City College Music Studio Opens to Public – City Times

Community Recording Studio Night invites guests to participate in a presentation of how a professional recording studio works

Student musician and producer Zane Mahaytik (left) and teacher Mike Espar set up a microphone to record a vocal track for a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Rhiannon” in the City Music Studio on March 22. Mahaytik was left alone facing the microphone, with the others watching behind glass. Photo by Philip Salata/City Times Media

When Professor Mike Espar pushed open the music studio door and opened it a crack, even the noise of the equipment sounded melodic.

It was an expectant tune that echoed through Curran Plaza, embracing newcomers.

About once a month, San Diego City College’s Commercial Music Program hosts Community Recording Studio Night, an event where guests are introduced to the process of professionally recording a cover of a pre-selected track.

City’s Commercial Music program prepares students for the highly technical profession of studio sound engineering, but it is also made unique by Espar’s focus on the collaborative and communal aspect of music creation.

Former, current and potential future students made their way through the studio throughout the evening of March 22 as the session moved between a loose flutter of notes and rhythms that suddenly channeled into the score of “Rhiannon” by Fleetwood Mac.

Student, guitarist and recording artist Zane Mahaytik plucked his headless guitar and later bravely stood at the microphone in an empty room and sang, moving to and from a tender falsetto to match the rising notes and descendants of Stevie Nicks.

Not an easy feat.

Meanwhile, student and aspiring musical engineer Jordan Reyes sat at the soundboard, absorbing instruction from Professor Bob Kostlan.

As the group gathered to listen to the playback, a new guest burst into the studio, excited, eyes wide at the equipment, carrying a leash with nothing on the other end. Then came the sound of a squealing bullet and the sight of a mutt.

The two new guests were breathing hard and seemed impressed.

It underscored it – the doors were open to the community.

Jordan Reyes admires soundboard instructor
While operating the soundboard, student and aspiring sound engineer Jordan Reyes looks up at Professor Bob Kostlan during a playback of recorded material near the end of Community Recording Studio Night on March 22. Reyes is finally pursuing a career in music production after realizing how following his passion makes him happy. Photo by Philip Salata/City Times Media