PromaxBDA: The Conference 2010
July 10th, 2010

Living Arts College’s annual trip to the PromaxBDA conference concluded on June 25, 2010. This year’s trip was one of the best! PromaxBDA, the association for promotional and design professionals, just wrapped on its 55th annual conference in Los Angeles June 24 with an incredible turnout, drastically higher than previous years. In attendance from LAC were School President Roger Klietz, Vice-President and Campus Director Debra Hooper, Assistant Campus Director Matthew Kelly, Interactive Media Arts Program Coordinator Vincent Gardner, and several LAC students and alumni along with four LAC students who were chosen to serve as PromaxBDA Interns for this year’s conference.

“The interns are rockin’ it!” said Jonathan Block-Verk, President and CEO, PromaxBDA.

The conference was kicked off by a speech by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, along with an introduction by ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel. Top design and marketing awards went to Fox Broadcasting Co., bpg Advertising, CTV Creative Agency, Syfy, Showtime, and FX. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Hugh Hefner, who was present for an exciting interview by Larry King.

The conference also introduced the Creative Educator’s Forum, a professional development event for creative educators. The forum’s board is made up of a small, select group of nationwide creative education leaders. Living Arts College’s own Vice-President and Campus Director, Debra Hooper was among this elite group.

This year’s conference had some real treats in store for creative professionals and students. Sessions were held by industry leaders such as David Carson, Jakob Trollback, Brett Ashy, Gordon Ho, Stefan Sagmeister, Seth Berkowitz, Patrick Burgoyne, Michael Walsh, Lee Hunt, Graeme Newell, Timmy Fisher, Garson Yu, Mark Kudsi and Will Travis – to name just a few!

When asked what their favorite part of the conference was, staff and students had a difficult time deciding. One thing common with everyone’s excitement about the event was all the national and international industry professionals and celebrities that attendees had the privilege to meet.

“Ryan Stout and Norm MacDonald were hilarious at the awards events – and a perfect way to wrap up en exciting day of meeting professionals and networking” said TJ Piper, LAC student.

“I met Larry King!” said LAC student, Shannon Chapman.

“I’ve met many big names in the creative arts in my career, but meeting David Carson and Stefan Sagmesiter all within a 30 minute window had to be the highlight for me!” said LAC Assistant Campus Director, Matthew Kelly. “This year PromaxBDA has done a perfect job of giving all the folks at the conference on both the business and creative side of things exactly what they wanted!”




Jazz Guitarist Inspires Student Audio Engineers
April 18th, 2010

Jazz guitarist Scott Sawyer brought his musical knowledge and expertise to the Living Arts College (LAC) recording studio this March for Jason Richmond’s project studio class. Accompanying Scott were bassist Matt Brandau and drummer Dan Hall, of the Chapel Hill rock group, Old Ceremony. Scott Sawyer is an internationally recognized guitarist with a host of recording and performing credits. He has shared the stage and recorded with many notable artists, including Nneena Freelon, Charlie Byrd, Oteil Burbridge, Jon Metzger, David Murray, Scott Ainslee, Ghezzi, Bob Cranshaw, Gongzilla, Willie Pickens, Ed Thigpen, Bill Anshell, and Lois Deloatch. His latest album “Go There,” featured bassist Oteil Burbridge (The Allman Brothers), Charlotte bassist Ron Brendle, Kofi Burbridge (Derek Trucks Band), and Kenny Soule (DAG).

Jazz guitarist Scott Sawyer

Jazz Guitarist Scott Sawyer

LAC Students’ Trey Thomas, Terrence Long, Kevin Spence, and David Pruitt were amongst those that participated with the set up and tracking of the trio. The trio was set up in a circle in the B2R studios just using baffles to separate them. Tracking utilized the Toft console in the B control room, as well as the newly added API and Great River preamps. The group began the recording by playing several free improvisations then moved on to re-workings of several pop tunes, including John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy,” and Bob Dylan’s “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue.” Scott and LAC students experimented with a song by Matt Brandau and a groove based on Tom Waits’ “Sins of My Father.” The day ended with a jazz standard by the great jazz bassist Charles Mingus, titled “Nostalgia in Times Square.”

Jazz guitarist Scott Sawyer


Jazz guitarist Scott Sawyer

Students were both honored and inspired by Scott’s visit as it was not just a recording lesson, but a music one too. He spoke of his experience in the music industry and recording processes between breaks. The session gave students the opportunity to work hands-on with notable and highly talented musicians. The ability to learn the art of recording while working with the “best of the best” provides students with the experience they need to be successful in the recording business.




Hobby Turns Into a Great Career
June 9th, 2009

Raleigh DJ - Jason WiggsRaleigh’s Hottest DJ – Jason Wiggs

Jason Wiggs says, “DJing was a hobby until about a year ago. That changed when I started attending School of Communication Arts. I began acquiring the tools that I needed to create a great production and set out DJing professionally.”

