Coffee House

LHS media students join forces with New England School of Communications

Union Leader Correspondent
March 30. 2014 10:04PM
Londonderry High school students and New England School of Communications students, including several LHS graduates, teamed up to produce a live broadcast of the LHS Coffee House on Friday night. (APRIL GUILMET PHOTO)

LONDONDERRY -- Three years after graduating, Justin Foster found himself back on the Londonderry High School campus in a more unfamiliar role last Friday.

Foster, now a junior at the New England School of Communications (NESCom) at Husson University in Bangor, Maine, was among the two-dozen college students and staff members spending the day at the high school to produce a live broadcast of the LHS Coffee House, an evening of student musical performances.

Around 30 or so students from teacher Karen Robinson's television production and radio classes got the chance to put their skills into practice Friday, with a little help from NESCom students and instructors.

From early morning until late evening, the NESCom mobile production facility, a 32-foot trailer containing a high-tech, portable editing studio, was parked outside the cafeteria.It was controlled chaos in the cafeteria and surrounding areas Friday afternoon, as high school students and their college mentors kept busy setting up the stage, adjusting cameras and sound, and preparing to conduct off-stage interviews with some of the night's performers.

Foster said it was his third time returning to his former high school with his college peers.

As the program producer, he worked closely with student producer Anna Shveshkeyev, one of Robinson's students.Ryan Carignan and Dave Roberts, also LHS 2011 graduates, worked to help familiarize current Londonderry students with NESCom's industry-standard equipment."As an alumnus, I was already pretty familiar with the concept," Foster said. "So for the past three weeks I've been figuring out all the logistics: the cameras, the lighting, the sound."

"It's good to be back, but it's a lot different than being a student," he added.

Dressed to impress in a sharp black suit and red tie, senior Joe Green looked the part for his role as an on-screen host.

Though Green isn't planning on a television career (he plans to major in social studies at University of New Hampshire this fall and eventually become a history teacher), he said his current role reflects his love of the spotlight.

"It's been pretty awesome," Green said. "I just love talking to people, and I love being on camera.

Fellow senior Jonathan Klutsch, who will major in film at the University of Utah next year, said he's more comfortable behind the camera.

"It's so fun being behind the scenes," he said. "It's also the perfect chance to show potential television production students just what we can do."

The NESCom team has previously teamed up with Robinson's students for broadcasts of sporting events, according to the college's program director, Rodney Verrill.

"It's a great experience for the students," Verrill said. "They really get a taste of the process."

Previous collaborations with the college have also piqued the interest of high school juniors and seniors in the past.

Verrill said about 10 Londonderry High School students paid a visit to the Maine campus shortly after the NESCom team visited last year.

Robinson said her favorite part of the process is catching up with some of her former students.

"It's great to see them working on the NESCom end," she said.

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