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Celebrating the success of those who made it out the door...

 

Cory Carrillo
Class of 2009Palmer Jankens Picture

Cory Carrillo is the very first graduate of the UCI Sound Design Program. She has a number of notable design credits, and she is constantly in demand. In fact, she’s so in demand that she couldn’t find the time to update her bio. So, if you run into her (at the tech table for Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Laguna Playhouse, East West Players, Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble, or any number of west coast companies), you can ask her what she’s been up to. And if you do, please let us know, because she's so busy that she can't seem to return our emails. Please use the words "synergy" and "paradigm" in every communication you have with her ;).

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Palmer Jankens
Class of 2010

Palmer's journey through the UCI Sound Design program included nine fully produced designs, one of which, The Green Knight, took him all the way to Romania for the Sibiu International Theatre Festival. While at UCI he co-designed with Mike Hooker for Transversal Theatre Company, and was assistant sound designer at South Coast Repertory Theatre and Cornerstone Theatre Company. After UCI, Palmer moved to Chicago where he designed at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Writers’ Theatre, TimeLine Theatre, Paramount Theatre, and Light Opera Works, and designed regionally for Utah Shakespeare Festival and Hope Summer Repertory Theatre. Palmer served as associate sound designer for Les Miserables at the Dallas Theater Center with designer Ray Nardelli and the Broadway In Chicago production of Dee Snider’s Rock & Roll Christmas Tale with designer Nevin Steinberg. He worked as assistant sound designer at Goodman Theater, Lookingglass Theater, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and Drury Lane Theater. As an engineer, he has mixed for Blue Man Group Chicago, Million Dollar Quartet (Apollo Theatre Chicago), Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Black Ensemble Theater, and the Royal George Theater. Palmer was also the sound designer and engineer for the concerts Here To Stay: The Gershwin Experience and Play It Again, Marvin: A Tribute To Marvin Hamlisch playing with symphonies across North America. In 2015 he became the Associate Sound Supervisor (ASS?) for Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and accepted a promotion to Sound Supervisor in 2016. In 2018, after opening 46 full productions and hundreds of other events at Chicago Shakespeare, he moved to Kansas City, MO to become the Audio Production Supervisor at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts where he helps bring sound to life for a huge variety of shows.

www.pjankens.com

 
Joe Wilbur
Class of 2010

Joe came to UC Irvine after receiving a Bachelor of the Arts in Theatrical Design/Production and Theater Management from Central Washington University. His work as a sound designer and engineer has been heard throughout Washington State at various and sundry community and professional theaters. His favorite designs while at UCI include The Bacchae Trilogy and Measure For Measure. Joe has designed sound at The Laguna Playhouse and The Theater at Boston Court, and assisted sound designers at South Coast Repertory and the Pasadena Playhouse. His scoring and sound design work can also be heard on several video spots for fashion eyewear manufacturer LA Eyeworks. Since graduating with his MFA, Joe has been working as a design engineer at TechMD, Inc. in Burbank, CA. There, he designs, tunes, and programs sound, video, and show control systems for expansive themed-entertainment attractions. You can email him at wilcosound@gmail.com.

 
Tim Brown
Class of 2011
Tim Brown did a lot of work and rode a lot of bikes. These days, he works in themed environment design on many unnamed projects. Some of those projects are unnamed because Tim had to sign non-disclosure agreements, but some of those projects are unnamed because Tim couldn’t bother to update his bio on our website. If you see him, ask him what he’s been up to. It’s probably been interesting. We hope it’s not illegal.
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Noelle Hoffman
Class of 2011
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Since graduating from UCI in 2011, Noelle spent several years living the freelance lifestyle, earning 5 Ovation nominations with her co-designer Drew Dalzell for their work on Wicked Lit with the company Unbound Productions.  They won the 2014 and 2015 seasons. She has taught at OCHSA (Orange County High School of the Arts) and was on the 2019 USITT panel for large scale audio system design. She spent a little over three years as the AV Technical Coordinator for Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre Department before switching lanes to themed entertainment as Diablo Sound’s Senior Project Manager.  While there, she worked all over the world designing AV systems and doing show control and video programming for projects such as Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N and Transformers Autobots Alliance with Victory Hill Exhibitions, and Trolls the Experience with Feld Entertainment. Another highlight from her time at Diablo Sound was doing content creation for the 2017 season of Halloween Horror Nights (Ash vs Evil Dead, the Shining, and Insidious were her mazes).  She is currently working as an Associate Engineer with TechMDinc, where she can hone her skills working with companies like Walt Disney Imagineering and BRC Imagination Arts.