Jason Wiggs is a sought-after disc jockey, best known as the resident disc jockey at The Oxford Gastropub in Downtown Raleigh. His experience, knowledge of music and mixing talents combine to display an unbreakable link between hip-hop, rock, pop, and top 40 to electronic dance music of house, breaks, drums and bass. His performance is a journey beyond the realms of music.

As a child his grandfather wanted him to learn true music appreciation. He gave him a symphony orchestra album and his love for music emerged. Growing up, he played the tuba in symphony orchestra and had a spot on the drumline in the marching band.

On his 18th birthday he received his first set of turntables. Using the self discipline acquired over many years of training in classical instruments he embarked on a more modern, newly acquired instrument and began the journey of musical exploration.

His most recent endeavor was his participation in Raleigh Fashion Week – Strut 09’. He provided music for the event’s producers with remixes, adding sound to video clips and performed all music selections live in conjunction with the emcees performances.

See Jason in person at The Oxford on Friday and Saturday nights in Downtown Raleigh.

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Debra A Hooper
Vice President/Director
School of Communication Arts
@ Digital Circus




Fashion, Music, Dance, & More – STRUT ’09
June 3rd, 2009

Strut'09Raleigh Fashion Week was a celebration of fashion, beauty, music and dance. Brian Wiliams gleaned the momentum he gained from STRUT’08 to produce an expanded fashion showcase.

The three day event featured fashion, music, and dance along with talent, healthy living seminars, vendor displays, trunk shows and evening runway fashion shows.

Brian Williams of Brian Williams Television tapped School of Communication Arts for talent in front of the camera and behind the camera. Audio professor, Craig Brandwynne and his company Center Sound Records sponsored the talent for the three night event.

SCA Audio students brought their time and talent to STRUT09. The crew included Nicholas Talford, Faith Langley, Jason Wiggs, Timothy Jamison and Calvin Clark, Jr., as well as alumnus, Frank Carbone.

Nicholas Talford was Technical Director for the main stage assisted by Calvin Clark, Jr. Graduate and artist, Frank Carbone performed Friday night on the main stage with a five piece backup group featuring Faith Langley. Frank credits Timothy Jamison with his great choreography.

Raleigh DJ - Jason WiggsDJ Jason Wiggs was named the official DJ of STRUT09 early on by Brian Williams. DJ Jason Wiggs was responsible for performing all music selections live and “on the fly” for each night. Jason determined the flow of the entire show through his music. He worked in conjunction with three different emcees and gave each their cues for what to say, when to say their next lines and brought the music in and out as they were speaking.

Looking forward to SRUT’10.

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Debra A Hooper
Vice President/Director
School of Communication Arts
@ Digital Circus






SCA In Full Bloom at Spring Gallery Show
May 11th, 2009
2009 Spring Gallery Show
2009 Spring Gallery Show

An array of budding talent blossomed in the theater of SCA this week. There were flash designs, student films and maquettes OH MY! The Gallery Show proved to be “a sight to behold” with the use of vivid colors, exciting motion graphics, spectacular animations, entertaining student films and “wake you up” sounds designs.

Professor George LaChevallier entertained the audience with his quick wit and humorous stories while Professor Lena Corter handed out awards for categories from Electronic Media to Sound Design. The work shown at each gallery show continues to get better and better, which tells me that School of Communication Arts has the best talent in the country!

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Debra A Hooper
Vice President/Director
School of Communication Arts
@ Digital Circus




Happenings in May @ School of Communication Arts
May 4th, 2009

May 6th, 5-8pm : Spring 2009 Gallery Exhibition

The Exhibition showcases juried creative works of current students in Animation, Film, Audio Production, Advertising Design, Web Design, Photography and Interior Design.

May 7th, 9am-3pm : Professional Development Day & First SCA Talent Show

School of Communication Arts is very excited to be holding their first Talent Show hosted by the student government, MODIV.

Motivational speaker, Karen Gilliam will speak at 10am. A workshop by Laurie Muriel will be held at 11am on “How to Get a Part-time Job in These Challenging Economic Times”. This is in preparation for the upcoming Part-time Job Fair.

May 11th, 10:30am :  Local Rock Band Defines the Importance of Branding

Ariel Down is Setting the Rules for “Breaking In” with Their Ideas About Music Promotion. Experience a national touring independent rock band based out of Raleigh, NC.

May 14th, 2-4pm : SCA Part-Time Job Fair

Are you looking for a part time job? Local non-industry businesses will be on campus advertising open positions and doing on-site interviews.

May 27th, 10:30am : Multimedia Expert to Present: “How to Prepare your Career for the Unexpected”

Plan to be entertained. Greg Carter’s work is wild and vivid.

