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.