Notre Dame Alum Works with Jack White on School Choir and Band Project


Ben Blackwell, who graduated from Notre Dame High School in 2000, is coordinating a relatively new project at Third Man Records, a Nashville-based record company started by his uncle, 10-time Grammy Award-winning musician, Jack White.
Called "School Choirs & Bands at Third Man: A Vinyl Recording Experience," the project offers students in high school bands and choirs unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to White’s recording studio as well as the chance to record their own vinyl records.

Shown at Third Man Records in Nashville, the choir from Lipscomb Academy, a college preparatory Christian school in Tennessee. Lipscomb was one of the first schools to participate in the “Vinyl Recording Experience,” which is managed by alum Ben Blackwell ’00 (NDHS).

"With funding for music education seemingly being cut every day, Third Man feels a duty to do its part,” Third Man Head of Production Blackwell said. “What better way to do so than to record the kids themselves and put them on vinyl?”
He says the students typically get a tour of the studios, participate in a Q&A session and record a couple of songs after which they’re pressed into actual vinyl records in the school colors that the kids can take home.
“We did our first group in 2012 and since then we've done about a dozen or so,” said Blackwell, who makes records himself with the Detroit-based band, The Dirtbombs.
He said he’d love to get the Notre Dame Prep band or choir down to Nashville. “If either of the ND groups wants to participate, all it really takes is getting down to Nashville and paying a nominal fee to cover the costs on our end.”
A video of one such recording experience is below.

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About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy
Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. The school's upper division enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's middle and lower divisions enroll students in jr. kindergarten through grade eight. All three divisions are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school's home page at