 
 
Todd Hendricks
Class of 2011
Todd received a BA in Music from Southwestern University and started his career in theater literally working at the bottom, playing cello and bass in pit orchestras. He performed on upright bass for the 25th Anniversary national tour of Ain't Misbehavin and continued touring the United States as Sound Supervisor and Technical Director for several seasons with the Kennedy Center's Educational Theater Programs. Todd has worked as a sound designer, composer, and musician from regional theaters in California to summer theaters in New England, as well as Off-Broadway. He currently holds the Master Audio Technician position at Dartmouth College's Hopkins Center for the Arts and is co-owner of the company Wireless Mic Belts.
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Beth Lake
Class of 2012
Beth Lake is a freelance Sound Designer based in NYC. Working on a wide variety of projects she has discovered a particular fondness for creating new, ensemble-based works. This is due, in part, to projects stemming from her time at UCI (Anna Karenina, Jane Eyre). As a designer she has become a regular contributor to the ensembles of Blessed Unrest, and Team Awesome Robot, as well as various regional theaters including Williamstown Theater Festival, Gulfshore Playhouse, and Weston Playhouse. In addition to designing her own productions, she is regularly an associate designer for many designers for Broadway and Off-Broadway productions.

Recent projects include: Broadway: The Sound Inside, My Fair Lady, The Play That Goes Wrong, Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, Misery, Velocity of Autumn. Off Broadway: The Play That Goes Wrong, For Colored Girls…, Freud's Last Session (NYC, L.A., Chicago, Regional); NYC: Strictly Dishonorable, The Fabulous Lipitones (NYC Premiere), Tough Titty (NYC Premiere), Some Girls, Blue Window, Eurydice, Sakaram Binder; Bring a Weasel and A Pint of Your Own Blood; By Rights We Should Be Giants (Lunar Energy); Regional: Alley Theater; McCarter Theater; Long Wharf Theater; Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; Bucks County Playhouse; TheaterWorks; South Coast Repertory; Geffen Playhouse; St. Louis Repertory; St. Louis Opera; Weston Playhouse; Welfleet Harbor Actors Theater; The Old Globe; Hartford Stage; Lincoln Center Theater. A.C.T. http://www.bethlakesounddesign.com/
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Jeff Polunas
Class of 2012

Jeff Polunas is a Los Angeles based USA829 Sound Designer. Jeff has designed over 145 productions during his career. Notable theaters include South Coast Repertory, The Fountain Theatre, International City Theatre, The Chance Theater, Son of Semele Ensemble, Summer Repertory Theatre and PCPA Theatrefest. He received the 2015 & 2017 Scenie for Sound Design and was nominated for a 2016 Stage Raw award for Sound Design for Love and Information (Son of Semele) and a 2016 NAACP nomination for his design on Fences (ICT) . Jeff was the USITT Special Events Sound Coordinator for the past 4 years for the annual conference for the organization. Between 2013 and 2018 Jeff was the Production Sound Supervisor at CSU-Fullerton. Currently Jeff is the CTSA’s Production Sound Supervisor where he has been welcomed back at his Alma Mater since 2018.

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Patricia Cardona
Class of 2013
After graduating from UCI, Patricia moved to Los Angeles to work for Thinkwell Group from 2013 to 2017. There she designed audio systems for anything from theme park attractions, parades & opening events, corporate environments, & museums. She also spent time in Wuhan, China programming D-Mitri & CueConsole for the creation of Franco Dragone’s The Han Show. She currently lives in Los Angeles & serves as Constellation Project Coordinator for Meyer Sound & continues to be best friends with her year-mate Stephen.
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Stephen Swift
Class of 2013

Stephen works with Ears Up and is a Technical Manager at Universal Creative. He really enjoys working with the Rogue Artists Ensemble. They create hyper-theater which is a mixture of theater, puppetry, movement, and technology. Since Graduating he’s designed Wood Body Dog Fish, Kaidan Project: Walls Grown Thin, and Señor Plummer's Final Fiesta. As part of the Ears Up sound team, he finalized the audio program for numerous restaurants, retail spaces, and live interactive show "Meet Bugs!" at Warner Bros. World, Abu Dhabi. http://swiftstudios.net

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Josh Fehrmann
Class of 2015
Josh graduated from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX where he received his B.F.A in theatre with an emphasis on acting and directing. At UCI, he designed The Merchant of Venice (co-design), Annie Loui’s: Lost Estate, The Rose Tattoo, Dance Visions, Spring Awakening, Annie Loui’s: A Christmas Carol (composer), and designing the U.S. premiere of The Trial of Dedan Kimathi. Josh recently helped Ryan Lott a.k.a. Son Lux to create instruments for the major motion picture The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby. He recently served as an engineer for Shakespeare LA’s Romeo and Juliet and designed the One Act Play Festival at Echo Theatre Company. He reently served as an audio engineer on Marvel Universe Live, a large-scale arena show touring throughout the United States and world. He now resides in the Bay Area working for Meyer Sound.
 
Matt Glenn
Class of 2014
Matt is co-owner of Ears Up Sound Design with fellow UCI alumni Mark Caspary. He began to study music and theater starting at the age of nine. Around the age of 14, Matt began experimenting with audio editing. He purchased a Pro Tools system and began writing music and designing sound for a friend's amateur film projects. Matt was accepted into the Performing Arts Technology department at the University of Michigan School of Music, where he discovered theatrical sound design. Matt designed more than 10 theatrical productions of various scales, as well as 6 film projects. Matt was also active as a recording engineer and had the opportunity to produce and record the cast album of an original musical Me and My Dick, which was released on iTunes and reached #11 on the Billboard Charts in the musical theater category in 2010. Matt graduated and immediately began studying at UCI, where he had the opportunity to collaborate on amazing projects like Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Orlando, Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, A Midsummer Nights Dream (part of the the New Swan Shakespeare Festival), and many other productions in the departments of drama and dance. Take a listen: www.mgsounddesign.com.
 
