McNally Smith College of Music

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McNally Smith College of Music
Type For-Profit[1]
Established 1985
President Harry Chalmiers
Students 530
Location Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA
44°56′58″N 93°5′51″W / 44.94944°N 93.09750°W / 44.94944; -93.09750Coordinates: 44°56′58″N 93°5′51″W / 44.94944°N 93.09750°W / 44.94944; -93.09750
Campus Urban

McNally Smith College of Music is a music college located in Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States. McNally Smith offers a range of diplomas, associate degrees, and bachelor's degrees in the areas of music business; performance in guitar, bass, drums, voice, keyboard, brass & woodwinds, and strings (violin, cello, viola and double bass); live sound, production, and recording engineering; and composition and songwriting.

Most of McNally Smith’s faculty members are actively engaged in aspects of the music industry, including as musicians, songwriters, and industry executives. A number of faculty have credits that include gold and platinum records and Grammy awards. Their careers include performances ranging from Broadway to major arena stages.

Formerly known as Musictech College, McNally Smith College took its new name in honor of its two founders, Jack McNally and Doug Smith, on its 20th anniversary celebrated in 2005. With a fall 2006 enrollment of 512, McNally Smith is known for its intimate setting, access to studios and other facilities, and small class sizes.

In the fall of 2009 the school opened the "first nationally accredited diploma program for hip-hop".[2]

Notable faculty[edit]

  • Dessa, is an established singer, songwriter, poet, published author and female hip-hop artist. She is a member of the Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Doomtree Collective. Dessa primarily teaches in the hip-hop and composition programs and has been a member of the McNally Smith faculty since 2008.
  • Freddy Fresh, among the most active and prolific American underground dance music artists, having released more than a hundred records on dozens of different labels worldwide. Has been a faculty member since 2009 in the Hip Hop Department.
  • Jeremy Messersmith, is a singer/songwriter based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Jeremy's first release The Alcatraz Kid garnered local radio play and attention from the music community. Jeremy graduated with a B.S. in Music from North Central University and has been a member of the faculty at McNally Smith since 2009.
  • Randy Sabien, a jazz violinist known for his live performances and recordings as well as his work in music education. He was the founder and chair of the Jazz Strings department of Berklee College of Music (1978–1981) and was appointed chair of the Strings department at McNally Smith in 2009.[3]

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Kyle Frenette, a 2007 music business graduate,[citation needed] is the manager Bon Iver, founder of Amble Down Records, founder of Middle West Management and was featured in Billboard's 30 under 30.
  • Justin Bonhiver[citation needed] is a member of Quietdrive formerly on Sony's Epic label with Kevin Truckenmiller, Brandon Lanier, Droo Hastings, and Matt Kirby. The band now consists of Kevin Truckenmiller, Justin Bonhiver, Will Ceaser, and Brice Niehaus."When All That's Left Is You" is Quietdrive's first LP, released in May 2006. Its first single was "Rise from the Ashes" and was featured on EA's NHL 2007 soundtrack. Quietdrive's cover of the Cyndi Lauper song "Time After Time" was on the Top 40 and was used in promotions for the WNBA for its "Have You Seen Her?" campaign. They have released two more LP's and one EP since then.
  • Zack Carroll, a 2005 guitar performance graduate,[citation needed] plays guitar and sings in the band This World Fair. This World Fair was signed to Rethink/EMI Records in 2005 and their self-titled album scheduled to be released in early 2008. The band recently contributed the song "Don't Make Me Wait" to the Disturbia soundtrack. There was also a music video created for the song.
  • Ari Herstand, is a singer/songwriter who graduated from McNally Smith in August 2005.[citation needed] His albums include "Baby Eyes," "One Take", "Whispering Endearments", "Live at the Pause", and "Clean Up [EP]". He has played at Milwaukee, WI's Summerfest, Austin TX's SXSW, and has had his music played on The CW's One Tree Hill and MTV, and has opened for Ben Folds, Cake, Sister Hazel and Matt Nathanson.
  • Jonathan Gering, a current[when?] student, filled in on Keyboards/Samples for James Baney with The Devil Wears Prada on the Australian leg of their Dead Throne Tour in 2011. He is now their full-time touring Keyboardist.
  • Brian Nagan, a 2005 graduate,[citation needed] is the front man in the band Four Letter Lie. The band released their debut record, Let Your Body Take Over, through Victory Records on October 31, 2006.