When York College students used to host a Classroom Session for musicians, after the songs were recorded and the equipment broken down, the students would be ready to leave. Then they would remember another job.
“Oh wait,” junior Stephen Reuther recalled thinking. “There’s like 30 desks in the other room we need to bring in.”
Reuther is president of YCP Records, which launched a few years ago as a student organization at the college. In the spring semester of 2015, the group hosted its first band for a Classroom Session video.
Back then, students had to build in extra prep time to move the desks in and out. The organization has hosted about a dozen Classroom Sessions, and it’s gained a reputation as a place emerging artists -- students or not -- can turn to for exposure.
“They seem to be really passionate about ... bringing the music scene to life in York,” said Gabriella Portelles, vocalist and keyboardist for Port Ellis, an indie pop band based in York County.
York College has plans to expand the music industry experience it gives to students. Shawn Young, director of the Music Industry & Recording Technology program, said the college has an about $600,000 project planned that will create a remodeled and expanded recording space for the fall semester. At the same time, Young said the college plans to restructure YCP Records so it and related organizations fall under one large umbrella. Young said that will more closely resemble how organizations work in the music industry.
Portelles said she was impressed when she saw first saw other musicians perform in Classroom Session videos.
“They’re really good with mixing sound,” Portelles said, adding, “It’s a good representation of us.”
Eric D. Torres, who performs under the stage name Devix, is a 2012 graduate of Dallastown Area High School. He performs using acoustic guitar and slap percussion, and he also uses a loop station, an electronic device, and other instruments to make it sound as if he’s performing with a full band. His two Classroom Session videos, “Over You” and “Town,” were both posted on YouTube earlier this month.
Torres said partnering with YCP Records helps him reach a college-age audience. He said he can use the videos to show that his music is “a little more serious than me doing things in my room or in my basement.”
Prices vary, but the organization has charged $40 for a four-piece band to record one song for a Classroom Session. Students and members of YCP Records can get discounts, and YCP Records has also given musicians free production work in exchange for performing at a YCP Records show.
For students, the organization is a chance to give them hands-on experience. At the end of each session, the credits are listed.
“Seeing your name in that for the first time is pretty cool,” said Lauren Miller, a York College junior who handles public relations work for YCP Records.
About Port Ellis
Band members are Gabriella Portelles, David Portelles, Justyn Dusold, Matt Ferguson and Zach Harbold.
To hear their music, visit portellis.bandcamp.com/releases.
Eric D. Torres, who performs under the stage name Devix, attends HACC and plans to enroll at West Chester University this fall to study music therapy and music performance.
To hear his music, visit devix.me.
About YCP Records
To see videos from Classroom Sessions, visit YouTube and search for YCP Records.