College DJ Program mixes the right beats

By Shawn Raymundo

Published: Tuesday, September 21, 2010; Updated: Tuesday, September 21, 2010 19:09

A lot goes into picking a DJ name, but

with SCC's professional DJ program, students

not only find their DJ name, but learn

how to scratch, fade, mix and become pros

like them as well.

SCC's DJ program has been taught on

campus since 2000. According to Dr. Christina

Novack, Music Department chair, the DJ

program has been growing since its start.

"We have three classes that fill every semester.

They've become very popular," Novack


Rob Wegner, DJ professor, started the

course back in 2000 as a non-credit course.

After years of growing up in the DJ business,

Rob Wegner decided he wanted to impart

knowledge and share all that he had learned

over the years with anyone who wished to

master the craft.

Rob Wegner first began a website called as a way of reaching

out to young DJs.

His inspiration to teach a course came

from a message he received from a student

in Hong Kong who was arguing with his

parents about wanting to be a professional


"He wrote to me and said, ‘They want me

to go to a university and get a degree.' And

I thought to myself ‘Why can't he do both?

Why can't he go to college and learn to be a

DJ?" said Wegner.

The DJ courses not only teach students

how to work with the equipment, but students

learn the history of Disc Jockeys and

what it means to be a professional. "When

I was going to the clubs in Old Town and

I was watching these DJs and (thinking)

wow, they really don't know their roots.

They don't really understand what it means

to be a DJ," Wegner said.

After receiving many positive views

from the website, Wegner approached the

Music Department to start a DJ program;

the department approved the program.

By 2004, SCC was the first public college

to teach a credited DJ course.

Since then, many well-known DJ's in and

around the Valley have praised Wegner for

starting the program. Most notably, Afrika

Bambataa, known as the "Godfather" of hiphop,

made an appearance to one of Wegner's

classes a few semesters ago to speak.

A student of Rob Wegner's, 25-year-old Andrew

Frieling is a business major who goes

by "Big Red" on stage. Frieling went back to

school to get a business degree after being

laid off from his job as a car salesman.

Frieling found out about the DJ classes

and decided to take a slightly different


Frieling said that he still wishes to get a

business degree, but plans to use it towards

a career in music.

"I found out about these DJ programs

and I'm like I'm definitely going to do this.

It's one of those things that I found out that

I actually have a real chance of a future in,"

Frieling said.

As for choosing a DJ name, Frieling said it

is all about style. "It's all in the person that's

DJ'ing. It could be given to you by somebody

else and if you like it enough, it'll just stick," Frieling said.