Meet The Epic Media Arts Team

By | Epic Extras

The arts area of The Epic is one of the features that makes our facility unique and further redefines recreation. A few options The Epic Media Arts will offer include: Culinary Kitchen, EpicRadio, Art Classes, Artist In-Residence UNT Fellowship, The Epic Theater, Recording Studio, Art Gallery, and more.  Below you can read more about the EPIC team that is bringing these art programs to Grand Prairie!

Zach Balch (Center) – Media and Arts Supervisor

With a degree in Outdoor Recreation from the University of North Texas, Zach Balch had his heart set to work in the mountains. However, he fortuitously found his way into the music industry with an internship with The National Academy of Recording Arts and Science (the folks that put on The GRAMMYs) in Austin his senior year. Working with South By Southwest, The Gibson Guitar Showroom and Austin legends Grooveline Horns (Jason Mraz, Kelly Clarkson, Zac Brown Band) Zach’s love of music became a gateway to a diverse career.

Following his year in Austin, Zach moved back to Dallas in 2011 to pursue a career in songwriting and record producing. He co-founded Flint Creek Records, which has seen the creative process through for dozens of client projects in Dallas, Fort Worth, Nashville, Austin and Lubbock. He recorded and toured extensively before stepping into the music licensing field with FirstCom Music, a Dallas-based division of Universal Music Group. In this role, he placed music in film, TV, Advertising and other audio/video works. He currently teaches Music Business at Media Tech Institute in Carrolton and operates his recording studio and record label.

Zach brings to The Epic not only a degree in Parks and Recreation, but a unique array of professional experience in performing, writing, producing and facilitating other artists.

Jeff Muncy (Right) – Recreation Specialist

Jeff studied at Memphis College of Art, and in 2014 earned a BFA in Fine Arts. Even though he majored in painting, during his last semester he fell in love with illustration.

After graduating, Jeff worked as an instructor in their Community Arts program. While visiting Dallas during holidays and other breaks, Jeff was impressed with how quickly the area was growing while he was in Memphis. So after spending some time teaching, Jeff decided to move back to Dallas for the opportunities it offered. He started working as a freelance illustrator; exhibiting work in more than 20 venues since 2015.

Jeff wanted to find other ways to help his career grow. So to push his work further, he attended the Illustration Master Class in 2016, giving him the opportunity to study with some of the biggest names in illustration. He’s excited to pass on anything he’s learned to aspiring artists in DFW.

During Jeff’s time back in DFW, he realized how scattered the creative communities in the area were. Jeff looks forward to creating a community of artists all over DFW, where everyone can share their experiences and help each other avoid pitfalls of the “starving artist” stigma. Setting a new standard to show that pursuing your passion doesn’t mean you can’t make a living.

Krista Marrs (Left) – Recreation Coordinator 

Krista Marrs was born and raised in Carlsbad, New Mexico. She attended the University of New Mexico and earned her Bachelors of Business Administration with a concentration in Organizational Leadership. While at the University of New Mexico she worked with the student government to book and plan festivals, bands, and events. After graduating college, she decided to move to Texas to help manage her friend’s band. In moving to Dallas she started working part time at a radio station and soon after found herself on tour with a Norwegian pop artist. Once the tour was over she decided it was time to get a full time job with HR at a big four accounting firm.

While working within HR she realized her true love was working with event planning and musicians. When she found out about The Epic she knew that it would be a perfect opportunity for her to get back to the industry that makes her who she is. Krista is excited to work with the local community to program the online radio station to fit the beautiful City of Grand Prairie. Not only will she be programming the radio station, she’ll be booking bands in the theater and helping out in the music studio. She knows that the Arts and Music department will be such an incredible asset to the City of Grand Prairie as well as to DFW as a whole. Krista looks forward to hearing from the community about what they’d like to see from The Epic.

 

The Epic Recording Studio will feature a Neve console

By | Epic Extras

We at The Epic are all about shattering perception and rupturing the way people view our industry. We put our money where our mouth is when it comes to the gear.

This bad boy is the Rupert Neve Designs 5088 large format recording console (and Mr. Neve himself). Rupert Neve could be regarded as the Patriarch of analog recording. His technology has been a part of maybe every single one of your favorite records. Almost every recording studio has a Neve pre-amp, compressor, console, or EQ. But the 5088 is his greatest gift to the recording world.

We’ve done something super slick with ours. We only sprang for 16 channels on our console, but those channels can be used either in the recording studio or to record from the stage in the Epic Theater, presented by Texas Trust Credit Union. Paired with a stellar supporting cast of additional 500 series pre-amps, EQs, compressors, outboard effects units, mic locker of the stars, and some music nerds to throw down some jams on your record, we have one of the best rooms in DFW.

Bands, artists, producers, engineers: You should take a look at the studio. You’ll be inspired to make some music with us.

If you’re interested to find out what all this stuff means, there will be plenty of opportunities to learn about the best equipment in the industry with experienced producers and engineers. We wanted only the best for you at The Epic.

Epic Radio GP launches September 1

By | Epic Extras

Epic Radio GP launches in full force on September 1. But we need YOUR help! This is community radio, and you’re the community.

If you’ve ever wanted to hear your voice on the radio, make it over to the Grand Prairie Main Library between 9:00 a.m. and noon on Saturday, August 18 to record a spot with us. Tell us about your favorite spots in Grand Prairie, your summer reading list, what you’re listening to, or even about your small business.

