Past Presidents

Eric W. Johnson
Past President, 2009-2011

Eric W. Johnson

Eric began playing music professionally at the age of 16 in a local R&B band in his hometown of Winston-Salem, NC. In 1986, while attending North Carolina State University’s School of Design, Eric founded Johnsound Productions. Eric’s early work included composing, writing, and recording jingles for local and regional clients. Eric also did studio production for artists seeking recording contracts. One of his first clients was Tyka Nelson who is the sister of Grammy Award-winning artist Prince. Eric helped write and arrange Tyka’s first single, Marc Anthony’s Tune which made Billboard Magazine’s Top Forty chart during the summer of 1987.

In 1988, Eric began to move away from producing artists and began to concentrate on music for advertising as well as soundtracks for non-broadcast corporate video and film projects for clients such as IBM, Caterpillar, Golden Corral, Nortel, Burroughs Wellcome, Hardee’s, and North Carolina State University.

In January of 2003, Eric joined Trailblazer Studios to launch Blazing Music + Sound, the dedicated custom music and sound division of Trailblazer Studios. Blazing Music + Sound provides custom music, recording, mixing, and sound design for advertising agency, film, television, and video game production clients. Blazing Music + Sound currently handles audio post for TLC’s top rated shows Jon & Kate Plus 8 and 18 Kids and Counting. Other clients include advertising agencies McKinney( Travelocity, Quest, NASDAQ), McCann Ericksson (General Motors), television clients National Geographic/Nova, Fine Living Network, The Tennis Channel, and Animal Planet, and gaming companies Virtual Heroes, Red Storm Entertainment, and Codemasters.

Leslie Ann Jones
Past President, 2006-2009

Leslie Ann Jones

Leslie Ann Jones joined Skywalker Sound in February of 1997 as manager and mixer of scoring for the facility’s recording and scoring stage. She was quickly elevated to the position she currently holds as Director of Music Recording and Scoring. Her dual position at the company utilizes her skills in both managing a recording studio and as an engineer. A veteran recording and mixing engineer for over twenty-five years, Jones’ career comprises work from all genres of the music industry, as well as feature films, television, and commercials. In 2004, Jones won a Grammy Award – Best Chamber Music Recording for the Kronos Quartet’s “Berg: Lyric Suite”, and was a Grammy nominee for Best Engineered Recording-Classical for Petronel Malan’s “Bach Transcriptions”release

Leslie is current Secretary-Treasurer and past Chair of The Recording Academy’s Board of Trustees, and is a member of the Oakland Cultural Arts Commission. She also serves on the Grammy Foundation Board, and the Recording Arts Advisory Boards for UCLA Extension’s Recording Arts program and Ex’pression School of New Media.

After beginning her career at ABC Recording Studios in Los Angeles, Jones made her first move north to accept a staff position at the legendary Automatt Recording Studios in San Francisco. There, she started her film score mixing career with Apocalypse Now and recorded with a who’s who of jazz greats including Herbie Hancock, Bobby McFerrin and Angela Bofill.

Jones joined Skywalker Sound after a long and respected tenure as staff engineer at the famed Capitol Recording Studios in Hollywood. She recorded projects at Capitol with Michelle Shocked, Rosemary Clooney and Michael Feinstein as well as scores for a plethora of feature films such as Grace Of My Heart, Lost Highwayand White Men Can’t Jump. Her television credits include the series Homefront for CBS and The Grammy Awards.

The Skywalker Sound Scoring Stage was designed to be one of the industry’s premiere recording facilities. The main room easily accommodates a 125 piece orchestra, yet is adjustable to provide intimacy for a solo performer. There are four isolation booths, an artist lounge, and a newly upgraded control room that features a Neve 72 input 88R console with an 8 channel VSP post panel, and 48 remote controlled microphone preamps. Recent projects include film scores for Hellboy, Jurassic Park III, Spy Kids, and Requiem for a Dream, 5.1 mixing for Herbie Hancock, Nellie McKay, String Cheese Incident, and an N’Sync theatrical and video concert release, as well as record projects for Vanessa Carlton. Dredg, Smashmouth, Rosemary Clooney and The Count Basie Big Band, Third Eye Blind, Faith Hill, Chanticleer and Kronos Quartet.

Karen Brinton
Past President, 2005-2006

Karen Brinton

Karen Brinton brings a diverse background to the team. Her first career was as a medical assistant in 1978. In 1984, she received a degree in Interior Design from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. By age 23, Brinton had started her own design firm, specializing in medical design.

