Recording night at City College brings the Force to life

May the 4th recording night inspires attendees to jam out a Star Wars-inspired track


Kian Ramani, a computer science freshman at City College, fooled Professor Bob Kostlan with his incredible piano playing skills. Kostlan believed he had played for over a decade, but Ramani has only played for 3-4 years. Photo by Luke Bradbury/City Times Media

Luke Bradbury, Multimedia Journalist

Motifs of Darth Vader’s theme echoed from the San Diego City College recording studio on May the Fourth in celebration of Star Wars.

By the end of the three-hour event, both students and members of the public successfully produced a track inspired by George Lucas’ seminal work.

There have been many recording nights before, but music professor Bob Kostlan says it’s the first time that people chose to show up in costume after a student suggested they embrace the Star Wars theme.

“Up until this point, we’ve been focusing on a cover,” Kostlan said. “And it’s a way to keep everyone kind of centered around the focus or theme.”

Missed May the Fourth at City? The San Diego Symphony will perform two concerts May 13 and 14 featuring music from “Star Wars: A New Hope.” Learn more.

Any attendees who could play an instrument spent two hours producing the skeleton of the song before recordings began with keyboards and drums. They only had an hour to edit the whole track, which was much shorter than the time spent on a professional track. 

Emery Taylor, the studio lab tech, was up to the task.

“I learned from just skill and life lessons how to sort of mix on the fly,” Taylor said. “It’s not perfect, but it gets a very satisfying outcome usually.”

Taylor attended recording nights at City College back when he was a student in the music program. While he isn’t a permanent lab tech, he offers his support to the music program whenever they have space for him.

“I just hope that the music program can inspire and help the community grow and become stronger every year,” Taylor said.