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Designed for Action: Mass Communication Senior Wins $2,500 Scholarship

March 03, 2023
Tess Becket in the YCP Recording studio.

Written by: Khamelia Henderson '23

Senior Mass Communication major, Teresa “Tess” Becket ’23, has a long music career ahead of her with a debut single titled “Toxic” set to be released in March 2023, acceptance into graduate school, and a desire to work as a touring live sound engineer. 

Her most recent accomplishment has been winning the $2,500 Rock Lititz Scholarship.

The Rock Lititz Live Event Scholarship is an award offered to two musically gifted students who have aspirations for a career in the live music industry. 

The award was presented at the Live Event Career Exploration Conference on the Rock Lititz Campus in Lititz, PA. All the students who attended the event were able to apply, and out of over 500 attendees, Tess was one of the award winners. 

“I met dozens of music industry professionals, inspiring women, and people [who] love music, touring, audio, and [who] devote their lives to it,” Tess says. 

Getting Connected

Tess originally heard about the Rock Lititz Scholarship from a friend who completed an internship with a company located on the Rock Lititz campus. She also heard more about the campus through professional connections such as Soundgirls, York Music Group, and the Audio Engineering Society. She followed Rock Lititz on social media.

Dr. Shawn Young, Music Industry and Entertainment Studies and Associate Professor of Music at York College, and Dan Meyer, Professor of Music Production, helped to get students interested in the Rock Lititz Conference. Alexa Scranton ’22, COO of the York Music Group club at York College, informed Tess about the scholarship. 

To apply for the scholarship, Tess had to attend the Live Event Career Exploration Conference hosted on the Rock Lititz campus. A major highlight of the event for Tess was interacting with industry professionals who gave her insight into careers such as sound engineering, costume design, musicianship, set design, and pyrotechnics. 

Winning the award provided more than just monetary value to Tess. For her, the award provided more motivation to pursue a music career. Throughout her York College experience, she has been one of few female engineers and producers in a male-dominated industry. The award encouraged her to persevere and overcome the many hurdles she faced. 

“This award provided me with an affirmation of my work so far and the confidence to continue investing in a music industry career,” she adds. 

The York College Difference

York College provides Tess with 24/7 access to the recording studio and the equipment she needs. She’s had the opportunity to connect with audio engineers, music producers, songwriters, and instrumentalists. 

“I’ve worked front-of-house mixing and stagehand gigs for local events that I learned about from connections at York,” Tess says.

Faculty members and students have also been a huge motivation in helping Tess become a better songwriter, musician, and audio engineer. York College instructors understand the skills students need in order to succeed in the competitive music industry. 

Dr. Young emphasizes that “Here at YCP, we are committed to providing students with experiential learning. We also recognize that the entertainment industry is a competitive place. Thus, it is important for students to build career networks through our various offerings at YCP.” 

Tess’s advisor, Jeffrey Schiffman, is the WVYC Radio Station Manager and Instructor in Audio and Radio Production. He highlights how York College prepares Tess for real-world expertise. 

“All her classroom work in Mass Communication production classes will make Tess a more versatile content producer. She can do everything from concept to final product. She can shoot the video, capture the audio, edit the video and audio, and do the complete sound design. Anyone looking for a content producer needs to have employees who have a full range of abilities,” he adds. 

Classes such as CM 336: Audio 2, CM 426: Audio 3, CM 330: Non-Linear Editing, CM 341: Video 2, and CM 431: Advanced Video Production paved the way for Tess to gain the skills she needed to make a mark in the music industry. 

Big Plans for the Future

Tess currently works as a freelance mixing and recording engineer. She’s interviewing for positions as a live sound engineer and is considering stateside or international graduate schools to earn her Master’s in Audio Engineering. She worked with York College students Holden Cowburn ’23 and Zachary Savage ’23 to complete her debut single “Toxic,” which is set to be released in March 2023 on all streaming platforms.  

Tess credits her York College education for helping her succeed. 

She says, “I have a lot of independence at York to learn what I want to and really get into the super nerdy, nitty-gritty of gear, engineering, recording, and music production.”