faculty

Recording Arts & Show Production Faculty

film-instructor

As a kid, Jonathan was a screen junky and loved the stories of the movies he watched.
Jonathan’s parents got him a VHS copy of Star Wars that he watched so many times the tape eventually wore out and became a scrambled blur.
As a student at California State University Northridge, he discovered and mastered the tools to tell his own stories as a director.
After getting a degree in Cinema and Television Production, Jonathan landed an internship with the Los Angeles Dodgers. In his 10 years with the Dodgers he worked his way from starting as a grip to producing and directing live, game day content and post-event coverage.
A native Californian, he has 15 years of experience in live production and extensive directing experience for the Dodgers, Lakers, Clippers, Kings hockey, concerts and corporate events.

Jonathan dietrich

Headshot 1

For almost 30 years, the Amazing journey of Entertainment Production and Sound Engineering has been my Focus and Passion. Throughout that time, I have had the opportunity to grow into an Industry DJ, playing events for various Industry Record Labels and Affiliates at their Concert Productions, Television Productions and Corporate Events. This progress inspired the opportunity to attain my AS in Recording Arts and BS in Entertainment Business. For the past 10+ Years I have also been a FOH and Monitor Engineer at Universal Studios, Mixing live events and working on recording projects for various Universal Projects. More recently, further development has occurred as I  have expanded into being and Instructor at F.I.R.S.T Institute within their Recording Arts Program. This opportunity gives me the opportunity to share, enlighten and educate future Engineers and Technicians into the industry allowing for the Dreams and Art to be expressed for future generations!

Jason Aiming

DSC08983

Miguel is a professional performing musician and live sound audio engineer.

His journey started in 2008 at the age of 16 playing bass at church for worship bands in different campuses.

As his music career was growing, he started working as a session musician and recorded instruments in his home studio creating musical content for bands and jingles for radio shows and podcasts. During that time he pursued a BS in music in his home country Ecuador.


Miguel moved to Florida in 2013 and continued his career performing on live shows and also teaching one one music lessons to individuals of every age.

A few years later in 2018 he graduated from F.I.R.S.T. Institute where he reinforced his audio skills. Then he started working at churches as a Music-Tech Director fulfilling and overviewing multiple roles as band coach, FOH audio engineer, monitors and stagehand.

Miguel is very passionate about teaching and sharing every experience he’s learned and lived in his career in order to inspire other young artists to get there and beyond.

Miguel Albino

recording-arts-instructor

Eric Copeland has been a full-time working composer, arranger, and producer for the last 22 years. He started writing songs when he was 13, recording his songs on reel-to-reels, cassettes, and eventually computers. He began recording other people in his teens, toured as a keyboardist with bands, and eventually opened his own composing, arranging, and production business in 1990. Through the 90s, he produced local artists in Lexington, Kentucky while working in corporate tech before starting full-time music work in 2000.
In 2004, he moved his growing production company and label, Creative Soul Records, to Nashville, Tennessee and worked specifically for independent artists from around the world. Working at some of the top studios in the world in Nashville, he was fortunate to produce with the top sessions players, engineers, producers, and vocalists Music City has to offer.
In the past five years, he finished a Master’s in Music Composition at UCF in Orlando, and has now has shifted to composing and producing specifically for music licensing to TV, Film, Ads, Gaming, and more. He also started a YouTube channel in 2021 called “Make Music Income” that teaches composers and producers how to make music income from music licensing, music production, and more.

Eric Copeland

recording-arts-instructor

As far back as Devin can remember, he has loved music. At a young age, he picked up the guitar and taught himself to play. His peers noticed his talent and asked him to join a rock band in high school. They started making a name for themselves in the Detroit music scene and eventually toured the mid-west states. However, it wasn’t until his band recorded a full-length album in a professional recording studio that Devin became enamored with producing a song from start to finish. From then on, Devin made it his mission to learn everything he could about the world of music production. He eventually took his learning to the next level and enrolled in classes at Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL. He went on to earn his Associate’s Degree in Audio Production and his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Production. Since graduating, Devin has worked numerous jobs in the industry, including Studio and Live sound work. His goal is to share his experience and knowledge with students attending F.I.R.S.T. Institute in the Recording Arts and Show Production program

Devin Davis

Daniel

Drew’s first experience in the studio was as an artist, when he was singing and playing guitar in his band. The process of recording an EP was such a significant  and ear-opening experience that resonated with Drew and made him want to produce songs and albums in the studio beyond his own musical material. He pursued a degree in Sound and Music Technology at Valencia College and began an internship at Plush Studios immediately after graduating. Since then he has freelanced at a variety of studios and venues around Orlando as a recording and live sound engineer. Among his passion for audio, Drew’s also holds a passion for teaching and passing on the knowledge he has gathered over the years. Before coming to F.I.R.S.T., he has spent time teaching mathematics for elementary school through college level students, instructing athletes new to the sport of lacrosse as a Junior Varsity head coach, teaching music lessons for guitar and drum-set, and coaching esports for competitive and casual players.

Daniel Dyko

Luis Fernandez audio instructor

An inspirational and ambitious instructor at the renowned F.I.R.S.T., Luis Fernandez has earned a solid reputation within the music industry through 11 years of expertise in audio engineering, music production, and show production. His exceptional skills and talents are duly recognized through the acquisition of two gold plaques and one platinum plaque; all earned for his outstanding work with a diverse range of artists as an audio engineer. This has garnered him an impressive roster of notable clients, including DJ Khaled, Acehood, Future, Chris Brown, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, and more. Luis also owns Just Be Great Studios - a business he co-founded with Indie Jamz Radio, providing resources and professional opportunities to help creatives reach their highest potential. In his talented career, his show production clients have also included Orlando Magic, Disney, PSAV/Encore, and most recently, the Beyonce Renaissance World Tour.

