-level programs. Learn more at https://music.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System, Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.