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Spotlight on the Class of 2018

Shane Consalvo

Associate in Applied Science Degree
Music Technology
Phi Theta Kappa
Outstanding Achievement in Music Technology
Graduate Award  

Composing a Career in Music

Posted May 15, 2018 

Shane Consalvo, a musician and vocalist, is used to being in front of a microphone, but at the May 17 morning Commencement ceremony, he will face the mic for a different reason; to deliver the valedictory address to the Class of 2018.

“I’m a little nervous about giving a speech,” said Shane, an experienced performer who is not as accustomed to public speaking.  “I was surprised when I heard the news and very grateful,” he said.

The Wayne resident graduates with his Associate in Applied Science Degree in Music Technology with highest honors. He is also a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and recipient of the Outstanding Achievement in Music Technology Graduate award.

“Shane is a fantastic student,” said Professor Sam Ayala, chair of the Music Department. “He’s a musician, performer, composer, and one of the few students to complete the Music Technology degree program within two years.”

A 2016 graduate of Wayne Hills High School, Shane first became interested in music during his high school years. “I started out playing only piano,” he said. “Before then, I did not have a big interest in music or in becoming a musician.”

Once Shane started, though, his passion for music developed quickly. He expanded his repertoire to include playing acoustic guitar, singing vocals, and eventually composing his own music. Soon he was performing regularly during his high school years with a rock band called FoundVegas.

“We played places like the Bitter End and Stone Pony,” said Shane, referring to two of the most celebrated music venues in the area, one in New York’s Greenwich Village and the other in Asbury Park.

Eventually, though, Shane parted ways with the group due to different ambitions. “None of the other musicians in the group planned to go to college, but that’s what I wanted to do,” he explained. 

FoundVegas maintained a busy touring schedule that would interfere with college classes and activities, so Shane decided to move on and enrolled in PCCC in Fall 2016.

“At first I thought the Music Technology program looked interesting, but not exactly what I wanted,” Shane said. Now he sings a different tune. “It was a good thing for me.  It really brought out of me talents I didn’t know I had and opened me up to a whole other side of music.”

Learning the skills for recording and editing music “really gave me a passion for doing that kind of work,” said Shane.  He now even provides technical assistance to other musical artists who want to record their work, making extra income for his services.

He hasn’t given up performing though. Shane still plays gigs, mostly as a soloist, but sometimes with classmate and fellow graduate Dennis Abate. “We do simpler things, like a coffee shop opening in Wayne, or something on the college campus,” said Shane. 

Right now, school occupies most of his time and attention, but Shane has some specific performing goals for the future.  “I’d really like to get a band together again someday,” he said, “and also release an album.”

Inspired by the work of the British band Coldplay and  frontman Chris Martin, Shane composes music in the alternative rock genre.  One of his compositions, Earth, was recently used for a short film called Click (2018)by R.G. Rader, a PCCC Theater professor. (Listen to it here). (Earth, by Shane Consalvo, ©2017)

“Professor Rader heard my piece one day and thought it would work for his film,” said Shane.
“I hadn’t done music for film before then, but I really enjoyed the experience and would be interested in doing more.”

Shane plans to continue his education in a bachelor’s degree program at William Paterson University where he will major in sound engineering with the goal of one day operating his own studio. “The Music Tech program at PCCC led me to a whole new path in music, and I’m looking forward to going further in the field,” said Shane.

He recommends that other students be open to exploring possibilities, because that can lead to new passions, as it did for him.  “You  need to work hard to succeed, but when you love what you do, you’ll work hard and never feel like you’re working,”