In 1996, Brinton obtained her real estate license in California, and got into real estate and business loans with ASK Investments. A meeting with a client in 1998, landed Brinton in the Pro Audio world. She became Director of Marketing and Promotion for KRK Systems. There she built and developed relationships with many of the top engineer/producers in the industry. One of them being David Hewitt.

Brinton joined Remote Recording in July of 2001, as the studio manager. In July of 2003, she acquired Remote Recording, and oversees the day-to-day operations. Brinton is a member of NARAS (currently on the education committee), and is on the board of SPARS, serving as Secretary for the 2003-2004, President Elect 2004-2005, and held the office of President 2005-2006.

Andrew Kautz
Past President, 2004-2005

Andrew Kautz

Kautz moved to Nashville from his hometown in Shelby, Michigan in 1987 to attend the Belmont University’s Music Business program. In 1988, he secured an internship position with Emerald Sound Studios, the foundation of the Emerald Entertainment Group. The self-described workaholic spent his evenings “sweeping the parking lot, mowing the grass, washing the client’s cars…whatever needed to be done.”

In 1991 he earned not only a degree in Business Administration from Belmont but also a steady paycheck as assistant studio manager at Emerald. Soon after, Emerald CEO Dale Moore tapped Kautz as his administrative assistant and they began working closely together, developing ideas for Emerald’s future. This solid relationship, fueled by a mutual trust, benefited both men as Kautz continued to climb and Moore’s company continued to grow. Kautz quickly became the General Manager of the studios and then made the giant leap to Vice President of the Entertainment Group after helping Moore launch Emerald’s immensely successful Broadcast Division.

With the 1999 acquisition of Masterfonics, Kautz secured his position as President/COO of Emerald Entertainment Group, while Emerald Sound Studios emerged as the largest recording company in the Southeast. Under Kautz’ leadership, the Music Row recording facility has grown from a one-room studio to a twelve-room, five building complex that includes Masterfonics’ 6,500 square-foot Tracking Room, three mastering suites, a post production facility, and the broadcast facilities, among the other studios. Emerald has been home to many Grammy Award winning recordings and most recently won a TEC award for the Sheryl Crow record C’mon C’mon.

In July of 2005 Kautz coordinated and oversaw the sale of Emerald Entertainment Group to Voss Developments who spun off several of the properties and renamed it Masterfonics. Kautz, along with a few partners retained one of the studio properties as well as a thriving rental company. He is looking forward to shaping and growing his new venture. Kautz served on the SPARS board as President 2004-2005 and is currently serving as Treasurer.

Jeff Greenberg
Past President, 2003-2004

Currently CEO of The Village Studios in West Los Angeles, Jeff Greenberg is a native Angeleno with music business in his blood. At age 19 Greenberg was already managing his first rock band, then, while continuing to manage the likes of The Section and Felix Pappalardi, he also began working in concert and event promotion. Starting as a gofer at Wolf and Rissmiller Concerts, he went on to produce some of the very first skateboarding events and to coordinate for Cal Jam II, (still among the biggest one day festivals in history.) At the Nederlander Organization he booked and promoted major artists for the Pantages and Greek Theatres and Pine Knob and Merriweather Post amphitheatres. He also put in stints in advertising and market research and as a talent agent for ICM, where with legendary agent Tom Ross, he worked with artists such as Aerosmith, Heart, Santana, Foreigner, James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt and Barry Manilow, among many others.

Greenberg’s current position brings all of his past experience into play. Founded in 1967 by Geordie Hormel, The Village, had, over the years, amassed a rich legacy of landmark records by notable artists including Bob Dylan, Supertramp, and The Rolling Stones. Yet, in 1994 it was facing liquidation.

Confronted with the demise of the legendary facility, the founder’s daughter approached Greenberg and asked him to help save the complex. He agreed to take on the challenge and, during an era that has seen many great studios close, has bucked the trend to engineer a highly successful turnaround.

Under Greenberg’s direction The Village underwent both cosmetic and technological renovations, resulting in major upgrades such as the installation of one of the world’s first Neve 88R consoles into Studio D, and Fibre channel SAN network-linked Pro Tools HD systems into every room. All the while, the utmost care was taken to ensure that an artist-friendly philosophy remained paramount.

Today, The Village is one of the world’s top studios with musical clients that include the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jet, Beck, Korn, Foo Fighters, No Doubt, Bon Jovi, Usher and Steely Dan, to name just a few.

