Gulf Shores City Schools and Gulf Shores High School announced an exciting partnership with The Hangout Hospitality Group during a news conference last week. The Hangout Hospitality Group is gifting $100,000 to build a state of the art, industry-leading music lab for students. The funds will be directed through the Dolphin Foundation for Education and Arts.
Gulf Shores High School has an existing music lab and music technology course taught by Tim Simmons. The classroom has a small stage, sound and lighting equipment where students learn the basics and sometimes host guest artists.
The Hangout’s investment will update and upgrade the current space. A state-of-the-art recording studio, musical instruments, and a fully equipped stage with lighting and sound equipment will provide students a hands-on setting with industry leading equipment. Students will learn skills such as live music production, recording techniques, stage lighting productions, musical equipment repair and vocal and instrumental performance techniques. In honor of The Hangout’s investment, the lab will be named Hangout Music Lab.
“By putting students into contact with the same musical equipment they will find in the
industry, we are better preparing them to compete for jobs and bridging some of the
skills gap often experienced by post-secondary technical students,” Simmons said.
Dr. Matt Akin, Superintendent of Gulf Shores City Schools, said the new school system is committed to supporting the arts and creativity among its students.
“This is one of the first high school music tech programs of this caliber in the country. We are offering over 20 courses and providing a full-time teacher with over 15 years of experience dedicated to working with these students,” Akin said.
Gulf Shores City School school board members, school leaders and teachers place a heavy emphasis on rigorous, comprehensive curriculum and strive to give students unique learning opportunities.
Kevin Corcoran, President of the Gulf Shores City School Board of Education said “We are extremely excited about this partnership. This initiative exemplifies all five of the core values of Gulf Shores City Schools including a rigorous, comprehensive curriculum, thus promoting critical and creative thinking as well as innovation and collaboration. It is a great example of community leaders taking an active role in the development of our innovative curricula.”
Shaul Zislin, Co-Founder of The Hangout, said he intends to continue the partnership yearly with opportunities and experiences.
“We intend to work with school leadership to establish an annual grant that will help expand these opportunities for students making the program a groundbreaking trailblazer in the educational space,” Zislin said.
The music lab makeover is scheduled to start immediately with hopes of being complete in January 2021.