CHRIS JAY

INSTRUCTOR – RECORDING ARTS & SHOW PRODUCTION

Contact Email:

chris.jay@first.edu

Contact Phone:

407 316-8310 ext 1501

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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.

DAVID POIRIER

INSTRUCTOR – RECORDING ARTS & SHOW PRODUCTION

Contact Email:

david.poirier@first.edu

Contact Phone:

407 316-8310 ext 1501

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With a degree in electronics and a passion for live music, David Poirier began his career in audio mixing bands in small venues and nightclubs. In 2009, after a few national and international tours, David ran away with the circus joining Cirque Du Soleil’s production “La Nouba.” This is where his passion for large scale theatrical productions grew, and after the show closed in 2017, David was offered the audio supervisor position at Blue Man Group in Orlando. After a few years with Blue Man Group, David returned to Cirque Du Soleil to work as lead audio engineer on their new collaboration with Disney entitled, “Drawn to Life.” When he’s not working with Cirque or Blue Man Group, David teaches Recording Arts and Show Production at F.I.R.S.T. Institute and operates a sound design and integration company out of Central Florida. Some of his more notable clients include Kennedy Space Center and Boeing.

DREW DODGE

INSTRUCTOR – RECORDING ARTS & SHOW PRODUCTION

Contact Email:

drew.dodge@first.edu

Contact Phone:

407 316-8310 ext 1501

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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.

 

FREDDY TAVARES

INSTRUCTOR – RECORDING ARTS & SHOW PRODUCTION

Contact Email:

freddy.tavares@first.edu

Contact Phone:

407 316-8310 ext 1501

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At the age of 8, Freddy started learning how to play the saxophone and later on, the piano. By age 12, he knew he wanted to work behind the scenes making it all happen. Freddy’s career started in New York in the mid 90s in live sound and live TV.  For the last 20 years, he has done live audio for Good Morning America, The Daily Buzz, Court TV, TNA Wrestling, The Golf Channel, etc. Currently, he is still freelancing as a live sound engineer and teaching Recording Arts and Show Production at F.I.R.S.T. Institute. 

 

GRAYSON FISHER

INSTRUCTOR – RECORDING ARTS & SHOW PRODUCTION

Contact Email:

grayson.fisher@first.edu

Contact Phone:

407 316-8310 ext 1501

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Grayson’s audio engineering career began when he enrolled at F.I.R.S.T. Institute in July of 2013. During his time at F.I.R.S.T., he helped launch the F.I.R.S.T. Access program, became a Stagehand at Venue 578, and interned at several recording studios in the Orlando area. Following graduation, Grayson spent his first few years working primarily in live sound, for acts of all genres, including Kendrick Lamar, Alicia Keys, Keith Urban, Travis Scott, and Earth, Wind & Fire. After a few years of focusing on live sound, Grayson decided to return to what he loves most – working in the studio. He now focuses primarily on working as a recording and mixing engineer, and has worked with MTV, VH1, Island Records and Roc Nation, amongst others. As a former student of F.I.R.S.T. Institute, Grayson prides himself in his ability to relate to students and assist them in reaching their goals in audio engineering.

JOHN LAROSA

PROGRAM DIRECTOR – RECORDING ARTS & SHOW PRODUCTION

Contact Email:

johnlarosa@first.edu

Contact Phone:

407 316-8310 ext 1501

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John LaRosa has worked as an audio engineer since 1999. His career spans from studio work where he has worked with many artists in multiple genres, as well as doing live sound at Hard Rock Live Orlando and other venues around the Central Florida area. He also works as a boom operator, sound designer, and voiceover editor for short films, testimonials, and documentaries. John has over 10 years of experience in education as an instructor and program director. He currently is the program director for the Recording Arts and Show Production program. The part about working in education that is most appealing to John is how he can have a positive impact on a student’s life by helping them understand what path is best for their career.  He sees every student as a different opportunity to motivate and inspire them to turn their passion into a career.

JOSH SEYNA

INSTRUCTOR – RECORDING ARTS & SHOW PRODUCTION

Contact Email:

josh.seyna@first.edu

Contact Phone:

407 316-8310 ext 1501

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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. 

