On This Celebratory Day, We Give Thanks

We feel particularly fortunate this year. In the Spring, we restructured the organization in the Great State of Maryland. We developed new partnerships and attracted a couple of awesome sponsors. We have been in operation for more than 3 years and have acquired all the equipment necessary to launch Phase I. And now, after years of research, planning, doing, and collaboration, Phase I is underway.

To our past and current Board members, our past and  current Subject Matter Experts, our past and current partners, I humbly extend my thanks for believing in what we are about, what we have achieved to date, and what we seek to achieve. Our mission is a humble one and I am honored to be working alongside such talented and caring people.

We give thanks to all who appreciate great music and share in the mission to spread peace and understanding from person to person, culture to culture.  Peace.

Phase I Maryland Americana Songwriting Contest is LIVE!

After many hours of collaboration, work and planning by a number of fine volunteers, the day is upon us! Global Z’s Phase I Maryland Americana Songwriting Contest is live!

To find out more about this ground-breaking contest, please check out our Phase I web page. Deadline to receive all submission is December 15!

Musicians, you will be next! If you dig playing Americana music and you are a student based in MD, keep you eyes open for a call for auditions.

My thanks to everyone involved to make this launch a reality.

New Partnership with FCC Audio Production Program

We are pleased to announce a partnership with Dr. Jonathan Cresci, Director of Frederick Community College’s Audio Production Program. Dr. Jon and his students are assisting us in a huge way. They are conducting microphone character analyses on the microphones in our ‘mic locker.’ Essentially, they will record a variety of instruments using the microphones we have access to and document their findings on how the mics respond to each task. This data is extremely useful, as it will help us anticipate what mics we might choose when we have a need to record a particular family of instruments. As Phase I is now open (and there was much rejoicing!), we will be able to put this knowledge to immediate and long term use. Thanks FCC, Dr. C, and Audio Production students!

Phase I Pre-Launch Underway

It is getting exciting around here! Our Instructional Designers Teresa and Gerry have dug in and have begun building out the course virtual shell. We are mapping out what the virtual course experience will look like, and making plans to run a characteristics analysis on our microphones with our audio engineering advisor, Dr. Jon. Essentially, we want to test our microphones on instruments and vocal styles that are commonly used in Americana music so that when we are ready to record our musicians, we have a pretty good idea of which mic or mics to reach for.  Bradley and I have assembled an extensive list of schools and musical programs across the State of Maryland. Using this list, we will invite Maryland-based music students and songwriters to audition for Phase I. We have our sights on Fall for a project launch!

Phase I Proof of Concept Genre and Location Defined

After much consideration, research, and discussion, it has been decided to have Americana serve as our first genre of music! In addition, we are limiting participation to K-12 and higher education students who are either permanent residents of Maryland, or enrolled in a school based in Maryland. Maryland has historically rich Americana music roots, so it makes perfect sense to have the genre and state be glued together and serve as the underpinnings for our Proof of Concept Project! It is about to get crazy busy around here…

All the Gear Has Arrived!

The last couple of weeks have been highly anticipatory. I had received all of the gear I ordered with the exception of a pair of sE X1 S microphones. The X1 S mics are brand-spankin’ new – the first run hot off the production line – and the few available reviews on their performance have left many eagerly awaiting their arrival (me included). This past Friday, the pair appeared at my doorstep. Thanks sE Electronics! This completes my grocery list of gear and allows us to move forward with the Phase I, Proof of Concept Project.

While assembling this set of gear, I have also been working to establish a few new and essential partnerships. Things are looking very promising in that regard and I anticipate having some news to report about partnerships in the near future.

Next steps include assembling our esteemed team of subject matter experts to begin working on our virtual socio-educational platform. This is getting exciting, folks!

An Exercise in Transparency: Phase I Proof of Concept Equipment Update

To date, the biggest stumbling block to our projects’ forward progress has been acquiring the needed funds to purchase equipment and run the organization. In Colorado, we initially sought to raise over $30,000 in grant money to conduct Phase I. We were able to receive limited financial successes through grants from Wells Fargo and Target. While we applied for numerous local, regional, and national grants, our financial goals of $30,000 were far from realized.

Locating the organization to the East Coast will have a definite impact on how we might acquire grants, equipment, and operational funds. Grant money was hard to come by, and we learned from the experience.  The Board of Directors has approved a new strategy that will allow us to conduct our Phase I Proof of Concept project on a ‘shoestring’ budget. I am purchasing the audio production gear necessary to will allow us to complete our proof of concept using personal funds, and loaning the equipment out to Global Z. The purchase of this gear is about 90% complete. Once all of the necessary gear has been secured, we can move forward with making the necessary connections that will allow us to get Phase I underway.

Through these successes, we hope to attract the funding necessary that will allow us to operate in the black for future years to come. 2017-2018 will undoubtedly be exciting years for Global Z!

A New Home for The Global Z Recording Project

Global Z’s home office has relocated from Colorado to Maryland!

Our organization got its start in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. While we loved calling Colorado Springs home, life has a way of throwing unexpected curveballs our way. Such has been the case with my career. After working for many years in the field of higher education, I accepted an incredible job with the US Department of Agriculture, in Maryland. As a result, this Spring with the Board’s approval, I dissolved Global Z’s organizational structure in Colorado, and formally set up shop in Maryland.

While I miss being close to the incredible beauty of the Rockies and the network we established in Colorado, it is exciting to be based in a state with lush, rolling hills, an amazing history, and to have access to our nation’s capitol. It is equally great to be within a few hour’s drive to several major metropolitan East Coast cities.

Actually, the organization is still well anchored to our original roots. Our Chairman of the Board – Bradley Plesz – remains in Colorado and will continue to help move Global Z forward as we carve out a path that takes us across the country and eventually the globe. We have also received word that one of our significant Colorado partners wishes to continue playing an active role in our growth. So, all in all, things are looking great!

Stay tuned for more news, as it will surely develop as we continue to spread our roots and develop a new East Coast network…