At home in the music studio
With all the bells and whistles in the LaGrange College Music Department recording
studio, sophomore Patrick Reagan feels just like a kid at Christmas.
As a high-school freshman, he used to record original acoustic guitar and vocals,
sometimes with “some piano thrown in,” he says. That almost seems archaic compared
with what he uses now.
The composition and music technologies major is now among a select handful of
students who have access to the college’s studio any time it’s not in use. That’s
not a perk most colleges offer, simply because LaGrange College is one of the only
colleges in Georgia that offers a composition and music technologies major; most
only offer a classical music program.
“Having this wonderful equipment, and especially having access to all of it, is
really amazing. We’re so fortunate that they trust us to have all this access to
it. This is what brought me to LaGrange College. In this program the professors
are really open and willing to work with you and with what you want to do with
your career. They aren’t focused on what they think is best for you; they want
you to discover what you think is best for you.”
In the major, Patrick can choose a concentration in either song-writing or composition.
“I’m definitely a song-writer, but I’ve also enjoyed learning composition,” he
says. “With the song-writing route, it’s more like the songs you hear on the radio.
You have lyrics, a tune that’s memorable, and it’s shorter than composition.
Composition takes a lot more time than a song, although I wouldn’t say it drains
you more because writing a song can be very emotional and take a lot out of you
The son of a piano-and-voice-major dad and theatre-major mom, the Augusta native
has been singing since age 3 and playing the guitar since sixth grade. He says
his parents’ backgrounds instilled in him a love for musical theatre. He taught
himself guitar and piano and learned formal voice from his church choir director.
Patrick began writing songs as a high-school freshman.
“I couldn’t count how many songs I’ve written,” he says. “Looking back at the
songs I wrote in high school as a freshman, they were terrible songs. Since I was
a senior in high school to now, I’ve probably written 50 songs.
“Every song is new progress. You see yourself growing in every song, so I can’t
really say that one is my favorite,” he says. “Each new one is my favorite.”
In his major, Patrick has grown as an artist through classes in music theory,
ear-training, audio engineering, piano and more.
“I’m in my third music theory class, and my second ear-training class,” he says.
“In ear-training, you listen to intervals and then write down what you hear, or
a professor will play a melody, and you write down the melody. It’s been huge for
me. It’s helped me so much.”
His band in Augusta, Amerson, has grown through Patrick’s music studies at LaGrange
College as well. They were recently hired at a wedding to play 30 to 40 songs,
and Patrick’s ear-training classes helped immensely as he was able to listen to
well-known songs from different genres and then write down the music for specific
With choral groups, applied lessons in musical instruments ranging from piano
to pipe organ to guitar, and percussion and guitar ensembles, LaGrange College
has plenty to offer musically. Patrick takes advantage of it all, including singing
as a member of the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra Chorus.
Above all, it’s the audio-engineering studio where Patrick feels most at home,
where he can create with virtually no limitations.
“I feel most at home sitting in this seat,” he says in front of a massive soundboard.
“I see myself in the future doing engineering because I have really developed a
love for it, even though I love song-writing too. I love using all this equipment
and putting a song together myself or with an artist.”