Tech alumnus wins Producer of the Year Grammy

by Megan Trotter, Herald-Citizen

Blanton-Alspaugh

Blanton Alspaugh displays the Grammy he won for Producer of the Year. Photo: Ty Kernea, Herald-Citizen

Blanton Alspaugh ‘81 of Boston, studied music education at Tech before moving on to get his master’s degree in orchestral conducting.

From there, he worked in radio and recording everywhere from Houston, to Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles, to Boston.

He’s currently the senior producer of the recording company Soundmirror – and a Grammy winner.

Alspaugh had been nominated a dozen times, but 2013 was his first win. When he was officially named Producer of the Year in the Classical Category, he was hard at work with the Detroit Symphony.

“I had my phone off and was working on getting the symphony recording finished. When we finished it, I turned my phone back on and I had a whole bunch of messages, of course, telling me I’d won,” he said.

In order to be nominated, the person must be a producer, engineer or musician on a certain number of recordings.

“Once you do that, you’re a part of the pool of members who gets to vote on the Grammys,” Alspaugh said. “So every year there’s a period in which we submit all the recordings that we’ve made. Out of that process comes the ballot that goes out to all the voting members and everybody votes for up to five recordings in each of the categories in which there’s an award.”

Those who get the most votes become the nominees and the ballots are sent out for a second round of voting to determine the final winners. In 2013, Alspaugh was awarded the Grammy for his production work on these pieces:

  • “Chamber Symphonies,” performed by Gregory Wolynec and the Gateway Chamber Orchestra
  • “Davis: Río De Sangre,” performed by Jospeh Rescigno, Vale Rideout, Ava Pine, John Duykers, Kerry Walsh, Guido LeBron, The Florentine Opera Company and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
  • “Gjeilo: Northern Lights,” performed by Charles Bruffy and the Phoenix Chorale
  • “In Paradisum,” performed by Brian A. Schmidt and the South Dakota Chorale
  • “Life & Breath – Choral Works by René Clausen,” performed by Charles Bruffy and the Kansas City Chorale
  • “Music for a Time of War,” performed by Carlos Kalmar and the Oregon Symphony
  • “Musto: The Inspector,” performed by Glen Cortese and the Wolf Trap Opera Company

Several of the albums were nominated in other categories as well. “The recordings got quite a bit of recognition,” Alspaugh said.

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