Recognizing the need for business diversity, Greenberg also implemented a plan to expand The Village’s client base into sound for picture. As a result, the facility is also now renowned for film scores such as The Shawshank Redemption, Moulin Rouge, Master and Commander, Cold Mountain, The Mighty Wind and HBO’s Six Feet Under, as well as for award-winning videos and ommercials. Greenberg’s vision for The Village and his dedication to excellence have earned him high praise from those who count the most: the musicians who work there. Guitarist Jeff “Skunk” Baxter puts it best, calling The Village, “an historic studio that has adapted to the demands of modern musical technology without losing its charm and musical heart.”

Dave Amlen
Past President, 2002-2003

Dave Amlen

Dave Amlen is President and CEO of Sound On Sound Recording in New York City. He started Sound On Sound in 1987 which he built out from a home studio initially designed to service his own musical needs. Today, the facility has five fully equipped rooms with state-of-the-art mixing and tracking equipment and a large tracking room. Sound On Sound is also the parent company of SOS Management, an engineer/producer management company and SOS Mastering, an analog/digital mastering service. Amlen is currently President of the Society of Professional Audio Recording Services (SPARS) where he has also served as treasurer. He has a bachelors degree in math and music from Oberlin College and currently resides in New Jersey with his wife, Deb and two children Carly and Devin.

Fred Guarino
Past President, 2001-2002

Fred Guarino

Fred Guarino founded Tiki Recording Studios in 1978 in Glen Cove, New York.

Operating in a secondary market, Tiki is located on Long Island, just outside of New York City. For over 21 years Tiki has “specialized” in diversification. Fred’s dedication to “surviving in the suburbs” has taught him to blaze his own path and develop his own special skills and management style, and not to put all his eggs in one basket. He caters to various niche markets including: catalog music companies, independent and specialty labels, as well as corporate sales and training programs.

Fred and his wife Jan run the two-studio facility out of their own commercially zoned, private building along with their sister company Guarino Graphics. Music Clients have included Kenny Rogers, Brian Setzer, Debbie Gibson, Peter Allen, James Earle Jones, Al Jarreau, Odetta, Dr. John, Big Jack Johnson, Freddie Scott, Rod Morgenstein, Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, Debbie Reynolds, among others.

Examples of some of the Corporate clients served over the years are AT&T, General Electric, Canon, Olympus, NEC, Avis, Pfizer, Squibb, Merke, Upjohn, Ceba, Otis Elevator, Sperry, Symbol Technologies, Tiffen Lens, Tura Eyewear, Acclaim Entertainment, Sierra/Synergistic Software, Borden, Prentice Hall, Doubleday, TDK, U.S. EPA, Yoplait, American & National Public Radio.

Fred is also a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences® (NARAS®).

Michael Tarsia
Past President, 1999-2001

Michael Tarsia

Michael Tarsia’s studio experience began at the age of four when he watched his father Joe engineer at a small neighborhood studio and then at Philadelphia’s Cameo Parkway Records. By the time his father was building his own studio Michael was by his side stripping wires, assembling components and running for coffee. It wasn’t long after that Michael was assisting on sessions for the likes of Thom Bell, Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. By the early 80’s he was sitting behind the console engineering his own sessions. Michael’s engineering career had begun in earnest.

Working with a wide variety of talented clients and artists from P.P. Arnold to the Yellow Jackets, Michael quickly earned a number of gold and platinum record awards. Clients gave him the nickname Mike “The Mix” Tarsia and in 1990 he received his first Grammy® recognition for his work on Patti Labelle’s Grammy® winning album, Burnin’. His achievements as a music mixer soon led him to motion pictures working on the soundtracks of Beverly Hills Cops, Coming To America and Booty Call, among others.

In 1990, Michael became Sigma’s President. Today while continuing to work in the studio, he also manages Sigma’s day to day activities. Active in the music community, he helped to organize and was elected to serve on the first Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Branch of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences® (NARAS®).

Paul Christensen
Past President, 1997-1999

Paul A. Christensen is President and CEO of Omega Productions, Dallas, Texas, a company founded in 1973, specializing in live television, film and audio recordings of concert events. Omega also provides live event producer services to clients in the music and entertainment industry.

The company was originally founded to supply live music recording services to the record and television industries, a service that continues to this day. From 1981 to 1991, Omega maintained a studio facility in Dallas, co-located with a video post production house. In addition to studio recording, the facility was one of the pioneers of audio for television and film.

