CSW Celebrates New Recording Studio

Back in the Spring of 2019, a group of parents from the Classes of 2019, 2020, 2021, and the Estate of Will Haible ’64 came together to make a gift in honor of Music Teacher Gustavo Brasil and Music Department Chair Michael Weinstein, whose dedication and expertise as teachers played an enormous role in shaping the lives of many of their children. Their goal was clear: build a recording studio within the Mugar Center for the Performing Arts and in doing so enrich the school’s academic offerings and capabilities. 
 
After extensive research into several options, the decision was made to purchase a soundproof isolation room and work with Wenger, a well-known leader in their field, to transform an existing music rehearsal lab and adjacent practice room into a recording studio. With Gustavo, Michael, and current students weighing in on specific equipment and software needs, the project reached completion in time for Mod 5 of the 2020-21 school year, with classes beginning to use the space in March of 2021. 

“We’ve been talking about this for 15 years,” says Michael. “So when I found out we were actually going to have a physical studio… it was just extraordinary.”

The new studio space has several microphones in addition to a mixing board, computer, and racks with effects and interfaces. With professional-grade sound isolation, students and other users will be able to get very high-quality audio out of the space. Its existence will allow the Music Department to enhance and expand course offerings, with classes like “Beat Making,” and “Recording and Production.” 

“It is really impressive to see this kind of a studio that's enclosed with sound chambers and sound isolation,” says Charlie Dietel ’19, a music production and engineering major at Berklee College of Music. “That’s a step that a lot of home studios and people doing do-it-yourself work really miss. CSW students are going to be able to get a really top-notch experience with this studio.”

Beyond the Music Department, the new studio will be a key resource for students interested in filmmaking, affording them with the tools to record high-quality narration or dialog, while also offering new options in film scoring. Michael is also hopeful that the space will open up further opportunities and venues to partner with organizations like BEAM (Boston Bridge to Equity and Achievement in Music), a local organization whose mission is to “prepare young musicians from underrepresented populations for careers in classical music.” 

“This is where the music industry is going,” says Leo Weisskoff ’19, a student at the New England Conservatory. “So much is going online and it’s all about production and learning the technology yourself and getting your music out there. I think it’s especially important, in the age of the coronavirus, to be focusing on digital and looking forward to the future.”

In early June, Board Chair Ann Gorson P’16 and Head of School Lise Charlier welcomed donors to CSW campus for the unveiling of the new space. Department Chair Michael Weinstein and Music teacher Gustavo Brasil shared an original song written by Ella Harrington ‘22 that was mixed and recorded with the help of Charlie Dietel ’19.

The Cambridge School of Weston is a progressive high school for day and boarding students in grades 9–12 and PG. CSW's mission is to provide a progressive education that emphasizes deep learning, meaningful relationships, and a dynamic program that inspires students to discover who they are and what their contribution is to their school, their community and the world.