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,
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.
Wegner first began a website called
www.diskjockey101.com 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 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,"
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.