That 10 year experience enabled Christensen to integrate his knowledge of music recording and concert experience with film and video technologies. Today the company provides a producer philosophy that integrates all of these disciplines, specializing in live concert DVD and HD shoots for music clients.

During the company’s 36 year history, Christensen and his staff have worked with over 300 of the best known personalities in the business: comedy stars such as Bob Hope, Steve Allen and Jack Lemmon, Broadway legends like Ben Vereen, Lena Horne and Chita Rivera, film artists Leslie Ann Warren, Mack Davis and Dennis Quaid, and music legends like Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash.

Their work has crossed all lines of music from the jazz of Ramsey Lewis, Dizzy Gillespie and Al Jarreau, the rock of U2, Moody Blues and Neil Young, the country of Reba McEntire, Clint Black and Garth Brooks, the blues of B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Irma Thomas, the R&B and funk sounds of The Neville Brothers, Rockin’ Doopsie and Johnny Taylor, and the gospel sounds of Amy Grant, Rev. James Cleveland and the Fred Hammond.

During that time, Omega projects have won numerous awards including two Emmy® Awards, one Grammy® Award, 21 Grammy® Nominations, six RIAA Platinum Record Awards, 12 RIAA Gold Record Awards, two RIAA Platinum Video Awards, eight RIAA Gold Video Awards, 14 Dove Awards, two Ampex Golden Reel Awards, five 3M Horizon Awards, three Telly Awards, two Soul Train Awards, one US Film Festival Award, as well as numerous Stellar Awards and Nominations.

In addition to SPARS, Christensen has served as past 1st Vice President and founding member of the Texas Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences® (NARAS®) and Treasurer of the Texas Association of Film and Tape Professionals (TAF/TP).

Christensen is a member of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS®), International Webcasters Association® (IWA®), the Producer and Engineer’s Wing of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and The Dallas Producers Association (DPA).

Lee Murphy
Past President, 1997-1998

Lee Murphy
  • Brigg's Bakery
  • 122 W. 88th St.
  • New York, NY 10024
  • Tel: (212) 787-4242
  • Fax: (212) 787-8888

Lee Murphy says, “If I’d grown up anywhere else, I’d have run away to join the circus.”

But he points out that as a native New Yorker, it was simpler running away to become a disc jockey…and later, a respected newscaster at Westinghouse Broadcasting.

Along the way, Lee never lost his love of the recording and production process. In the 1980’s he gave up the mic for the other side of the glass, directing and producing a variety of audio and video projects. At the same time, he became an active SPARS member and was eventually elected to the organization’s Board of Directors.

In 1993, Murphy was awarded an EMMY for his mixing of the PBS series, “Reading Rainbow”, at his Brigg’s Bakery facility in Manhattan. Lee is also a past TEC Creative Award nominee in the category of Audio Post-Production Engineer. In addition, he also served as editor of the SPARS newsletter, DataTrack.

Murphy resides in New York City with his wife and business partner, Jaci Canning-Murphy.

Tom Kobayashi
Past President, 1996-1997

Tom Kobayashi
  • Entertainment Digital Network (EDNet)
  • One Union Street
  • San Francisco, CA 94111
  • Tel: (415) 274-8800
  • Fax: (415) 274-8801

Tom Kobayashi is currently Chairman and CEO of San Francisco based EDnet, Inc., a pioneer in digital audio signal transmission technology. Mr. Kobayashi’s professional experience spans over thirty years in the motion picture and television industry. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a BS Degree.

Prior to EDnet, he was Vice President and General Manager of Skywalker Sound, the post production division of LucasArts/Lucasfilm Ltd. Tom joined Lucasfilm Ltd. in January of

1986, after 21 years with Glen Glenn Sound, a major sound recording studio in Hollywood. Tom began with Glen Glenn in 1964 as Vice President of Finance, later serving as Vice President of Business Affairs and Executive Vice President, and in 1983 was appointed President and Chief Operating Officer. During his tenure at Skywalker Sound, the sending of digital audio over fiber optic telephone lines was developed and the idea for an entertainment digital network was formulated.

In 1993, with George Lucas’s blessings, Tom utilized the technology first developed at Skywalker to found a new company, Entertainment Digital Network (EDnet, Inc).

