Skip to main content

“Teaching at my alma mater is an absolute dream. My time at Carolina opened many doors for me and my family, and it gives me great pride to give back to this fantastic music department.”

Pablo Vega in his recording studio, The Workshop.

The music department welcomes Pablo Vega, B.Mus. 2008, as Teaching Assistant Professor of Music. Professor Vega has taught music production courses in the department for the last two years as a lecturer and we’re thrilled to welcome him to this new full-time role!

Professor Vega has been working as a professional composer and audio engineer since 2009. He owns and runs the recording studio The Workshop, is a member of the Collective at Sonark Media, and has composed and scored music for over 20 video games, documentaries, films, and TV shows.

Professor Vega is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), the Audio Engineering Society (AES), Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia (Alpha Rho Chapter), and a voting member of the Recording Academy/GRAMMYs. Using his many industry connections, Professor Vega regularly hosts world-renowned audio engineers and producers in his classes, giving his students varied insight into the industry. He records many local artists, choirs, and orchestras, and will take some of his more advanced students to recording projects to gain hands-on experience in real-world settings. For instance, Professor Vega took students to record the National Lutheran Choir at Duke Chapel in early March.

Pablo Vega
Professor Pablo Vega

In the fall of 2024, Professor Vega will teach two sections of MUSC 161 Music Production I and one section of MUSC 261 Music Production II. He also serves as the faculty advisor of the UNC music production club “Legacy Productions.”

“I’m both excited and energized to teach music production at Carolina! These two classes are the start of what I hope to be a blossoming program.”

We caught up with Professor Vega to learn more about what he already loves about teaching at his alma mater and what he’s especially excited for coming up!

UNC Music: What is your favorite part of teaching?
Professor Pablo Vega: My favorite part of teaching is class discussions. I’m very fortunate to be teaching courses that pique the interests of students who have had access to or have been around music technology for most of their lives.

Music majors and non-majors alike come to class with lots of questions about the technology that they have been exposed to, but have yet to master. I try to leave ample time for open discussion with students about music tech and how it has shaped the way music is created today. Those discussions are my favorite part of teaching!

UNC Music: As an alumnus of the department: Does this change the way you teach at UNC? Do you feel it gives you any special insight into your students? What does it mean to you to be teaching here?
Prof. Vega: Teaching at my alma mater is an absolute dream. My time at Carolina opened many doors for me and my family, and it gives me great pride to be giving back to this fantastic music department.

Memorial Hall stage as seen from the recording booth in the balcony.
During the busiest parts of our concert season, Professor Vega will often lend an extra set of helping hands to our incredible production staff.

As a former music major, I remember the amount of work we had to put into our craft(s) and I try to be conscious of the already-packed schedule each student manages. At the same time, I encourage my students to see their work through as it not only prepares them to be music professionals but also helps them to manage their professional lives, regardless of what career path they choose.

Carolina helps build character through education, but also through teaching accountability, responsibility, and hard work. I owe my career to the UNC Music Department and the work ethic it instilled in me. 

UNC Music: What is the project that you’re most excited about currently?
Prof. Vega: While the project won’t begin until the summer of 2025, I’m excited to be recording and producing an immersive album composed by Dr. J.D. Frizzell and orchestrated by my good friend Johnny DelToro. Dr. Frizzell’s “YOU ARE” is music set to poetry written by Tamia Elliott and Ava Purdue, featuring a full orchestra/choir, and will have its world premiere on March 15, 2025, in Carnegie Hall. 

UNC Music: What are some of your non-musical hobbies?
Prof. Vega: My main hobby/obsession is Carolina Basketball, but I also play pool in an APA league at the Green Room in Durham. 

UNC Music: If your students could learn one thing from you, what do you hope it will be?
Prof. Vega: One thing I teach every class is that being a good person is your most valuable asset. Being a good person helps build relationships and encourages people to trust you.

If professional audio production and music-making are the business of emotion, then you can’t possibly expect to excel without making human connections.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten work over other (more qualified) engineers simply because I was easier to work with and/or more approachable. It’s a great life lesson in general. 

UNC Music: What music are you currently listening to?
Prof. Vega: Beyoncé’s “COWBOY CARTER” (on repeat) and the “Oppenheimer” original soundtrack by Ludwig Goransson.

Comments are closed.