Photo Essay: The DC gives Detroit high school students a glimpse of what their future could hold

“I can see myself being here.” “I didn’t know you could do this in college.” These were some of the comments made by 21 high school students after their tour of the Duderstadt Center and the advanced digital media technologies managed by the Digital Media Commons staff. This, from many students who had never considered attending a university. For the complete story behind their visit to the DC see the “Sing My Song” post. Below: highlights from their recording session and tour of the building.

Students from The School at Marygrove visit the U-M North Campus and the Duderstadt Center
The students in Jane Jordan’s 9th and 10th grade humanities class from The School at Marygrove during their visit to the Duderstadt Center and North Campus. Photo by Mark Clague
Thomas Hampson, world renowned operatic baritone shares the importance of song as a form of cultural outreach with studnets in the School at Marygrove
The impetus for the students’ project, called “Sing My Song”, began with a previous visit by world renowned operatic baritone, Thomas Hampson. Hampson, through his Hampsong Foundation (with a “g”), has partnered with SMTD to establish the Classic Song Research Initiative. One of its projects is “Sing My Song.” Photo by Mark Clague
Students in Jane Jordan's humanities class collaborate on a musical composition with Nicholas Feldman and Alfredo Cabrera
The students studied the original autobiographical works of enslaved children of the 18th and 19th centuries in their course, “Children in Peril”. They composed six-word memoirs to distill the meaning they derived from those readings, and their personal responses to shared experiences. Here, they collaborate with instructor Jane Jordan (top left), and SMTD graduate student composers Alfredo Cabrera (center left), and Nicholas Feldman (top right), to turn their written work into musical compositions using graphical composition tools. Photo by Mark Clague
high school students from The School at Marygove visit the DC's Audio Studio
The students from Marygrove get an orientation to the session in which they will read and record their written work to be used as elements of the musical composition. Kylie Grace Snyder (far left), Assistant Manager of the DMC’s Audio Studio in the DC, explains the process, while composers Feldman and Cabrera (far right) get ready to coach students in the “tracking room.” Photo by Mark Clague
Alfredo Cabrera coaches a student from Marygrove during a recording of "Sing My Song"
Alfredo Cabrera (above) says “We made sure that we, as composers, were merely facilitating the creative process and bringing to life the vision of the students.” Photo by Mark Clague
Snyder, at the controls of the 48-channel audio mixing console in the studio’s control room, says “Here in the DC Studio we wanted to support what the students brought to this. They obviously understand much better than we how impactful the words that they’re reading are.” Photo by Mark Clague
In the tracking room beyond, Joseph, one of Jane Jordan’s students in her “Children in Peril” course records his the six-word memoirs used in the final song composition. Photo by Mark Clague
Patterson McKinney (left) and Catherine Miller (second from left) describe some of the many projects envisioned and brought to life by U-M students in the Video Studio. Photo by Mark Clague
“It’s a wrap!” Students reflect on the days recording sessions and their visit to the Fabrication Studio, 3D Visualization Studio, Video Studio and other highlights of the Duderstadt Center. Jane Jordan (standing, far right), remarked, “The recording studio was a big part of this, but the whole visit, to the Duderstadt Center, the college experience of the U-M, maybe was even more important. The possibilities that they can see for themselves, that the could be part of community like this. For students who never considered college. I didn’t expect to see that going in. It’s such a big thing.” Photo by Mark Clague

To hear the final “Sing My Song” composition visit: “Sing My Song” Collaboration Winter 2022