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Associate Professor of music Crane performs on major motion pictures, television shows, video game over summer

Emily CraneCLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — Whether it was on the big or small screen, there’s a good chance you heard how Austin Peay State University Associate Professor of music, violin and viola Dr. Emily Hanna Crane spent her summer vacation.

That’s because the Department of Music’s coordinator of orchestral strings participated in a series of recording sessions at Nashville Music Scoring in Nashville, performing on scores for numerous major motion pictures, television shows and video games.

“In terms of entertainment recording projects, I believe that Nashville is second in the country to only Los Angeles,” Crane said. “Because it’s such a popular location, myself and other professors and performers with a similar level of performance and credentials are often reached out to and asked if we can be a part of these sessions.”

Crane’s work can be heard in major motion pictures including “My Little Pony: The Movie,” “Boo 2! A Madea Halloween,” and “Home Again,” as well as the Starz television show “Outlander” and the top-selling video game of 2017, “Destiny 2.” Crane has been joined by fellow Austin Peay professors, Dr. Spencer Prewitt, Dr. Kristen Sienkiewicz and Dr. Meghan Berindean on a number of projects with Nashville Music Scoring.

Because of the fast-moving nature of entertainment production, scoring studios remain busy and rely on experienced professionals like Crane to be able to work on short notice, often with no time to rehearse the music.

“I’ll get an email and they’ll ask if I’m free next week and usually we just show up and sight-read the music and start performing,” Crane said. “It’s a little freaky the first time you do it because you’re used to having the music ahead of time, but I realized that it’s not necessary because we’re recording with a click track.”

Click tracks serve a similar purpose to metronomes and are a series of audio cues used to synchronize sound recordings. Common in studio recording environments, click tracks help to keep musicians locked into a flow, reduce the need for additional takes and greatly aid in the editing process.

Sessions were quick-moving, often taking just six hours to complete recording sessions. Because of the methods employed, Crane said, the final project on-screen or in-game is often the final product of multiple takes.

“It’s kind of a really different vibe at first because I’m used to spending a lot of preparation time on my own recitals, or through my work with the Gateway Chamber Orchestra and Nashville Symphony,” Crane said. “But this is all digital, so (the production team) is looking for maybe three really good takes. From there, the producers can ‘punch in,’ or copy and paste, different takes to create one final track.”

Crane is an active musician outside of the classroom, having performed in North America, Taiwan and Europe, and has been a featured concerto soloist with the Trevecca Symphony, Parthenon Chamber, Gateway Chamber, Valley Symphony, UTPA Chamber and Tallahassee Youth Orchestras. One of the concertmasters of the Gateway Chamber Orchestra, Crane can be heard on its second commercial recording, “Chamber Symphonies,” which was released by Summit Records in 2012.

She has also served as concertmaster and associate concertmaster of the Valley (Texas) and Tallahassee (Florida) Symphony Orchestras, principal second violin of the Parthenon Chamber Orchestra (Tennessee), and has played in the violin sections of several orchestras, including the Nashville and Jacksonville Symphony Orchestras. Crane has also performed as a chamber musician on WPLN Nashville Public Radio’s “Live in Studio C.”

“These kinds of opportunities are personally exciting because, first and foremost, I was a performance major,” Crane said. “When I first moved (to the Clarksville/Nashville area), I didn’t have these chances, and it took me a long time to get my name out there. But I also think that being able to remain active and play outside of the university is important to me professionally because it shows my students the kinds of opportunities that are out there as performers themselves.”

For more information on Austin Peay’s Department of Music, visit www.apsu.edu/music.