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Chris Vrenna

Chris Vrenna to Join the Department of Performing Arts Technology

Apr 29, 2024 | Faculty, Faculty Announcements

The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance announces that Chris Vrenna will join the Department of Performing Arts Technology as an assistant professor in the fall of 2024. Vrenna is a Grammy-winning musician, producer, engineer, remixer, composer, and music technology educator.

Vrenna is best known as a former and founding member of Nine Inch Nails, which was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2020. Additionally, he has been the drummer for international acts including Gnarls Barkley and Guns N’ Roses. He has remixed and/or programmed for numerous artists including U2, Rob Zombie, Weezer, Evanescence, and Hole.

“It is both exciting and humbling to be joining the renowned faculty at the University of Michigan as an assistant professor of music in the PAT department,” shared Vrenna. “My father is a Michigan alumnus. He and I would spend Saturday afternoons watching Michigan football, so I grew up a Wolverines fan. This opportunity to become a professor at Michigan and move to Ann Arbor feels like a homecoming for me.”

Vrenna is also a well-known video game composer whose credits include American McGee’s Alice, Doom 3, Quake 4, Call of Duty: ExoZombies, and Quake: Champions.

Prior to joining U-M, Vrenna served on the faculty at Southern Utah University, Athens State University, Calhoun College, University of Alabama, and the Madison Media Institute. His professional affiliations include the Audio Engineering Society (AES), American Federation of Musicians Union (AFM) and the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS). He served on the U.S. Space & Rocket Center Education Foundation board of directors from 2019–23.

“The Department of Performing Arts Technology is very much looking forward to having Chris Vrenna join our faculty,” said Sile O’Modhrain, associate professor and chair of the department. “Chris brings to PAT a lifetime of experience as a performing artist, recording and mixing engineer, and sound designer. He will play a central role in restructuring our core undergraduate recording curriculum and in introducing new courses in sound design for film and video games.”

Vrenna received his bachelor’s degree from Kent State University and his master’s degree in music technology from Southern Utah University.

“I cannot wait for the fall semester to start, and I am looking forward to meeting the faculty, staff, and students in August,” said Vrenna. “Go Blue!”

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