'State-of-the-art' recording studio opens in Manchester

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MANCHESTER — When Maxine Linehan and Andrew Koss made the move to Manchester, the couple hoped to bring their expertise in the music industry to the Northshire community with them.

More than a year later, that dream has come to fruition with the opening of "The Studio at Strawberry Fields Lane," constructed next to the couples home in Manchester Center. Combining the latest digital audio technology with classic analog components, Linehan and Koss hope that their state-of-the-art recording studio can benefit the local community as well as visiting artists.

"We love this community," said Linehan, an international concert and recording artist who has been heralded by the New York Times as "fiercely talented." "This is a very special community, Manchester — I think it's a really unique town. It has all of the glory of being in the country, but at the same time you have so much arts and culture."

Though Linehan is originally from Ireland, Koss' family often vacationed in Vermont when he was a child. When the opportunity arose to construct a studio in Manchester, the producer saw a bevy of benefits.

"I had a studio in New York City for a number of years, but there were a lot of limitations" said Koss, who worked with artists like John Legend and Liza Minelli at NYC's Terminus Recording Studio, which he ran for the last decade. "Up here we could control our own destiny a bit by building the space the way we wanted it."

The Studio, designed to adapt to the needs of creative music professionals, blends the most up-to-date recording technologies with the sounds and colors of vintage gear.

With a vast collection of microphones, both vintage and modern synths, two high-end drum sets, a vintage Steinway grand piano, and an array of boutique guitars and amps, the couple hopes that The Studio can attract not just musicians, but a wide variety of creative professionals.

With a fully outfitted artists loft accompanying The Studio as well, visiting artists won't be lacking for comfort.

"We want to be able to use this studio above and beyond its obvious recording abilities," said Linehan. "It's a gorgeous space, so we plan on doing some intimate performances here in addition to some livestreaming out of the studio."

"We'd like to encourage talent to come into the area and do more extended stays, writing sessions, and development programs," Koss said. "Having a community and educational element is important to us as well."

With two young children, the couple hopes to work closely with area schools and organizations. Currently, Koss serves as interim music teacher at Manchester's Red Fox Community School, where his children are currently enrolled. Already, the couple has been contacted by students from Burr and Burton regarding internships.

"To have young, budding engineers and artists be able to come in and work and learn in a space like this is a huge advantage for the community," Linehan said. "We're all about that. Music education can add so much to a child's life if they have a desire to explore music and the arts."

According to Linehan, The Studio is just one aspect of a larger movement within Manchester — one that she's glad to contribute to.

"This is the first professional recording studio in Manchester," Linehan said. "Even in the years that I've been coming up here I've seen such a change in this town; I feel like there's a lot of growth and development which is really exciting. We're very fortunate to be a part of that movement."

Reach Cherise Madigan at cmadigan@manchesterjournal.com, or by phone at 802-490-6471.

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