Rocco helps Albion College amplify events with sounds, visuals

Chad Rocco, director of audio visual administration, is dialed in when it comes to the audio-visual needs of Albion College.

September 13, 2023

Chad Rocco, director of audio visual administration, is dialed in when it comes to the audio-visual needs of Albion College.

Rocco is the one-man show responsible for all audio-visual needs at Albion College, including events such as commencement, matriculation, concerts, speeches and some classroom technology.

“Sometimes they call me DJ Rocco to try and get my goat,” said Rocco, who has been at Albion for five years. “What I do is a lot more than playing music.”

On any given day, he will provide sounds and visuals for multiple events. He works indoors and outdoors, depending on the event, and provides help with classroom technology and streaming for events, including athletics.

“I split the classroom technology piece with Sarah Noah’s team,” Rocco said. “There is always something to learn because there are five major providers of classroom technology. Things are always changing. We have to make everything work together.

As for campus events, Rocco said they all pale to the challenges of commencement.

“Commencement poses a lot of challenges because of its size and that it is outdoors,” Rocco said. “We have to mic the band and the choir and sometimes the wind can cause issues. It is a tight corner to turn because by the time everything is set up for commencement, it’s time to give the audio feed to a third party for streaming. Usually, we are doing the sound check for commencement at the same time baccalaureate is starting.”

Technology and education have been a large part of Rocco’s career. He started out working on electronics for high-speed counting machines in Homer and worked for seven years for Bose, the company that makes speakers. He also served on the Homer School Board for 20 years.

His passion for all things audio began in middle school, Rocco said.

“I first got bit by the audio bug in middle school,” he said. “My neighbor had an older brother who would drive us to school. We would listen to rock music in his car. He also had a nice stereo system. That was when I realized that I like the glowing lights and the tuner dials.”

When he is not working, Rocco said he enjoys spending time with his family and quiet time in his kayak.

As for what he enjoys most about his job, Rocco said it is the people and the challenges of each day.

“The fun part is working with good people,” Rocco said. “Albion is all about sharing and has a very professional culture. I also like working with the young people here. You can always learn here.

“No two days are the same. I may have five different events going on in one day and be all over campus,” he said.

One thing is consistent, Rocco said, and that is the feeling of satisfaction after a successful event.

“There is a special feeling when you are looking back at a successful event. It’s like an afterglow. You cannot get enough of it. It makes all of the work worth it,” he said. “My audio passion has not been exhausted by this job yet, much to my wife’s chagrin. I seem to have a never-ending thirst for it.”