Tom is a member of the Audio Engineering Society (AES), the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), the Society of Professional Audio Recording Services (SPARS), of which he has been a member of the Board of Governors for over ten years, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

John Fry
Past President, 1995-1996

John Fry

John Fry is founder of Memphis-based Ardent Studios which celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2001. Since 1966 Ardent has produced a steady stream of hits for clients such as Sam & Dave, Leon Russell, Led Zeppelin, The Staple Singers, ZZ Top, REM, Jimmie & Stevie Ray Vaughan, Gin Blossoms, and 3 Doors Down. Ardent occupied its present location in 1971, and today’s facilities include three fully equipped studios and a mastering suite

The firm also includes Ardent Records, a contemporary Christian music label distributed by EMI Christian Music Group featuring such artists as Skillet, Smalltown Poets, Big Tent Revival, Brother’s Keeper, All Together Separate, Steve Wiggins, and Justifide.

Ardent has been a SPARS member since 1982 and Fry served as SPARS president in 1995-96 and Board Chairman in 1996-97. In addition he has served as Chairman of the Tennessee Film, Entertainment, and Music Commission, Chairman of the Memphis Film and Music Commission, President and National Trustee of the NARAS Memphis Chapter, and Chairman of the University of Memphis Music Industry Advisory Board.

Steve Lawson
Past President, 1994-1995

Steve Lawson

Steve Lawson was previously President of Bad Animals/Seattle, a world-class sound design and music recording facility located in Seattle, Washington. Today, Steve is a consultant; a futurist researching emerging technologies and societal trends to help companies large and small adapt to the new reality that there is no such thing as “business as usual”.

His tenure as an entrepreneur began in 1979 when he decided he’d rather be his own boss than report to one and subsequently left KING Broadcasting (NBC’s Seattle affiliate), where he had worked for 5 years, to open his own audio post production facility Lawson Productions. Before joining KING Broadcasting, Lawson worked at several Seattle radio stations as an on-air personality.

Over the course of ten years, Steve Lawson transformed his one studio mom-n-pop shop into five studios providing high-end production and music recording. He captured the Northwest market and said to himself there must be more… and there was. In 1991, Lawson joined forces with Ann and Nancy Wilson (of the rock group Heart) to construct the addition of a world-class live recording room Studio X. Upon completion of Studio X, Lawson Productions officially changed names to Bad Animals/Seattle (getting the name from Heart’s 1987 release Bad Animals) and within six months of that year Bad Animals had exploded onto the national music scene. Studio X continued to attract mega projects including REM’s “Automatic for the People,” Soundgarden’s “Superunknown” and multiple releases by Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains.

In addition to music, Bad Animals/Seattle also established a national reputation in sound design and original music composition, with the Bad Animals/Seattle Sound Design team winning multiple National Emmy Awards for Sound Design on the Disney program Bill Nye The Science Guy,

Steve Lawson resides outside Seattle with his wife Debbie. His two children are married and also remain in the Seattle area. A Seattle native and 1975 graduate of the University of Washington, he is involved with the community both professionally and personally. He conceived and produced 11 benefit CDs for Children’s Hospitals in the Pacific Northwest. The CDs have raised over $750,000 for the hospitals. He is often heard on local and national commercial spots providing voice-over from his ISDN connected home studio.

He has served previously as Chairman of SPARS. He has written many colorful articles on the art and science of sound design and recording and he is often requested to serve as a panelist and guest speaker for many industry organizations including the American Marketing Association, the International Interactive Communications Society, and most western state Advertising Associations. He likes to tell a good joke but more often, a bad one.

Howard Schwartz
Past President, 1993-1994

Howard Schwartz

Howard Schwartz started his career in the Music and Recording business at age nine with playing the trumpet. He switched to the bassoon at eleven and by the age of thirteen, he was ranked among the best players in the country. Not only dis he win numerous national contests, playing with both amateur and professional orchestras while still in high school, but he won a full scholarship to the Eastman School of Music. After his first year, he entered the prelaw program at the University of Buffalo, with a major in entertainment. Later in 1993, Howard received a Bachelor of Music degree from Eastman and has served the college as a n Ad Hoc Instructor.

To cover college costs, Schwartz became a disc jockey at a local radio station, a career move that stood him in good stead after he was drafted. For the next three years, he kept busy spinning discs for the Armed Forces Radio in Berlin, Frankfort and Munich.

On discharge, he settled in Hollywood, CA and became a recording engineer, working for the legendary Mel Blanc (the voice of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck), writing, producing and recording comedy radio commercials. He then went to work for Wally Heider at Heider Filmways Studio in Los Angeles where he was the engineer on numerous gold and platinum record albums for artists including Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Jefferson Airplane, The Fifth Dimension; Count Basie, Stan Kenton, James Taylor, Wayne Newton, Elvis Presley, Perry Como, Barbra Streisand, Leon Russell and Elton John, among others.

