Dream Asylum Studios, Miami FL: Pioneering powerhouse, Marcella "Ms. Lago" Araica, has swiftly burgeoned into a towering beacon of talent as one of the music industry's hottest, most prolific sound engineers. Credited for mixing over one hundred chart-topping tunes, Marcella has had the opportunity of working with world-renowned musical icons such as Beyonce, Britney Spears, Madonna, and more.
Born and raised in Miami, Marcella graduated with perfect attendance and honors from the Full Sail Production and Recording Program in Orlando, Florida. She was presented with the Advanced Recording Engineer Award, an honor only bestowed upon a single deserving student each semester.
Music Supervision at Trailblazer Studios, Raleigh NC: Aurelia Belfield is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Dramatic Arts. Prior to joining Trailblazer Studios, she honed her skills in educational outreach at WTVI Charlotte and in casting at Bunim/Murray Productions.
Her primary focus at Trailblazer is on music supervision and sound coordination, which covers scheduling studio time, finding and booking voice talent, developing and nurturing relationships with talent agencies, managing music libraries, and music placement and licensing for short- and long-form projects.
Audio Engineer at Trailblazer Studios, Raleigh NC: Michel works as a senior sound mixer at Trailblazer Studios in Raleigh, North Carolina. Her time there is split between mixing multiple long-form television series, mixing and sound designing documentary films, engineering client sessions and managing production audio.
Prior to joining Trailblazer in 2009, Michel served as the resident sound designer for Playmakers Repertory Company in Chapel Hill. While at Playmakers, she worked as an instructor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, teaching “Introduction to Sound Design” classes. Michel has also held positions in sound design and audio supervision at East Carolina University’s Loessin Theatre, Triad Stage in Greensboro and Vermont’s Weston Playhouse Theatre. Michel is a member of the Cinema Audio Society.
Recording Engineer and Faculty Member, UNC-Wilmington: Karen Kane has been in the music business for more than 35 years. She attended Berklee College of Music in Boston and graduated from the Recording Institute of American, where she obtained two diplomas in audio engineering.
Since the 1970's, Karen has produced and/or engineered over 200 full-length album projects and has engineered hundreds of live sound shows. Currently, she runs her own audio production studio, Karen Kane Music Productions in Wilmington, NC. Besides music recording, mixing, and mastering, her Wilmington recording studio is also where she teaches Audio Engineering and Music Production.
Owner of SoundLizzard Productions, Winston-Salem NC: Liz May is an audio engineer, musician, and entrepreneur in the music scene of the North Carolina Triad through SoundLizzard Productions, a company she founded in 2003. She is also the Manager at the historic RJ Reynolds Auditorium, a 1900-seat 1924 classic performance hall in the heart of Winston-Salem. Through SoundLizzard Productions, Liz helped local artists beyond their recording projects through the business and marketing side of the industry to help propel them into becoming sustaining career artists.
After growing the business to include an A&R department, record label, and publishing company for a short time, Liz then turned to production management at a few of the cities facilities to assist in their daily operations and growth potential. Liz is committed to creating networks and relationships between the education sector and the music and theatre industries in the Triad and is currently working on developing her own non-profit that creates an innovative bridge between these entities. Her current audio work includes live sound mixing for the Winston-Salem Symphony Pops and Unbound series, audio gear reviews for Pro Sound News, and providing system and audio support for many churches, schools, and venues in the Triad.
Mastering Engineer at Airshow Mastering, Boulder CO: Anna Frick is a mastering engineer and the restoration center manager at Airshow Mastering in Boulder, Colorado. Her work encompasses studio albums, live recordings, reissues, and compilations across an array of formats, old and new, and a wide variety of genres and styles, from bluegrass and folk-influenced acts to rock and New Age projects. Legends like Ralph Stanley and Doc Watson, exciting contemporaries such as Billy Strings and Wood & Wire, and important blues and jazz archival recordings have all benefited from her uncanny ear and deft touch. She balances her strong instincts and intuition with her technical experience and each client’s goals to finesse every project she tackles. “[A band has] been working on their album for quite a while by the time I hear it, and it’s their vision – their baby – that they are putting out into the world. I don’t want to impede that vision. Ultimately, I want my clients (and their fans) to be ecstatic with the record.
For Airshow’s restoration center she oversees all archival digitization projects. She mastered Third Man Records’ GRAMMY-winning box set, The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records, as well as having mastered thousands of hours’ worth of historical recordings from university archives and collections across the country. Each project is unique, with a singular story and special considerations: “[It] involves everything from understanding the recording medium, the equipment, and the transfer process to having the tools and the knowledge to tackle all sorts of bizarre problems, understanding digital audio files and how to maintain file integrity over time.”
Anna holds a degree in Music Industry Studies from the University of Colorado at Denver. She is a graduate of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Leadership Bluegrass program, a Vice Chair of the AES Colorado chapter, a Recording Academy - San Francisco Chapter board member, and the chapter head for Colorado’s branch of SoundGirls.org.
Tess Mangum Ocaña
Founder of Sonic Pie Productions, Durham NC: Tess Mangum Ocaña is a seventh-generation North Carolinian. Though she grew up in a musical family (her grandmother, Kate Mangum, taught Randy Travis how to play guitar and great-uncle Homer Briarhopper was fortunate to call Doc Watson a fan), she always felt her role in the family business was behind the scenes. She holds a B.A. in Public Relations from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a M.A. in Ethnomusicology from the University of Limerick, Ireland. She served as Concerts Director & Facility Rental Coordinator of The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, a non-profit performing arts center, from 2002-2012 and developed the critically-acclaimed American Roots Series, which helped launched the careers of the Avett Brothers and Carolina Chocolate Drops, as well as spotlight American music legends such as Dr. John and Mavis Staples. Tess is a 2012 Indy Arts award winner.
In the winter of 2013 she founded Sonic Pie Productions, a concert and event production company. Since then, her talent buying, production and or stage management clients have included IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association), ArtsGreensboro, Duke Performances, Carolina Railhawks, MerleFest, Hippie Fest, Beericana Craft Beer & Music Festival, Durham Central Park, Town of Aberdeen, City of High Point, Art of Cool Festival, Festival for the Eno River and Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden.