|LAURIER MACDONALD LAUNCHES ON-CAMPUS AM RADIO STATION PLANNED AND BUILT BY STUDENT|
MONTREAL MAY 4, 2006 - A radio station and recording studio, planned and built by a former student, will be opened at Laurier Macdonald High School (7355 Viau) in St.-Léonard on Tuesday, May 9 (9:45 am). To mark the occasion, representatives of local business, the school board and government will join students for an inaugural broadcast on 560 AM.
The new station broadcasts via carrier current, thus using the school's electrical system to distribute its signal. Transmissions are of good quality, but are restricted to the school's campus. Students and staff can tune-in using any radio receiver. The station boasts a state-of-the-art soundproofed studio worth upwards of $20 000, which can also be used for recording. All this was the brainchild of Daniel C. Orsi, a former student, who had to complete a year-long personal project to graduate Secondary V during the 2002-2003 academic year.
While most of his classmates prepared research papers or executed artwork to satisfy the requirements of the school's International Baccalaureate (IB) programme, Orsi convinced principal Pasquale Buttino to let him plan and build a student radio station. He began visiting businessmen, politicians and philanthropists, explaining to them his vision and solliciting their donations. His proposal was not only to provide students with a medium to broadcast their favourite music, but also to gift the school a top-notch studio for the teaching of audio engineering and broadcasting.
Over the next two years, Orsi alone raised more than $12 000 in both public and private money. Fundraising efforts slowed the pace of the project and when he graduated in the spring of 2003, the station was still in planning. Though Orsi had fulfilled all his academic obligations for the IB programme (his project was evaluated based on its methodology), he insisted on completing the station no matter the time required.
Returning to Laurier Macdonald on Friday evenings or whenever his school schedule would permit, Orsi began work on the studio in December of 2004. He planned the purchase of studio equipment and saw to its installation with James Verrillo, who volunteered his expertise as an audio engineer. Meanwhile, Michel Mathieu, a broadcast consultant, setup the transmitters that carry the station's signal all over campus. "The station is worth considerably more than what we have spent on it" Orsi observed during the ceremony, "because many professionals gave freely of their labour and material".
Major benefactors included Ms. Caterina Castrechini, the Hon. Michel Bissonnet, Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr Frank di Cesare, the local commissioner, Mr James Verrillo, the Laurier Macdonald Alumni Association and the English Montreal School Board.
Daniel C. Orsi
Michael J. Cohen