Even if you’re a bit microphone shy, we have some scripts to get you warmed up and we can coach you along to your own Gold Medal voice for radio.

We welcome people of all ages, whether you’re an elementary student at Sallye Moore or a local entrepreneur, our community wants to hear from YOU.

Our team will also be gathering surveys on the types of music you like so we can build a better station that reflects our listeners.

If you’re interested in producing your own radio show contact Krista at kmarrs@gptx.org. Visit JoinTheEpic.com for more news and updates.

First Concert to be Held at the Grand Lawn Amphitheater

By | Epic Extras

You may be aware of the Grand Prairie Big Event happening March 24 all over our fine city. This day provides a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate pride in our community by serving our neighbors with various tasks and chores needed around town.

The evening of the Big Event, we celebrate you, our community volunteers, with music, food, and fun for the whole family. We will hold a free concert event in the Grand Lawn Amphitheater, located at EpicCentral, directly in front of The Epic.

Entertainment will be provided by Vocal Trash and Memphis Soul.

Vocal Trash describes themselves as “Music with a Message.” This green minded ensemble delights audiences, globally, on a relentless pursuit to bring people together utilizing the universal language of song and dance.

Memphis Soul is a classy, high energy 8 piece group showcasing a distinctive sound and style inspired by such artists as Earth, Wind and Fire, Otis Redding, Al Green, Sam Cooke, and Aretha Franklin. Memphis Soul features a solid rhythm section, fiery horns, and dynamic male and female vocalists. Our style displays the rich musical legacy of the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s, mixed with current popular classic soul and R&B styles. Memphis Soul also performs a variety of other popular standards from Frank Sinatra to Motown to current dance music.

We hope all of our volunteers will join us at 6:00 p.m. on March 24, but this event is free and open to the public.

 

Zach Balch
Media & Arts Supervisor – The Epic

 

Epic Radio GP is now LIVE

By | Epic Extras

Epic Radio GP is now LIVE in the form of Prairie Lights Radio! We’re test driving some online platforms and you and your family get to be the drivers. Literally. Drive through Prairie Lights and listen to our curated holiday music through the TuneIn app on your smart device or directly from our micro-player at epicradiogp.com.

Epic Radio GP will be housed right inside the main entrance at The Epic when we open this Spring. If you’ve ever wanted to be a radio DJ or on-air personality, you’re in luck! We would love community members to curate their own styles of music for online radio play, record podcasts or just sit down for a talk-show!

Are you a local business looking to advertise? Cool. Let’s talk. Just looking for a new overhead service in your store front? Also cool. Let’s talk about that.

Read further and witness me “nerding out” on some music history.

In 1892, the song “After the Ball” became the first million-seller. The biggest hit of the century was not heard on TV, nor was it broadcast on the Radio. In fact, it wasn’t even made popular as a recording. Believe it or not, the first “Gold Record” was distributed to over a 5 million homes… as sheet music.

We all know that online streaming has changed everything about the music industry. But do you realize that Broadcast Radio was once a technological force of change for the entire industry? The Music Publishing business was thriving on the sales of sheet music for popular songs, plays, operas and classical works. At the turn of the 20th century, the most accessible way to listen to and enjoy music was next to a piano while a skilled player interpreted notes on a page. However, radio changed the industry and almost ended the era of publishers.

The business model adapted. Publishers sought licensing opportunities for songs in films starting in the 1920s (Al Jolson starred as “The Jazz” singer in 1927, later played by Neil Diamond) and revitalized the industry. Radio was now a prime partner and not an adversary. Broadcast made a way for the big band, the jazz singers and songwriters from all over the country to get music played for ears across America.

Radio was a relatively inexpensive appliance. Almost every American home had a radio. They became the central entertainment fixture in many house-holds and because of consistent listenership, they were also the central method of distributing news and information to the public. Ever heard of War of the Worlds? Orson Welles’ 1938 radio drama was so well acted that many people thought it was NEWS! They thought we were being invaded by aliens. Easy mistake to make, I guess.

Armed Forces Radio (AFR) broadcast American music to military installations all around the world during World War II and popularized our style of music. You can give credit to the AFR for the U.S. becoming the pop-culture leader on the planet. You can also give credit to AFR for the huge spike in music and musical instrument sales in the late 1940s. Our boys returned from overseas and put a piano in 1 out of every 5 American homes. People bought guitars. They bought horns. They formed bands. They made bands cool. Buddy Holly was in a band. Buddy Holly was cool. The Beatles were cool. Bands in general are cool, right? I digress.

You can probably think of several technological shifts in your lifetime that have made us re-think the way the music business model works. CD’s in the 80s. Home recorders in the 90s. MP3 in the early 2000s. iTunes. Spotify. SoundCloud. The motif you pick up on is that every one of these shifts just makes music more accessible to listeners and creators. Internet radio is a new shift in the music business. Anyone can broadcast to the entire world, or to aliens, with a computer, a microphone and an internet connection. You can be any personality you wish. You can play whatever you want. You can say whatever you want. It’s an immensely powerful tool.

At The Epic, you can’t exactly say whatever you want. We have some standards here, folks. But you can still enjoy the creative process and learn about how to produce your own show! We can help you get a podcast setup on iTunes or teach you about music licensing. You can have a voice!

I hope to meet many of you radio buffs out there and geek out on music with you soon. I’m fascinated by this industry and love to learn all about it and share it with everyone. Please contact me if you’d like to talk about how our radio station works and to start booking time on-air!

 

Zach Balch
Recreation & Events Supervisor – The Epic

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