 

MICHAEL BELANCOURT

INSTRUCTOR – RECORDING ARTS & SHOW PRODUCTION

Contact Email:

michael.belancourt@first.edu

Contact Phone:

407 316-8310 ext 1501

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Michael’s career began with a love for music. At the age of 3 he began taking violin and piano lessons then continued to play in school bands and community orchestras through his school years. After joining the school band in high school he was introduced to the world of audio engineering when his friends started recording at home. He eventually made the decision to go to school and after graduating Full Sail in 2011began interning with various studios including an internship at Disney with TyFy studios. After his time at Disney he began an internship at Plush Recording Studios and worked his way up to a staff engineer position. Since then he’s worked with a variety of artists in many genres including Moneybagg Yo, Yo Gotti, Prince Royce, Natalie La Rose, and many others. 

 

MICHAEL COCHRAN

INSTRUCTOR – RECORDING ARTS & SHOW PRODUCTION

Contact Email:

michael.cochran@first.edu

Contact Phone:

407 316-8310 ext 1501

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Michael Cochran began his journey through the world of music as a toddler in Indiana, banging on a two-octave organ. His career started off with his bachelor’s degree in music composition from the University of Florida, which led his studies to Europe where he continued his music education at the Conservatory de Musica in Rome. Michael has studied and worked alongside amazing composers and orchestrators, which solidly broadened his knowledge of composing musical scores for film and television as well as live show productions. After scoring and conducting for various orchestras, he naturally launched his career as a Producer and Musical Director for live stage shows and music artists. In the studio where he now spends most of his time, Michael works closely with his artists’ individuality while producing their tracks, performance, vocal style and sound – being ahead of the curve on the pulse of today’s music. Michael has worked with Beyonce, Miley Cyrus, Janet Jackson, Alicia Keys, Hong Kong Disney, Disney Cruise Lines, Euro Disney, Disney on Ice, and many more. In 2016, Michael garnered a nod on the official Grammy ballot in the Record of the Year category for the song, “Without You” with his artist, Chaz Robinson. Michael is currently on the Producer’s Panel for The Florida Music Festival, and is judging and teaching master classes in music production around the world.

 

RENE MORALES

INSTRUCTOR – RECORDING ARTS & SHOW PRODUCTION

Contact Email:

rene.morales@first.edu

Contact Phone:

407 316-8310 ext 1501

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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.

RHAELEE GRONHOLZ

INSTRUCTOR – RECORDING ARTS & SHOW PRODUCTION

Contact Email:

rhaelee.gronholz@first.edu

Contact Phone:

407 316-8310 ext 1501

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Rhaelee’s audio experience spans from multiple aspects of the music industry. She received two audio engineering degrees at IPR College of Creative Arts in Minneapolis. Since then she’s worked with the likes of Prince, KT Tunstall, Andrew McMahon, Quinn, and many more. She worked as a lead engineer for Creation Studios alongside well known hit makers like Paul Peterson, John Fields, and Steve Wiese. As her career took shape, she started her own business called the Jill of All Trades. This allows her to set up her own hydraulic staging and run sound for festivals of any kind. She’s done many discussion panels on women in audio too, including an NPR bit called Audio Queens. She not only makes audio happen in the studio or on stage, but also as a singer songwriter with her own original music.

 

STEVEN RODRIGUEZ

INSTRUCTOR – RECORDING ARTS & SHOW PRODUCTION

Contact Email:

steven.rodriguez@first.edu

Contact Phone:

407 316-8310 ext 1501

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Steven was born and raised in Orlando, Florida. He graduated from Valencia College with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering Audio and Electro-Acoustical Systems. Steven has been working in the audio visual field for 15 years and he has worked on countless live productions and a few albums over the years. He has had the opportunity to work on shows for The Beach Boys, Michael Bolton, The Charlie Daniels Band, Paul Anka, Kenny G, and so many more. Steven spent his year in 2016 touring as the Production Manager with a musical, Assisted Living: The Musical. For fun Steven spends his time playing and listening to music as well as building and designing his own custom audio equipment. Steven has been playing Piano since the 7th grade and also plays guitar bass and drums. Steven has always had a passion for music and loves to share his passion with the world.