Miles For Michael… Making Dreams Happen

Club members and classmates support each other as collaboration encourages their love of the music arts.
Club members and classmates support each other as collaboration encourages their love of the music arts.
After minor structural work and a fresh coat of paint, equipment gets moved into the new space. Left to right: Fahad Khwaja, Mr. Vito Monti, and Bijan Tabibzada.
After minor structural work and a fresh coat of paint, equipment gets moved into the new space. Left to right: Fahad Khwaja, Mr. Vito Monti, and Bijan Tabibzada.
Club member Lila Amin makes some boom adjustments on the new microphone stands.
Club member Lila Amin makes some boom adjustments on the new microphone stands.
Whitman senior Karthikeyan Mayilvahanan makes some final adjustments to the Cymbals.
Whitman senior Karthikeyan Mayilvahanan makes some final adjustments to the Cymbals.
Sound Engineer Mike Hallock volunteers his time teaching our students sound engineering tips, and ensuring the very best quality is achieved.
Sound Engineer Mike Hallock volunteers his time teaching our students sound engineering tips, and ensuring the very best quality is achieved.
Musicians Max Eidenoff on the left and Lily Soares lay down tracks for a new song they are collaborating on.
Musicians Max Eidenoff on the left and Lily Soares lay down tracks for a new song they are collaborating on.

Thanks to the annual Miles For Michael 5K Run, Walt Whitman High School has its first Studio Recording & Engineering Club. Funding from the Miles For Michael event has enabled the creation of a complete, top-of-the-line recording studio, and is now launching students into the future of the sound recording and music engineering arts. The club will be officially known as "The Collective."

“Many of our more consummate student musicians and sound engineering students have their eyes set on music schools such as Berkley, Juilliard, Five Towns School of Music and Manhattanville,” said Club Co-Advisor and Whitman English teacher Mr. Vito Monti. “This opportunity affords them real hands on experience and training with state of the art recording and post production technology which they will be expected to master as recording musicians and engineers in their designated fields.”

Additionally, the project is also attracting many students who are involved in Whitman’s music programs: orchestra, concert band, jazz band, chorus etc. “It’s been a real thrill to watch both groups work together in the collaboration of a shared goal, which is the creation of an original studio album,” added Monti, whose Co-Advisors Matt Hoffman and Joseph Claps, are instrumental in running this hugely popular club.

“Because of this club, I have opened my eyes to not only new musical tastes, but to how I want to perform and write music in the future,” said Sophomore Lily Soares. Whitman sound engineer Josh Joseph is equally enthusiastic from the other side of the glass. “When I enter the recording studio and listen to fellow students perform, I forget I'm in high school,” said Josh.  “The space truly feels like another world; the equipment is as sophisticated as any other studio might have, and the talent I have heard in my brief time as an engineer is mind-blowing.”

"This club that we have created started off as a dream,” said Siam Ahmed, a senior at Whitman. “I feel like I speak for all the seniors when I say, that this is our way of making a mark in a school that has had a huge impact on all of us. We want to leave behind something special for this school, to show our love for it. To give it one last thanks before we leave. I’m hoping to come back year after year and see students using the studio that we watched being built. That we helped build ourselves.”

As of press time club members include: Ahlasia Hunter, Cosette Brazeau, Robert Leonick, David Caliendo, Grace D'Souza, Jason Devaraj, Andrew Harrigan, Gabrielle Safian, Aleyda Garcia, Daniel Alivio, Jake Cartisano, Ifedayo Balogun, Fahad Khwaja, Sean Duclay, Jenny Duclay, Christopher Feustel, Kentaro Matsushima, Josh Joseph, Yadira Medina Moctezuma, Yadir Bijan Tabibzada, Parker Keller, Lila Amin, Justin Ullman, Karthikeyan Mayilvahanan, Matthew Bromschwig, Matt Brown, Max Eidenoff, Lily Soares, Justina Lynch, Peter Cerrito, Siam Ahmed, Julia Bellontine, Rachel Shapiro, Melissa Shaiman, Jillian Jobson, and Kate Jenkins.