The Outback, New Canaan's Teen Center, now provides classes and recording studio time to students and organizations.

Thanks to a grant from the New Canaan Community Foundation, and subsequent support from the Kiwanis Club, the Outback recording studio went from dream to reality this past spring. The industry-standard equipment installed is comparable to, and compatible with, that utilized in the music tech program provided by New Canaan High, making it possible for students who want additional recording practice or experience to easily transfer their skills to the Outback's studio.

Since March, Outback studio manager, New Canaan resident and 2010 NCHS graduate Tommy Higbie, has offered open houses and classes for students ranging from fifth through 12th grade. Programming for this year has been made possible by a generous grant from the Young Women's League of New Canaan. The Outback seeks to partner with local talent from performing arts and music groups who hope to record, edit and perfect their projects.

"The Outback's recording studio offers brand new equipment and skilled recording engineers who can supply every musician and organization with an affordable way to make their ideas come to life," Higbie said. "We wanted to be sure that whether someone is a brand new artist, a seasoned music veteran or even a student or local organization working on a recording project, the Outback's recording studio has everything you need."

"We're currently offering a studio 101 class where students will have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with industry-standard DAW equipment, programs, and procedures carried out in a functioning recording studio," he said. "This course will takes you through the entire recording process, from beginning to post-production, by building a unique and original song collaboration, into a final mix to take home and show your friends and family."

Certain aspects of the recording studio at the Outback interested him.

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"From a young age I have always have been intrigued by music and the powers it has on one's mind and emotions. I had been a self-taught guitarist and bassist for years upon entering high school, but I yearned for a new outlet for my musical expression," he said. "As luck would have it, I came to realize the high school provided a mini recording program, and since then I never turned back. The projects that I have been lucky enough to take part in at the Outback have varied from recordings of artist Nicholas Conforti, to my studio tech class for middle schoolers, to my most recent project where I have been working with the Circle of Care's Bags of Love program at the Outback, recording fables and stories for children who have been admitted to a hospital for cancer treatment."

Higbie enjoys his position at the Outback.

"I really enjoy assisting with artistic development and growth in both my students and artists that come to record," he said.

The Outback, New Canaan's Teen Center, is dedicated to providing a positive and enriching environment in New Canaan where teens are able to relax, socialize, and participate in self-directed activities and have the opportunity to contribute to the community. For information regarding membership, or any of the Outback's programs, including those at the recording studio, visit www.ncoutbacktc.com, visit www.facebook.com/OutbackTC or call the First County Bank Sponsored hotline at 203-594-3074.