Grads Win Two 2016 Grammy Awards

In Total, 13 Graduates Received Credit for Their Work on 17 2016 Grammy Winning Categories

Gilbert, Ariz., Feb. 19, 2016 – The Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences (CRAS;, an institution for audio engineering education, is proud to announce that two of its graduates have won 2016 Grammy Awards…Sam Holland for his work as recording engineer on Album of the Year for Taylor Swift’s “1989”, and Justin Merrill for his engineering work on Best Engineered Album, Classical for the album “Ask Your Mama” by George Manahan & San Francisco Ballet Orchestra.

In addition, 13 graduates received credit for their work on 17 Grammy-winning categories. Overall, 38 CRAS graduates worked on numerous 2016 Grammy-nominated albums and songs across 36 categories.

“Our graduates had a tremendous night!” said Kirt Hamm, CRAS administrator. “We could not be any more proud of everyone that won and who were nominated. We are all like family here at The Conservatory, all striving for the same goals. All of the winners and nominees serve as an inspiration to all of our current students and past graduates. If you work hard, success is in the cards.”

Merrill explained that going to the Grammy celebration in itself was an amazing experience, and that CRAS gave him a good running start into the music industry and great real world knowledge and skills.

“Seeing the production, performers, and nostalgia [at The Grammy Awards] that goes along with this musical tradition is inspiring,” said Merrill. “It was definitely a wave of emotions throughout the night…from being excited to anxious to ecstatic after the announcement and then just on a whole other level after that. It was a very special and meaningful night that I got to share with some amazing artists, engineers, and producers. I will never forget it.”

The Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences is composed of two nearby campuses in Gilbert and Tempe, Ariz. A CRAS education includes broadcast audio, live sound, film and TV audio, music, and video game audio, all taught by award-winning instructors who have all excelled in their individual fields, including sound reinforcement, audio recording and production, digital recording, troubleshooting/maintenance, and music business.

“[CRAS’] structured programs and highly qualified teaching staff provide a professional and supportive atmosphere, which is complemented by our small class sizes allowing for individual instruction and assistance for students in engineering audio recordings,” added Hamm. “CRAS has been providing quality vocational training in audio recording for more than three decades. The curriculum and equipment are constantly being updated to keep pace with the rapid advancements in the music and sound recording industries. CRAS’ course offerings and subject matter have always centered around the skills and knowledge necessary for students’ success in the audio recording industries.”

The 11-month program is designed to allow every student access to learn and train in all of the Conservatory’s studios which are comprised with state-of-the-art audio recording and mixing gear, the same equipment used in today’s finest studios and remote broadcast facilities, including Pro Tools 11, API Legacy consoles, SSL AWS consoles, Studer Vista consoles, and much more. All students must complete a 280-hour industry internship to graduate from the Master Recording Program II that may ultimately lead to industry employment. In 2015, in total, 47 CRAS graduates hold credits for their work with 50 artists or bands that are up for awards in 42 out of 83 categories at the 57th Grammy Awards.