Bluesman by trade, soundman by design

shaun hayes

Shaun Hayes '09 has been playing harp since he was five.

"I am a bluesman by trade," Hayes said.

Besides the mouth harp, Hayes also plays guitar, clarinet and since enrolling at Adams State College is learning the saxophone. According to the music faculty, he is also a talented sound man.

Doug Camp, jazz band director, said he recognized talent when Hayes auditioned, but didn't know about his technique as a soundman until later.

"I have a passion for sound engineering," Hayes said. "I got started by helping with the sound at my church back home. Then I programmed the sound system for my high school, including deciding what new equipment to buy, setting it up and teaching myself to work it properly."

"Shaun Hayes is one of those students that bleeds music," Camp said. "He is so passionate about every facet of the profession. He is bound to succeed, it will not matter which area he chooses to pursue." He learned about Adams State College inadvertently.

"My high school was too small for a big band," Hayes said. "Every year we would attend a band clinic with other small schools in the Black Forest District so music students could experience big band."

The guest professor was the director of bands for Adams State College at that time, Dr. Steiner, and he helped convince Hayes to give Adams a chance.

"I didn't even know there was a music program here," Hayes said. "It worked out well."

Matthew Schildt, assistant professor of music, said he appreciates Hayes.

"His positive attitude is contagious," Schildt said. "He is a pleasure to be around in and out of class. He also goes above and beyond the duties of his sound recording work study. He gives his all into making some of the best recital recordings I have heard. He puts in extra hours and takes his job very seriously. As a musician, Shaun is multitalented. In addition to being a promising clarinetist, he is a wonderful blues singer/songwriter and plays a great harmonica."

Renowned musician, Professor Jeff Haskell, director of Jazz Studies at the University of Arizona, was one of the guest clinicians at the Adams State College February Festival.

"After the big band concert on Saturday night, Mister Camp invited us to his house for a reception," Hayes said. "I got to jam with Professor Haskell, and that was good. That man has forgotten more about jazz then I could ever hope to know. He's played with all the greats and was still very personable with stories coming out his ears."

Hayes's first instrument was the harmonica.

"My daddy handed me a mouth harp when I was four or five years-old," Hayes said. "I've been blowing harp ever since. In the sixth grade I changed schools and they had a band. I was dead set on playing the saxophone."

His music teachers told him it would be easier to start with the clarinet.

"I just started to learn the saxophone last semester," Hayes said. "I like it very much."

He said he enjoys working in the recording studio on campus.

"We've been rebuilding the sound stage and recording studio over in the ES Building," Hayes said. "It is turning into a really nice recording facility. We will be able to do a lot of cool stuff in that area."