Dr. Merlyn Van Regenmorter


Doctor Van Regenmorter Bio


Dr. Merlyn Van Regenmorter has been actively involved in the music industry his entire life as a musician, engineer, consultant, and educator.

As a saxophone major in college, he was trained as a traditional music major and graduated with his Bachelor's Degree in Music from North Central University in Minneapolis. However, throughout his college years he toured regularly throughout the midwestern United States, performing on saxophone and bass guitar with bands and music groups in venues ranging from coffee houses and churches, to arenas and auditoriums.

During this same timeframe, Dr. Van Regenmorter also developed his skills on the technical side of music creation. He not only enjoyed being on the "talent" side of a recording, but also had a fascination with the technology and process of "engineering" the recording of music. This was reinforced through several opportunities to participate in music production at several recording studios and a television station in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

Dr. Van Regenmorter continued his multi-faceted music career after he moved to the west coast a few years after college. After a brief period of performing with bands, serving as an independent music arranger, and directing church choirs, he joined the music staff at American River College. The college had made a decision a year or two earlier to develop a commercial music program that would train students in the recording arts as well as in music business. This was a task that seemed tailored for his talents and background.

Dr. Van Regenmorter first served as an instructional assistant at the college, facilitating lab opportunities for recording students as well as configuring and maintaining recording gear, then taught classes as an adjunct instructor. He pioneered the use of technology that could be used by all music students in the educational process. He created the ARC Music Department's first Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) lab. This new technology allowed musicians to play an electronic keyboard and have the music appear on the computer screen for the user to edit, manipulate, or print out on paper. As the ARC Commercial Music Program began to mushroom with students and course offerings designed to meet the demands of the industry, Dr. Van Regenmorter was hired as a full-time professor.

Though the music industry is primarily a vocational field, Dr. Van Regenmorter's own academic pursuits served as a model to his students of his commitment to their academic success. When he earned his Master's Degree from CSU Dominquez Hills, his thesis dealt with the topic of how to integrate new technology and methods into a traditional college music program. When he received his doctorate in educational leadership from Argosy University, his doctoral dissertation centered on identifying factors that might increase the success and retention of students in college recording classes.

Some of Dr. Van Regenmorter's latest projects as the Director of the ARC Commercial Music Program include the formation of a partnership between the ARC Commercial Music Program and Digidesign Corporation, maker of the industry-leading hardware/software Pro Tools. Because of this designation as an official training location, students can take classes at ARC that will lead to certification as Pro Tools operators. He also recently oversaw the design, construction, and completion of two state-of-the-art recording studios, as well as a music technology and computer lab for the ARC Commercial Music Program.

These new facilities are an example of the commitment of Dr. Van Regenmorter and American River College to offer their students the finest educational opportunity in audio engineering possible.