About 400 miles separate Gilbert from Hollywood, California, but the Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences offers students a straight shot.
“We really can’t keep up with our grads and their success,” said J.R. Hamm, an admissions specialist at the school. “I had a student do work on like 120 projects in one year, and they were the top projects in the country.”
The Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences, or CRAS for short, is an audio recording program with campuses in Gilbert and Tempe. The school offers in-house, hands-on training for careers in music, video games, television, film, live sports broadcasts and theater.
The students work inside real recording studios with professional artists as part of the curriculum. They spend nine months inside a classroom before embarking on a 12-week internship to complete the program.
New classes start every three weeks at CRAS. The program requires students to attend school five days a week, four hours a day during the nine-month classroom portion. Day and evening sessions are available. Tuition is $18,659 with financial aid available.
There are five studios and three labs at the Gilbert campus, the larger of the two. Both locations are open 24 hours a day for students.
“Once they walk into these million-dollar facilities and know how to run these, going out in the field is going to be nothing,” Hamm said.
CRAS got its start in 1980 in New York City before relocating to the Valley about a decade later to open its Tempe campus. The Gilbert campus was built in 2000.
The majority of CRAS students come from out of state, and with many of the industry’s hubs located outside of Arizona, many leave after graduation.
“We’re pretty much just a place for them to get the experience and then branch back out,” Hamm said.
Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences
1205 N. Fiesta Blvd., Gilbert
Hours: Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.-5 p.m., closed Sat-Sun. (public); 24/7 with ID (students)