Watch out Sony, Capitol, Def Jam, and Atlantic … 566 Records has arrived — and with it, some rising stars in music!
Dwight’s very own student-run record label and website, 566 Records — named for the home of our music recording studio at 566 Columbus Avenue — is the latest addition to our School’s dynamic music program.
The idea for 566 Records was born when Eric Novod, Head of Performing Arts, came to Dwight last year and saw the potential for developing a label in our recording studio. A former studio musician and producer himself, Mr. Novod gauged student interest and was delighted to hear an enthusiastic “yes!”
Mr. Novod had hoped to begin following last year’s global Carnegie Hall concert just when the pandemic intervened. While the launch was delayed when we switched to virtual learning for the remainder of the year, planning for this exciting Upper School initiative continued.
This fall, when School reopened, Mr. Novod and a group of student-musicians and singer-songwriters — the 566 Records Advisory Team of Justin Chen '21, Marlowe Clarke '21, Lucca McHugh '22, Jake Bruner '23, Ella Shin '23, and Tom Volpato '23 — met weekly to map their vision for the label and website, combining in-person and at-home recordings.
Building a Music Community
While some students on this talented team had already self-published music on Spotify, Soundcloud, and Apple Music, they wanted to do much more than create a Dwight platform; they wanted to foster opportunities to collaborate, encourage fellow artists and help them record high-quality versions of their original music, learn from industry professionals, build a thriving music community encompassing all instruments and styles — and connect that community to other creative areas and programs at Dwight.
The label’s goals are wide-ranging and inclusive. In addition, students also want to help peers who record at 566 to develop a marketing plan for sharing their music, and encourage electronic music producers to contribute their work and music lovers to join by sharing custom playlists and reviews.
“While some students may choose to publish their music on streaming platforms, that is not our expectation for being part of the 566 Records process,” says Mr. Novod. “In fact, we imagine most students will submit music for the Dwight website as their primary goal — a rewarding accomplishment in and of itself!"
Learning the Business
Whether students are really passionate about music and want to pursue it as a career or as a serious hobby, the kind of experience they can gain is invaluable. “There are so many important aspects of the recording business that students need time to master and don’t normally have access to nor the time to develop the necessary skill set and confidence in most school music programs,” explains Mr. Novod. “I’m delighted that we can offer this hands-on learning experience and resources to Dwight students.”
Whether they are singers, songwriters, instrumentalists, music producers or engineers — or a combination — students will learn so much from Mr. Novod, through 566 Records Master Classes with pros, and from each other. “We will be offering students the kind of enriching and broad-ranging support that established record labels offer their artists,” he says.
This year, every student on the Advisory Board will be a featured artist who shares their work as well as insights into their creative process through interviews. Their music ranges from pop, rock, and R&B, to electronic, classical, and singer-songwriter; some students are writing original pieces in our IB Music Class and others have been doing so on their own. No matter the genre or personal style, there are no limits to what students can do at 566 Records!
Click here to check it out and take a listen!
Upper School students interested in contributing music to 566 Records — either something already created or an idea you want to develop — please email firstname.lastname@example.org.