SPARS is hosting an event at the Central Region AES Student Summit (CRASS) that provides one-on-one mentoring sessions using Skype. The remote mentoring sessions will take place on Saturday, March 23 and Sunday, March 24 from 12 pm to 2pm Central Time on both days. Various SPARS members throughout the country will make themselves available as mentors to provide career advice and answer any questions regarding the music & recording industry.
Here are some guidelines for students who are thinking of participating in the sessions.
Below are bios of some of the mentors who will be available for the sessions.
Mike Rivera (Discography)
Mike has been in the production industry for over 15 years, and has worked with an impressive list of clients including television networks, recording artists, record companies, publishing companies and corporate clients worldwide. He started his professional career with WLRN (PBS) in Miami, working on remote sports broadcasts and original education programming for WLRN’s local market as well as nationally syndicated shows. He then went on to work for the Miami Broadcast Center, contributing to shows by the Discovery Channel and Univision. After graduating from Full Sail in 1999, he began an internship at Crescent Moon Studios in Miami. During that time he worked alongside some of the industry’s most famed producers, from Phil Ramone to Emilio Estefan, contributing to major record releases, studio feature films, radio and television commercials and music videos, eventually becoming one of Miami’s most sought after engineers.
Mike is credited for Grammy winning albums by Gloria Estefan, Shakira, Nestor Torres, and Johnny Ventura and has engineered and produced live events for MTV, the NFL and Fortune 500 companies worldwide. In 2010 Mike founded Global Media Production, with the goal of bringing world-class audio and video production out of the studio and into the real world. In addition to his work with studio and live production, he continues to serve as a consultant, designing a multitude of projects including large scale events, location studios and permanent studios. GMP continues to grow, building an elite clientele while expanding its team of professional staff and alliances.
Chuck Zwicky is a NY based mixing engineer who has earned several gold and platinum records in his nearly 30 year career, working with artists as diverse as Prince, Jeff Beck, Reggie Watts, Dead Prez, Soul Asylum and the Jonas Brothers.
Paul Christensen (President/CEO, Omega Productions)
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).
Kirk Imamura (President, Avatar Studios)
Kirk Imamura has over 18 years experience in the consumer electronics industry working for Sony Corporation. Kirk has a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and an MBA from San Diego State University. He has engineering and management experience in equipment design, software development, large scale manufacturing operations, product development and strategic & business planning. Since leaving Sony, Kirk has spent 12 years in the music industry successfully running and guiding the operations of Avatar Studios in New York as President. During his tenure, the studio has been awarded five TEC Awards for Outstanding Creative Achievement. Kirk’s well-rounded management experience, people skills, technical background and marketing abilities are well-suited for leading a business to the next level.