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Student-composer creates Mercyhurst theme song

Monday, September 22, 2014

It’s a well-known fact that people can boost their mood simply by listening to upbeat music. Mercyhurst University student Alan Abramek is counting on that tenet to carry his own pumped-up anthem, It’s Gonna be a Good Day, onto the playlists of the Mercyhurst community.

The junior communication major from Poland is passionate about composing music. No doubt growing up under the influence of a professional composer – his dad – played a part. When he was in sixth grade in his native Lublin, he formed a band, which stayed together through high school. One of their songs actually topped the hometown radio hit list for five weeks straight.

Coming to Mercyhurst, Abramek found much to inspire his music.

“I love it here,” he said. “It’s not just the campus, it’s the students, the talent, the work ethic, the energy.”

He pulled some of those talented, hard-working, energetic students together last spring and It’s Gonna be a Good Day was born. The song is a positive reflection of his Mercyhurst experience with a contagious upbeat tempo. It’s relevant and modern – a blend of pop and rap – which seems to resonate with everyone who hears it.

“I’ve had nothing but positive feedback,” he said.

“You look me in the eye

I got that feeling

Butterflies start to fly

I got that feeling

Temperature starts to rise

I got that feeling

When you look me in the eye

It’s gonna be a good day now.”

Abramek had each student-musician play live at the university’s D’Angelo Performing Arts Center, where he mixed the instruments and vocals together on his computer. Sensing he had something special, he asked Facebook friend and Grammy Award-winning mastering engineer Brad Blackwood to do the audio post production in his Memphis studio.

“I wanted to produce a professional-quality release and Brad helped me do that,” said Abramek, who, coincidentally did a summer internship at Red Bull Studios in New York, where he honed his own skills in a state-of-the-art music production studio.

“At Red Bull, they make sure every song they touch is taken to its maximum potential,” he said in paying homage to their influences. “I learned a lot from that experience.”

For his own project, Abramek did the composition, production and guitar track. Other Mercyhurst musicians included Dillon Shidemantle (male vocals), Michael Hibbler (rap/lyrics), Brandon Miller (background vocals), Alex McLaughlin (bass), Bobby Lucas (piano 2) and Khylinn Hayes (violin). Shannon Corsi (female vocals), Lydia Kugel (background vocals) and George Hazelrigg (piano) are non-Mercyhurst contributors.  

Abramek said he’d like to see the recording played as a theme song at athletic contests and other Mercyhurst events.  He even envisions a music video that could be used to recruit new students.

“It’s not very often on a college campus that we can bring students together to produce a professional quality music video that speaks to how we feel about being here,” he said. “I think we could all benefit from a big project like this.”