In 1971, Schwartz moved to Toronto, Canada to the production department of CHUM Radio and the CHUM Group of stations. In 1972 he was brought to New York as an engineer at National Recording Studios and later moved to 12 East Recording. In 1975 he asked for a raise and was turned down, which crystallized a decision to open his own company, Howard Schwartz Recording, Inc., as one studio, one engineer (himself) and a receptionist. A year later, he was turning down enough work to warrant the addition of a second studio and a second engineer.

Today Howard Schwartz Recording has 45 employees and is the only full service recording studio in New York housed under one roof. With nine audio-for-video studios, the facility is equipped with SoundNet, five SSL ScreenSound Digital Work Stations, two Audiofiles, a Synclavier Post-Pro, an Avid, Fiber Optics including T-l, ISDN, 3D2, an EdNet, Time Code DAT Editing System, DA 88 music mixing and sweetening, D-2, Beta SP, l” VTRs, Magna Tech Dubbers, 48 channel digital audio, quality high speed and real time dubbing, cassette duplicatign, computerized traffic king of tapes, satellite uplink, and downlink, all sound effects libraries, and a hugh stock music library.

Howard Schwartz was a founding member of SPARS. He was also on the Board of Directors for the International Teleproduction Society (ITS). He serves as the President and CEO of Howard Schwartz Recording, Inc.

Dwight Cook
Past President, 1992-1993

Dwight Cook

Dwight Cook is President of Houston, Texas based, Sound Works.

At the age of six Dwight was an avid shortwave radio listener with a large collection of QSL cards. Dwight’s on-air radio career started when he was ten, with a home built radio station in his home, broadcasting throughout his neighborhood in his home town of Sarasota. Florida.

While in the tenth grade he landed a position at WKXY-Sarasota, a top-40 station. The following year he landed the afternoon drive slot at a competing rock station. From there his radio career took him to the Tampa, Miami, Chicago and Houston markets. Dwight’s real love was in the area of Production. He served as Production Director at all but the first stations in his career. Dwight also continued his radio career while going to school.

In 1977, Dwight and his wife Karen founded Sound Works. Sound Works-Houston provides professional audio services for the TV, radio, feature films and advertising industries, as well as the legal profession. Sound Works pioneered the digital transmission of audio from Houston to other facilities worldwide.

Dwight also designed and implemented accounting systems for companies with vertical applications and is a consultant to advertising agencies and the legal profession. Sound Works provides legal services, and Dwight serves as an expert witness. He also is the announcer for Ed Young’s Winning Walk TV program, a worldwide TV ministry and the host of a weekly radio program on KSBJ radio.

Dwight’s interests are his family, church, computer-programming, computer aided design, the Internet and contemporary Christian music.

Dwight welcomes your questions about SPARS, the audio industry, or the internet. Email your questions to:

Richard Trump
Past President, 1991-1992

Pete Caldwell
Past President, 1990-1991

Pete Caldwell
  • Doppler Studios
  • 1922 Piedmont Circle N.E.
  • Atlanta, GA 30324
  • Tel: (404) 873-6941
  • Fax: (404) 872-2160

David Porter
Past President, 1989-1990

CEO/Founder Annex Digital (Music Annex) 1973-2003

Annex Digital provided professional audio services to the Advertising, Television, Film, Electronic Game, Telephony, and Toy industries. Clients included BBD&O, Foote, Cone & Belding, Young and Rubicam, Electronic Arts, Sega, Sony, Lucent, Chevron, Clorox, Disney, Paramount, Warner Brothers, ABC Sports, ESPN, PBS, Apple Computer, Hewlet-Packard, Intel, Microsoft, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Mattel, Hasbro, Fisher Price, and many others.

Responsible for marketing a wide range of professional services including audio for video post-production, large scale cassette/CD replication, language localization, IVR voice prompt recording/programming, and the programming and development of electronic toys and games. Annex Digital operated from three locations in the San Francisco Bay area and employed over 90 engineers and support staff.

The replication division was sold to Disc Makers (Philadelphia) in 1995 and the balance of the company to the employees of Annex Digital in 2003. David joined Pacific Interpreters in April of 2003. Became President of Pacific Interpreters in May 2007.

