Leading Women in Audio Conference focuses on ‘growth through adversity’
The annual conference hosted by Elon was held virtually on February 26 and 27.
“To be in the audio industry, you must prepare for a lifetime of growth,” said Agnieszka Roginska, vice chair of the Music Department at New York University, and the 2021 Leading Women in Audio Conference’s keynote speaker.
This sentiment was reflected throughout the entirety of the conference that was held Feb. 26-27. The annual conference centers around a new theme each year, and in response to a year of hardship, especially in the entertainment industry, the concept of resilience and growth through adversity was highlighted in each of the conference’s sessions.
The Leading Women in Audio Conference aims to address the underrepresentation of women in the audio industry. It has been a struggle for women to break into this field, and now, the organizers and presenters want to educate its participants about the visibility, accomplishments, and impact of the successful women in the industry.
“We are so proud of the wide range of support that we have had for this conference,” said Professor of Music Fred Johnson. Johnson, along with the student steering committee, had been planning the event since August. In his opening remarks, Johnson expressed awe and admiration for the committee, along with the record number of attendees that registered for the third annual conference.
Agnieszka Roginska, vice chair of the Music Department at New York University, delivered the conference keynote.
With the transition to a virtual format this year, more than 170 people attended the two-day conference, a large increase from last year’s 107 attendees. Sixteen universities were represented, and more than 50 high school students registered to participate.
“As technology has played an even more important role during the age of COVID, I have developed an even greater respect for those behind the control boards,” said Elon Music Department Chair Hallie Hogan. “More than ever, this conference brings joy and hope to those in this community, particularly in a time when hope is in great demand.”
The conference offered presentations and workshops such as “Covid Career Causality,” hosted by Michel Holbrook, a freelance sound designer. The session offered advice and pointed out mistakes to avoid for students and recent graduates entering the job market.
Even through a virtual format, each session offered the opportunity for growth and discussion on a variety of important subjects. Participants were given tools and resources to navigate the growing audio industry.
This year’s theme was highlighted throughout the planning process as well. Steering Committee Co-Chairs Ana Segal ‘21 and Conor Flood ‘21 had dedicated hours of their time to redesign the conference and adapt to the pandemic.
“We wanted to quit, and when it was clear this event would take on a new format, it was hard to swallow,” said Segal in her opening remarks. “But we had a choice, give up something that really mattered to us, or stay in the challenge and put in the work.”
“We grew through the adversity because we knew the end result would be worth it,” said Flood.
By Katelyn Litvan ’24, student
Leading Women In Audio Conference announces keynote speaker
Researcher in Immersive Audio Technology will present at conference opening ceremony
The Leading Women In Audio Conference is excited to announce that Agnieszka Roginska will be the keynote speaker this year. Roginska is a professor of music technology and the vice chair of the Music and Performing Arts Professions Department at New York University. She conducts research in the simulation and applications of immersive and 3D audio including the capture, analysis and synthesis of auditory environments, auditory displays and applications in augmented acoustic sensing.
She is the author of numerous publications about the acoustics and psychoacoustics of immersive audio and auditory displays, and is the co-editor of the book titled “Immersive Sound: The Art and Science of Binaural and Multi-Channel Audio”. Agnieszka is the Past-President of the Audio Engineering Society (AES), an AES Fellow, and is the faculty sponsor of the Society for Women in TeCHnology (SWiTCH) at NYU.
Roginska will speak at the Opening Ceremony of the conference on Friday, Feb. 26. For more information about the conference and to register, go to www.elon.edu/lwia.
Leading Women in Audio conference to return in February with theme of ‘Growth Through Adversity’
The conference will be held virtually on Feb. 26 and 27.
The Leading Women In Audio Conference is returning to Elon’s campus on Feb. 26-27, 2021, in a virtual format. After seeing amazing growth in the first two years of the conference, the Student Steering Committee is excited to be able to reach even more people through this new platform. Participants don’t need to travel, look for a hotel or figure out where to eat — the conference is coming to them.
“We hope that by being virtual, we can allow many more people to attend” says Fred Johnson, faculty sponsor of the conference. “Our presenters are all industry professionals who look forward to connecting with students.”
Once again, sessions will be offered in the areas of Live Sound, Mastering, Music Business and Recording, but there will also be topics that confront the reality of the pandemic and its effect on the music industry. With the theme of “Growth Through Adversity,” discussions of job loss, job searching and new strategies for concert production will take place. The final panel discussion, which has always focused on discrimination and allyship, will be centered around Diversity, Equity and Inclusion this year.
The conference is also pleased to welcome two new presenters:
Judy Stakee, based in Los Angeles, has over 30 years of experience as a music industry executive. She is responsible for developing and signing many of today’s most acclaimed artists, including Grammy-award winner Sheryl Crow, Katy Perry, Gavin DeGraw and Joy Williams. She will give a session on being your best as a songwriter and will do some song critiques.
Leslie Gaston-Bird works as a freelance re-recording mixer and sound editor in the UK. She is also the author of the book, “Women In Audio,” a voting member of the Recording Academy and a past governor of the Audio Engineering Society. She will be presenting from her research in Immersive Audio.
Registration is now open on the conference website, http://www.elon.edu/lwia. Join us in this annual celebration of the achievements by music industry leaders, who just happen to be women!