Luis Fernandez

recording-arts-instructor

Chris Jay has been a professional audio engineer for over two decades. He got his start in the entertainment industry in 1995 working with Sublime on the first Warped Tour as their merchandise representative and stagehand. After the tour, Lee ”Scratch” Perry invited him to work as an assistant in the studio on the album “Lee Perry vs Sly & Robbie.” That time in the studio was what drove him to dedicate his career to audio engineering. Since then, he has worked on many albums ranging in genre from blues, punk, hardcore, and reggae. In various capacities, he has worked with a wide array of popular artists such as Outkast, Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliot, LL Cool J, Trick Daddy, Cash Money, and The Beach Boys. He also works for Electronic Arts as an Audio Artist handling commentary and sound design for Madden and NBA Live.

CHRIS JAY

DSC08179

I started in sound recording in a small 4-track studio after playing keyboards with a touring band before working for the Record Plant in Los Angeles. At RPLA I worked on the 24 track mobile recording trucks as an EIC. I received a platinum album from Bill Szymczyk for the "Eagles Live" album. I also recorded, produced and mixed several in-studio albums for various artists with record deals

 

After 10 years in music recording, I worked at Compact Sound Services post-production film sound, and TV audio sweeting for 10 years. Then I transitioned to my own company as a consultant for the Disney Channel, Technicolor, Playboy TV & DirecTV, and helped engineer several cable TV channels. Later, after 15 years of consulting, I worked for Verizon to help launch their streaming TV services and soon after I started teaching electronics and computer programming at ITT-Tech.

 

For the past 4 years I have been teaching at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts music high school as a substitute teacher.

 

I have a master's degree in information systems, and a bachelor's degree in business from the University of Phoenix, and an associate degree in electronics technology.

 

To me, working at FIRST is a dream job, and I am looking forward to working with students to help them succeed in the business of sound and show production.

Kelly Kotera

recording-arts-instructor

Rene has fully devoted himself to audio for the last decade. With experience in both live sound and studio applications, he has a proven record in all aspects of audio. Getting his start in dialog recording, he has worked with and delivered for brands like Disney, NBC Universal, Scholastic books, and Audible. At the same time, he has worked as a freelancer in the live events industry covering audio support for major corporate conferences and concerts for clients like Microsoft, House of Blues, and The City of Orlando. As an artist, he has developed music and production for radio spots and local bands throughout central florida. Bringing his passion for all things audio to the classroom, he strives to develop a modern and professional approach to recording and audio delivery.

Rene Morales

Headshot 5 1

Britt comes to F.I.R.S.T. with 20 years experience in live sound and has over 100 theatrical design credits. He is currently the Sound Designer In Residency at The Orlando Shakespeare Theater. 

In addition to theater design,Britt’s experience includes many film credits that can be found on IMDB. His work has been featured on Good Morning America and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. 

“Sharing my experience with our students is always the highlight of my day.”

britt sandusky

Headshot 11

Since graduating from ARTI in 2008, Josh has made a name for himself in the Orlando theatre community. The fast paced and ever changing world of musical theatre has kept his interest and allowed for him to expand his skill set beyond audio to include lighting and projection mapping as well as set construction and general stagecraft. Amidst it all he never lost the passion for audio and loves to challenge himself with larger and larger shows. 

JOSH SEYNA

recording-arts-instructor

Francisco’s musical journey began one summer night in Puerto Rico when he dusted off an old keyboard and began learning to play his favorite songs. After learning his first chords, he became obsessed with wanting to write, record, and produce songs such as those of his favorite artists like The Beatles, Radiohead, Coldplay, and The Strokes. This obsession led him to attend Berklee College of Music, where he studied Contemporary Writing and Production. Francisco has written and recorded with and for several artists, toured North and South America with his music, as well as scored music for documentaries. His music has been praised by publications such as Noisey, The Deli NYC, Vice Colombia, and Remezcla, among others. Francisco has been teaching students of all ages for 9+ years and has helped formulate and implement curriculums at various institutions. When it comes to teaching, Francisco’s passion is helping students find their own artistic voice through the tools they learn.

Francisco Valentin

recording-arts-instructor

Curran Wood is a live sound audio engineer who graduated from Full Sail University in 2015. He started his career in show production straight out of school by jumping into the music festival world and becoming a stage manager/production manager for the Jerry Jam festival in New Hampshire. Through this experience, he made his way to Charlotte, NC where he became a lead audio engineer and production manager for, Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. Here he got his experience in mixing FOH for musical theater and learned how to do professional sound system installations. During his time in Charlotte, he also joined the I.A.T.S.E. Local 322 and has been a part of many large-scale productions, including the 2019 N.B.A. All-Star game, multiple yellow card Broadway shows arena shows, and such. During his free time, he enjoys playing guitar and watching sports. Being from Massachusetts, he is a die-hard fan of all Boston sports teams. It has always been a dream for him to teach one day and pass along any knowledge he has to any upcoming audio engineers in the industry. He strives to set each student at F.I.R.S.T. up for success and have all the knowledge they need to know going into the industry after graduation.

Curran Wood