By: Steven Smith

CCC Journalism Program

For all those concerned for the financial well being of Camden County College’s music program, fear no more. The music program, along with its financial future, appears to be headed in a positive direction.

The program’s budget remains stable despite recent equipment additions and upgrades over the past few semesters. We’re actually headed in an amazing direction,” said Michael Billingsley, a professor and the music director at CCC.

The program had problems with the equipment it had been using, Billingsley said.

“It was definitely time for a change,” he said. “A lot, in fact it was a borderline nightmare.”

Because of the constant repairing, the program found itself losing a lot of gear for extended periods of time, which ultimately resulted in financial problems. So the music administration invested in new equipment.

The current value of the equipment used by the program is about $200,000. That may seem like a lot of money, but with a little help from various grants, the music program was able to afford new gear such as Mac desktop computers and monitors, Mackie mix boards, DBL sub speakers, an Avalon vacuum tube, Shure microphones, and a new Tama drum set.

Being on the college’s budget is also a big help to the music program’s financial needs.

Professor Ian Rafalak demonstrates use of some of the new equipment in the studio for his Intro to Audio Recording class.

While $200,000 might appear to be a lot of money, try to fathom the fact that the music lab itself is worth $150,000, which only leaves an actual academic cost of about $50,000.

The music administration recently installed a sound proofing system to upgrade the sound quality of recordings. A small vocal booth was purchased for $2,000, a large instrumental booth was bought for $6,000, and wall to wall sound proofing was purchased and installed for another $6,000.

“We get a budget update yearly, but normally we spend about $8,000 a semester plus whatever grants we get at the time,” Billingsley said. Asked what the money received each semester is mainly spent on, Billingsley said, “Books to be honest.”

The academic budget and the grants are the main sources of funding for the program. Charging for concerts and other events has been done, but Billingsley said that has been of “no use.” Billingsley said music club members will brainstorm ways to raise money for minor equipment updates or repairs.

“Financially, were in the best shape we’ve been in, in quite a long time,” Billingsley said. “Because we now have such reliable and durable equipment, we won’t find ourselves constantly spending the money on repairs.”

The music administration will be starting a new community music program in the fall 2011 l semester. The program will give non students the chance to take classes and learn about the world of music without having to worry about college credits.

More information on the new program is scheduled to be released during the spring 2011 semester.

Professor Ian Rafalak demostrates use of some of the new equipment in the studio for his intro to audio recording class.

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