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Industries out there aren't only looking for employees with college degrees, they're looking for graduates who have real-world experience in the skills they'll need for the job.

That's one reason York College built the YCP Studio, which was unveiled Oct. 24. The studio was built to further educate students in the Communication and the Arts department about technology, working with bands and recording and mixing music.

"To have a professional space to build my portfolio puts me ahead of others," said Nathan Trump, a senior at the college and the chief operating officer of York Music Group.

York Music Group is a student-run organization on campus that is in charge of the studio, YCP RECORDS, the campus's record company, and York Live.

Shawn Young, director of the Music Industry and Recording Technology major at the school, said before the studio, students would practice with switchboards in classrooms. When he was brought on as director a little more than three years ago, it was his mission to look into the construction of a recording studio.

Furthering the department and educating students with real-life lessons was just one aspect that inspired YCP Studio. The goal of York Music Group is to help students gain real-life experience in their work, but it's also to further build the music and arts scene in downtown York.

The studio, which cost about $600,000, has state-of-the-art acoustics and equipment for the students to work with, and it can control technology in the performing-arts center and other music rooms surrounding it. For phase two of the studio construction, Young said, they will be looking for a donor — and updating the technology.

With the new recording studio, a record label and a group of students geared toward organizing and promoting live events, Young is hopeful they will see more local and nonlocal artists come to campus to make music.

Dan Meyers, the studio manager and an alumni of York College, explained that as more artists come to record in York, the music scene and even tourism will hopefully continue to grow. Not only that, but students studying in the major and who are a part of York Music Group will have the opportunity to work with real artists. Young echoed this sentiment.

"Part of our job as a college is community engagement," Young said. "It's about getting folks in the region in here to do work, which also helps our students."

Trump agreed, explaining that York and York College are already working hard to encourage a cohesive community, so the studio is another step in that direction.

"The cool thing about York is they're really trying to build the community," he said. "This represents a space where people from all over could come to."

Rates for renting the studio depend on what exactly you're hoping for. A blanket rate, according to Young, is $35 per hour. However, if someone rents the room for a longer period of time they could receive a discounted rate. In addition, artists can have Meyers be the engineer while they record for an additional cost, and they can have him mix the music as well, or they can bring their own engineer.

Meyers also helps coordinate times for people to use the studio. Because they anticipate the space will be in high demand both on the academic side -- as there is a classroom space with desks and a projector in the studio -- as well as by the community when artists record, Meyers keeps a schedule to keep track of who is in the studio and when.

York Music Group in general gives students interested in the music industry an opportunity to do work that mimics what they would do as a professional. York Live is dedicated specifically to putting on live events, from the booking of artists to the promotion and execution. For example, they are hosting Music for Miracles: A Benefit for the Children's Miracle from 5 to 9 p.m. Nov. 4. The show, hosted with sorority Phi Mu, will take place at The Shop at New Grounds Roasting Co. and will raise money for Children's Miracle Network Hershey.

YCP RECORDS was established in 2013 and is working to sign local artists to their label to make music and help promote them. The record company is student run. Currently they are working with several local musicians in hopes of signing a contract with them. For rates and more info, interested individuals are encouraged to email Ycpstudiosbooking@gmail.com. Those interested in learning more about the music industry and technology department are encouraged to contact Shawn Young at syoung23@ycp.edu.

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