Meet The Owners
Jeff’s lifelong passion for music and engineering started forty years ago as a child with a tape recorder and a toy piano. He now has more than three decades of professional studio experiences as both a client and an engineer. A fixture in the regional music scene, he has been a working songwriter/ musician for 30 years including managing, booking, promoting, producing and recording his own bands. In addition to his extensive experience in music and production, Jeff is an avid record collector (as is his dad). He is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and has a real bad vintage synthesizer addiction.
Pam is a classically trained visual artist with credits that range from national corporate identity packages to CDs and t-shirts for local bands. She has a Masters degree from the Art Institute of Chicago, studied Fundraising at New York University and is always happy to chat about potential grants and crowdfunding solutions like Kickstarter, Indiegogo or Patreon. Pam is also our shop photographer but, more importantly, she’s our official maker of late-night popcorn.
History of the Building
The original wooden church building was erected early in 1920 (where the parking lot is now) and opened its doors in what was known as “No Man’s Land,” a then unincorporated part of town now known as South Utica. In 1923 the congregation decided to begin fundraising for a new church to be designed by the architectural firm of Gouge & Ames and built on the adjacent lot for “no more than $50,000.” On October 9, 1927 the current brick church building opened to the public with an auditorium filled to capacity.
Shortly after the opening South Church almost fell victim to the great depression, but was saved through the efforts of the community. In 1937 the South Church bought a Buhl Pipe Organ that was played for the first time at Easter Sunday mass. In 1942 the old wooden church was finally demolished. In 1959 South Church became The United Church of Christ. In 1972 it became The First Church of the Nazarene and continued as such until it was put up for sale in 1998.
The building was purchased by its current owners in 2000 and underwent two and a half years of renovation under the supervision of audio industry icon John Storyk. The pipe organ was in serious disrepair and was donated to a company that refurbishes the instruments and sells them inexpensively to struggling congregations, and the pews were donated to the former occupants. The stained glass windows were saved if possible, or replaced with original one of a kind leaded glass done on the premises over the summer of 2002 by a visiting Zen monk.
In 2003 it opened as Castle Recording Studio and continued until the owner’s retirement ten years later. The building was then taken over by his stepdaughter and son in law who added the console, mic closet and the residence. Pam and Jeff reopened the facility in 2013 as Big Blue North, the independently-operated sister studio of famed Jersey City studio Big Blue Meenie run by their mentor and spirit animal, Tim Gilles.