Bruce Merley
Past President, 1988-1989

Bruce Merley
  • 79 Park Place
  • Sea Cliff, NY 11579
  • Tel: (516) 676-7303
  • Fax: (516) 236-8801

Bruce Merley recently served as the General Manager of Howard Schwartz Recording, Inc., New York and is now head of his own consulting business in upstate New York. For the past decade Merley has been a leaderin the audio and video industries, following an equally accomplishedcareer in music, performing and the visual arts.

He has been Chairman of the Board and President of (SPARS). From 1982 until 1991 Merley served as President and General manager of Clinton Recording Studios, in New York City. He left the facility business in 1991 and launched Bryte Ideas, a consulting firm for the professional audio and video industries, where he developed sales and marketing skills programs for both facilities and manufacturers. In the summer of 1992 he joined Music Annex, the San Francisco based audio post-production facility, where as General Manager, he oversaw the management reorganization. Earlier in his career Merley was Vice President of KMC Records Corp, a small custom products record company.

Before any of these commercial ventures, he built an equally impressive track record in the academic arena where as served as Assistant to the Director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Curator of the Department of Public Programs for the same organization, Concert Manager for the Yale University School of Music and Concert Manager of Yale’s Summer School of Music and Art. Currently an honorarium faculty member of the University of Colorado at Denver, Merley has been a guest lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley, SUNY at Binghamton, NY and New York University.

A former flutist and conductor, he as been active in serious music organizations though out his career. Merley is a member of the American Symphony Orchestra League, and serves on the advisory board of the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra.

Guy Costa
Past President, 1987-1988

Guy Costa
  • Quadim Corporation
  • 5356 Sterling Center Drive
  • Westlake Village, CA 91361
  • Tel: (818) 706-8843
  • Fax: (818) 706-8426

Nick Colleran
Past President, 1986-1987

Nick Colleran

Len Pearlman
Past President, 1985-1986 (Deceased)

Bob Lifton
Past President, 1984-1985 (Deceased)

Jerry Barnes
Past President, 1983-1984

Jerry Barnes
  • Resmiranda Records
  • 179 West State St.
  • Windsor, VT 05089
  • Tel: (802) 674-5886
  • Fax: (802) 674-5886

Mack Emerman
Past President, 1982-1983

Chris Stone
Past President, 1981-1982

Chris Stone

Christopher Stone currently serves as the Founder, President and CEO of World Studio Group, an international association of world class studios.

Stone is the co-founder of Record Plant recording studios, and the founder of Livingstone Audio, Audio Intervisual Design, and Filmsonix, among others. In addition to his current duties with World Studio Group, he is a member of the board of directors of various companies, a pro-audio journalist for Audio Media and Mix Magazine and does business consulting with recording services companies and pro-audio manufacturers on a world wide basis.

Murray Allen
Past President, 1980-1981 (Deceased)

Murray Allen

I began performing as a professional musician at a very early age. Some of the more famous bands with whom I worked were Glenn Miller (Tex Beneke), Sauter Finnegan, Bobby Sherwood and Skitch Henderson. I backed up artists such as Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Frankie Laine. During this period I had my own orchestra at the Hilton Hotel in Chicago for two years.

Some of the more famous jazz musicians with whom I had the privilege of performing include names such as Bill Evans and Mel Lewis.

As a recording studio musician, I performed on sessions with Stevie Wonder, Andy Williams, The Chicago Symphony Strings, The Platters plus many more. I then decided to became a recording engineer. I engineered sessions for Ramsey Lewis, Sammy Davis Jr., Steve Allen, Duke Ellington and Stan Kenton among others.

In the early seventies I became President of Universal Recording, one of the largest studios in the United States. Duke Ellington in his biography calls Universal his favorite studio. While at the helm of Universal it was nominated three times for the TEC award. Universal won several Clio’s and also had numerous nominations for Emmy’s & Grammy’s. In the seventeen years that I ran Universal it had an average increase in profits of 17% per year. Universal also ran a cassette manufacturing plant duplicating for CBS Records and Motown. During this period Universal employed over 400 people.

Universal was responsible for recording Metallica, Police, Prince, Aerosmith, “Back Draft” (which won an Oscar for sound), “Top Gun”, and “The Blues Brothers Film” among hundreds of other artists and feature films. In addition, Universal and I were instrumental in developing many of the systems used today in modern postproduction. Universal was the first studio in the U.S to use digital technology and Digital Workstations in the creation of television programming and commercials. Universal was one of the first studios to offer video sweetening in 1971, some years before time code. After selling Universal, I joined Electronic Arts in 1993, and served as the Director of Audio Production.