Mr. Carter has designed print media for Reebok and Sports Illustrated and multimedia for Discovery Channel. He has worked on projects for Warner Brothers and the American Lung Association.

All events are open to the public and there is no cost. Media are welcome and encouraged to participate.

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Debra A Hooper
Vice President/Director
School of Communication Arts
@ Digital Circus




Local Rock Band, ARIEL DOWN, Defines the Importance of Branding
May 4th, 2009

Aerial DownSCA students will hear from members of Ariel Down … a national touring independent rock band based out of Raleigh, NC. They will spell out THEIR formula for success.

Members of Ariel Down will define the importance of branding whether it’s for yourself or a company. One of their goals is to help students educate themselves on how to be a business.

The band incorporated Autumn Rain Records, its own production company and record label in 2003. Each band member plays a critical function in the day-to-day operation and business of the band. Band members take on roles such as: marketing director, booking agent, public relations specialist, web designer, financial advisor and even tour bus driver.

Aerial DownThe band prides themselves on their hard work, relentless attitude and high energy. Critics such as Benjamin Ray claim, “Ariel Down is one of the hardest working Indie bands in the country.”

“Shine” was released in February, 2009. The bands debut album, “Vision” was released in July 2006. Both records were recorded by John Plymale (Squirrel Nut Zippers, Meat Puppets) at Overdub Lane in Durham, NC and mastered by Greg Calbi (Springsteen, Dylan, Bowie) at Sterling Sound in NYC.

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Debra A Hooper
Vice President/Director
School of Communication Arts
@ Digital Circus




Gregg Sartiano Mixing With a Master
April 24th, 2009

Gregg Sartiano Mixing With a MasterMixing business with pleasure, Gregg Sartiano has been in the final stages of mastering Warren G’s latest album. Working side by side with mastering mind, Bernie Grundman, has brought clarity to Gregg’s mixed tracks.

The sounds coming from Bernie Grundman’s mastering studio echoed the latest unheard tracks from Paula Abdul, Pussycat Dolls and Black Eyed Peas. Many of today’s greatest hits have been mastered by Bernie Grundman and Brian “Big Bass” Gardner. In that very studio, Professor Sartiano mixed with the masters as Warren G’s album was finessed into sonic splendor.

Bernie stated that Gregg’s mixes are “clear and spacious”. “Coming from him when no one was around is a huge compliment,” Gregg said.

For the past five years Gregg has mixed all of Warren G’s music

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Debra A Hooper
Vice President/Director
School of Communication Arts
@ Digital Circus




Craig Slagel Goes to Work at Rhythm & Hues
April 20th, 2009

Craig Slagel Goes to Work at Rhythm & HuesAlumni and former professor lands job at Rhythm & Hues. The big question is “How did he hear about the job”? From me … School Director at School of Communication Arts.

I never forget a graduate or their special talents. Several months ago I was sent an email by Barbara McCullough. Barbara works at Rhythm & Hues in talent resources and university relations.

R & H was calling for resumes for a candidate to fill a senior training position. The email detailed the skills needed to fill the position. I immediately thought of Craig. His background was perfect … he previously had held a position as a senior trainer at Electronic Arts. I forwarded the email to Craig and said “this job description has your name on it”.

I ran into Craig at Game Developers Conference in San Francisco last week. He told me that he starts work at R & H in mid April.

Congratulations to Craig Slagel! Stay in touch with me.  I may just tell you about your next great job!
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Debra A Hooper
Vice President/Director
School of Communication Arts
@ Digital Circus




Jet Setting Audo Instructor Works in LA
April 20th, 2009

Jet Setting Audo Instructor - Gregg SartianoGregg Sartiano has been flying out to Los Angeles every weekend for the past two months working on the upcoming album of Warren G. Gregg was featured on the cover of Indonesia’s Rolling Stone magazine highlighting his Indonesian project which he completed just before he started teaching at the School of Communication Arts. (SCA)

The Indonesian project was a talent search similar to “American Idol,” looking for the next great talent in Jakarta. The winner received a recording session to record the next big hit. Gregg is still waiting for the outcome of that project, but uses examples of “real world” studio mixes as classroom tools now. Working with translators and numerous people with broken English, the project was completed. “The toughest part of the project was the language barrier,” he claims, but says, “Communication through music is a beautiful experience.”

Gregg is no stranger to the audio industry; he has been making “beats” and working with artists such as Warren G, Nate Dogg, Snoop Dogg, Method Man, B-REAL, and many more. His best friend and colleague James Lugo is the vocal coach for many American Idol contestants. Gregg is well connected to the Hollywood audio world and recently had audio student, David Pruitt, accompany him to a recording session for Warren G’s upcoming album.

Whether Greg is in LA or here at SCA he brings the real world insights and war stories of the industry. This is a real world plus to his students.
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Debra A Hooper
Vice President/Director
School of Communication Arts
@ Digital Circus