Drew Elliot: the man behind the new composite major

MULTI-TALENTED — Drew Elliot supports those around him through the variety of skills that he has gained over the years.


While Hope College was designing the Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts with its advanced recording studio, Drew  Elliot was searching for a job at a Michigan studio.

It only made sense that the  two events would eventually collide.

Since then, Elliot’s influence on the Hope community has been invaluable.

Elliot was a psychology undergraduate at Calvin College,  which has played a role in how  he works with people at the recording studio. However, recording piqued Elliot’s curiosity,  and after trying some classes, became a bigger interest than psychology.

“I did graduate school in Nashville, Tennessee, and I moved up to Michigan for my wife to do her graduate degree,” Elliot said.

Outside of recording life, Elliot has a passion for videography and travel.

As Bruce Benedict, chaplain of worship and Elliot’s coworker, said, “Drew is one of the most intrepid world travelers I have  ever met.”

Benedict and Elliot have worked together on recording  projects both for Hope and Cardiphonia Music, a project Benedict leads.

While Elliot started out in recording, he mixed for live television while millions of people  watched. It ended up being more stressful than he had originally anticipated.

“It is a very complex and dynamic work environment…It’s  a combination of being relaxed and comfortable, and also the  very high stress of people’s livelihoods and their creative artwork  and craft, if what they’re coming up with is on the line and riding on this space,” Elliot explained.

Elliot’s timing at Hope allowed him to contribute to the  production of the recording studio. He was able to provide input and additions with mastering tools, microphones and the  overall studio configuration.

“Drew Elliot is one of the finest audio engineer educators I  have ever known,” Benedict said. “He is smart, connects well with students, and knows his way  around every aspect of the audio/tech world.”

As for using his past education, Elliot commented:

“Working in a recording studio is a lot about working with  people in a very vulnerable situation, and so you need to put the  white gloves on sometimes to take care of your musicians as they are performing.”

Elliot has combined his  knowledge of psychology, physics, technology and music to enhance his teaching methods and  professional endeavors.

His hard work and thorough  knowledge has not gone unnoticed and has even influenced  coworkers.   

“I have learned a lot about how to schedule and produce a recording project in the context of a large professional recording studio [from Drew],” Benedict stated.

As depicted by Elliot, the main objective of the studio is to  serve Hope in every way possible. That includes performance  recordings in the music department, Campus Ministries and  the theatre department; guest  artists for the Holland community as a whole, including  Sphinx Virtuosi; and recording arts composite majors.

“On top of encouraging and  directing the recording arts students, [Elliot] also makes time to  support other student projects  on campus that utilize the studios in Dimnent and Jack Miller,”  Benedict said.

Outside of the recording studio, Elliot has assisted with campus activities like Vespers and  Hope’s Concert Series.

“I’ve also been impressed with the number and caliber of  students pursuing the recording arts major,” Benedict commented.

Surely this number will only continue to grow as classes and curriculum for the composite major are further established.

The recording arts program is a valuable, essential part of Hope’s campus, and much of that is thanks to Elliot’s hard work.

“A school the size of Hope is  very fortunate to have a recording facility this size and of this  complexity…Anyone who is interested should come by and see  it, if nothing else. It’s inherently a cool thing to check out, so stop  by and say hi,” Elliot stated enthusiastically.

Room 134 in the Jack H. Miller. Check it out sometime.


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