In 1994 I was promoted to be Director of the Video Operation in addition to my audio duties. I have since taken over the directorship of the Customer Support Department, the EARS Testing Department, QA, Archive as well as being in charge of the localization for all Redwood Shores including EAD products. During 1999 I was promoted to Vice President.

In addition to the films mentioned above, some of the more than 250 film and TV sound tracks attributed to Universal while I was at its helm were, “Jack & Mike”, “Hoosiers”, “Flatliners”, “Say Anything”, “Crime Story”, “Miss Missouri”, “Witches of Eastwick”, “Brighton Beach Memoirs”, “Major League”, “Miami Vice”, “The Kennedys of Massachusetts”, “Next of Kin”, “Hallmark Hall of Fame”, “Steel Magnolias”, “The Equalizer”, “The Package”, “The Operation”, “The Mary Thomas Story”, “Sea of Love”, “Women of Brewster Place”, “Against The Mob”, “Thanksgiving Day”, “Home Alone”, “Dillenger” and “Midnight Run”.

In addition, I designed and built the audio studio used by Oprah Winfrey in the broadcast of her daily syndicated show. I also serve as the Sound Designer on the Recording Academy’s Annual “Grammy Award’s Show” for the last twenty years.

I am an active member of the Audio Engineering Society. I was Chairman of the Technical Education Committee for the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences and presently serves on their Archive and Preservation committee. I am the former Chairman of the Society of Professional Audio Services. I have lectured at De Paul University, Vanderbilt, New York City University, University of Colorado, Dartmouth and the University of California. I have had numerous technical articles published in trade magazines. I have also acted as a consultant to Ernst & Young relative to mergers and acquisitions for their show business clients.

Joe Tarsia
Past President, 1979-1980

Joe Tarsia

Joe Tarsia started his recording career in 1958 when he worked nights building and maintaining local recording studios. In 1961 Joe left the security of Philco’s Research Department to take a full time job with Cameo Parkway Records. Seizing the opportunity to work with artists like Bobby Rydell, Chubby Checker, the Dovells and the Orlons, Joe quickly ascended to the position of Cameo’s Chief Engineer.

In 1968 he moved out on his own and established Sigma Sound Studios. It wasn’t long before Sigma became the home of burgeoning producers Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff, and Thom Bell, giving birth to what became known as The Sound of Philadelphia.

Success bred success, as Sigma won Gold and Platinum awards for recordings by Jerry butler, The Intruders, Harold Melvin the Blue Notes, the Ojays, Teddy Prendergrass, The Stylistics, The Delfonics”, Lou Rawls and the Jacksons. Artists and Producers from all over streamed to Joe’s studio to capture some of the Sigma magic. Among the many were Stevie Wonder, B.B. King, Grace Jones, Gladys Knight and the Pips, David Bowie, Robert Palmer, and The Four Tops.

In 1976 Joe went to the Big Apple, opening three studios in the core of Manhattan’s music district. Sigma New York was an instant hit, attracting the likes of Whitney Houston, Madonna, Steely Dan, The Village People, Talking Heads, Paul Simon, Ashford and Simpson, and Billy Joel.

Joe has won many industry awards for his engineering accomplishments, including over 150 Gold and Platinum records. Recently his Philadelphia studio was sighted as a national rock and roll landmark.

Joe has served on the Board of the Variety Club and the Institution of Audio Research. He is a Founder and Chairman Emeritus of the Society of Professional Audio Recording Services (SPARS); Past Chairman of the Philadelphia Music Alliance; and National Trustee of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS).

Shirley P. Kaye
Past President, -

Shirley Kaye
  • Executive Director, Emeritus
  • 79 Sausalito Drive
  • Boynton Beach, FL 33436
  • Tel: 5617337763

As far as most industry folks are concerned, Shirley Kaye was the only Executive Director SPARS ever had. Yes there were others, but for more than 20 years, the face of SPARS was Shirley Kaye.

Before assuming the reins of SPARS, Shirley and her husband Jesse, owned a studio in south Florida called Coconuts Recording, an experience which led them to SPARS and a 20+ year career in the recording industry. Because of Shirley’s tireless efforts, SPARS prospered and grew into a powerhouse association of recording studios, engineers and producers. Shirley turned over the management of SPARS in 2003 to spend more time with her husband and family.

The past and present members of SPARS, as well as the industry in general, will be forever indebted to Shirley for her contributions to the recording industry and the craft of audio and music production. Our best wishes go out to Shirley and her family. Thank you for the memories and great times.