An up close look at the equipment used by Mesa Community College’s DJ program. (Photo by Diego Esquivel/The Mesa Legend)

DJ students performing at the Mesa Music Festival

Students from Mesa Community College’s DJ program will be performing at the 2024 Mesa Music Festival on April 19, and April 20 to highlight the musical and technical skills students gained at MCC. 

This performance will be a fully student led production combining three DJ classes, Intro to Disc Jockey Techniques, Scratch Techniques, and Rap and Emcee. There will be battling DJ’s and live hip hop performers giving homage to old school hip hop but also some original works from the students.

“The idea to be involved with the community has always been in the forefront of my mind. One of the biggest problems we have in the DJ program is just letting people know we exist so it felt natural to want to do events to help promote the program and school but also engage the community as a whole,” said James Gaspar, member of the DJ team.

Gaspar described MCC as the backbone in many ways to the Mesa Music Festival as they have also invited all of the music industry’s programs to join the production teams. Guests will see MCC students at virtually every stage and all over this festival.

MCC’s DJ team meets every Friday and practices for 2 hours. Gaspar states that this year being the second time the college has done the event, they are looking to up their game and that could be a mighty task when last year’s show featured a flame throwing trumpet, shooting sparks, and dancers. 

This year, the college has been given more time to prepare and more opportunities to advertise the performance to the public.

A look on stage at the 2023 Mesa Music Festival. (Photo taken by Diego Esquivel/The Mesa Legend)

“This felt like a natural part of the education process and as I say, your education goes beyond the 4 walls of this classroom. This event is the real world, this is what every student has been training for, so it felt natural to make this part of the learning process,” said Gaspar.

 “Of course all the instructors are watching over guiding and making sure all the students are ready but every student is given a chance to succeed and learn from this. The classroom is one thing but real life, real events can give you things that are not part of a controlled setting,” Gaspar added. 

When speaking on what attendees can take away from the performance, Gaspar did not want to reveal too much, citing that the event will be a spectacle to behold with some impressive effects and interaction with the audience. 

Gaspar also believes the main stage shows will have a hard time out-performing this year’s DJ team showcase, with hopes of a big Thunderbird turn out like no other to shake the entire festival.

“I sincerely hope we can continue this event, the college has made a good relationship with the producers and it’s a great way to engage the community as a whole. This will help with recruitment and let people know about all the great programs Mesa Community College has. Also this is a chance for our students to get working experience, build their resume and make connections,” said Gaspar.

The MCC student led DJ group will be performing at the free Mesa Music Festival on April 19 at 5:45 p.m. and April 20 at 7:30 p.m at 154 W Main St in downtown Mesa.

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