If you’ve ever dreamed of being a DJ, sound engineer, system tech or other professional in the audio field, get thee to SoundGirls.org to sign up for a series of classes starting in October at Ventura Theater. There are still spots open for Fundamentals of Live Sound, which will focus on the ins and outs of live music production, such as sound checks, mixing, wiring and more. It’s an excellent stepping stone toward a career in broadcasting, recording and beyond. “Every live event has someone in charge of sound,” says Karrie Keyes, co-founder and executive director of SoundGirls.org.
A music industry veteran, Keyes has been Pearl Jam’s monitor engineer for 25 years, and also worked with Neil Young, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Sonic Youth. She started SoundGirls.org in 2013 with Michelle Sabolchick Pettinato (front-of-house engineer for Gwen Stefani, Jewel and Ke$ha) to create a supportive community for women in audio and music production through networking, education and career development. “Women only make up 5 percent of audio professionals,” Keyes notes. “The entire music industry is male-dominated. There is a need to bring more diversity to the industry as a whole, and women working in audio need a safe space to learn, network, [find] support and not just feel they are alone.”
Having said that, these programs are open to anyone age 16 and older. As stated on the website, “All genders and non-conforming genders welcome.” Don’t let cost be a deterrent: Financial aid is available.
Fundamentals of Live Sound consists of six classes offered every other Sunday through Dec. 17, starting with the basics and building to more-involved scenarios. The curriculum was developed by Fedj Sylvanus, who has worked with acts such as Fishbone, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Aretha Franklin. “It is geared for beginners,” Keyes explains, “but anyone that is pursuing a career in live sound will benefit, even people that are currently working in the industry but not fully established.”
Fundamentals of Live Sound starts Oct. 1 at Ventura Theater, 26 S. Chestnut St., Ventura. To register, or learn more about this and other programs, visit www.soundgirls.org.