Mark Caspary
Class of 2015

Mark is co-owner of Ears Up Sound Design with fellow UCI alumni Matt Glenn. Ears Up is an audio design company specializing in telling stories for themed entertainment and theater. Ears Up designs produces and mixes soundtracks for installations, attractions, and large-scale events across the country and abroad. Ears Up’s recent clients include Disney, Warner Brothers, Royal Caribbean, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Ears Up would not be possible without the efforts of several other UCI alum working in the themed entertainment industry including Brian Svoboda who works with Ears Up as a full-time sound designer and as a principal member of the company.  For more about Ears Up visit earsupdesign.com.

In addition to co-founding Ears Up Sound Design, since graduating UCI Mark has worked for Thinkwell group and The Hetema group. He also forayed into the world of academia with a two-year tenure as a Post MFA Fellow/instructor in Design at Pomona College.  Additionally, Mark does freelance compositions and sound designs that have been heard at South Coast Repertory Theater, The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, and as resident composer and sound designer for CounterBalance Theater.

 
Kelsi Halverson
Class of 2016
A native Las Vegan, Kelsi has been involved in the theatre since her days at her performing arts middle and high school. She has spent three summers in summer stocks across the country, two of which were at the renowned Williamstown Theatre Festival. Last summer, Kelsi spent 6 weeks shadowing designers in New York, including Jon Weston (An American in Paris, The Bridges of Madison County) and Leon Rothenberg (Tony Award winner in 2012 for The Nance). In summer 2015, Kelsi will be an A2 at the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF). In her (limited) free time, she loves going to rock shows, movies, and playing with her pups. She's always looking to have intense conversations about her first love, Harry Potter. Fight On!
 
Matt Eckstein
Class of 2016

Matt joined AE Design, Inc. as a project designer in 2017, and now leads the audio-video design team at the firm’s office in Denver, Colorado. In that role, he works with some of the top architects and owners in the region and the country to realize their AV visions. He has worked as a consultant, A1 audio engineer for theater and live music, and a system designer. He uses his experience to inform and influence his designs to provide exceptional systems that further the narrative of each space he works in. Matt is still active in the USITT sound commission and sits on the Young AV Professionals Council of AVIXA, the AV Integrated Experience Association. Matt received his CTS-D certification from AVIXA in 2018. Matt also finds time to create sound designs for musicals and plays, and has been fortunate to work with some fellow UCI Drama alumni since graduating.

More info about Matt’s work can be found at www.mecksteindesign.com.

 
Brian Svoboda
Class of 2016
Brian is a principal sound designer at Ears Up Sound Design, where he spends his days creating sounds from scratch, mixing, programming audio control systems, and calibrating sound systems for clients all over the world. Over the course of his career, Brian has mixed sound for over 500 unique theatrical productions. With Meyer Sound, Brian calibrated sound systems across the country for clients such as Apple, Facebook, and Toyota. Quality and collaboration are central to his work.
 
Andrea Allmond
Class of 2017
Prior to UCI, Andrea was the A1 at the Dallas Theater Center where she mixed Les Miserables, as well as many other productions. Prior to working at the DTC, Andrea graduated with a BS in Mass Communications and a minor in Theatre From Texas Wesleyan University. Andrea has designed over 50 straight plays including, most recently, an experimental movement piece titled Sleep Walker Man Walk Through Wall. Andrea is very passionate about new works and experimental theatre. Andrea is a music addict who is a lover of all genres but has a special place in her heart for EDM music.
 
Ben Scheff
Class of 2017

Originally a native of Lawrence, Kansas, Ben Scheff is an NYC based freelance sound designer and composer for theater, dance, and circus. Most recently he designed Cirque du Soleil's first Christmas show, Twas the Night Before...  He will be designing Howard's End at Portland Center Stage in April. Off-broadway he has designed Only Human, Kennedy: Bobby's Last Crusade and Red Roses, Green Gold, a play featuring the music of Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter in which the cast also played all of the instruments. In addition he has been an associate or assistant designer at Roundabout, Manhattan Theater Club, Primary Stages, Cherry Lane Theater, and New York Theater Workshop. He has assisted regionally at South Coast Rep, The Geffen Playhouse, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He has written custom Max/MSP patches that are currently being used in PY1 and Cirque du Soleil's RUN.

During his summers, he is the Tour General Manager for Circus Smirkus’ Big Top Tour. This past summer marked his ninth year with the company, and his first as Sound Designer. Prior to that he was a sound engineer for The Boston Conservatory, for whom he designed and mixed Hair, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Oklahoma, and Merrily We Roll Along. During that time, he designed for other local theater companies including Company One, and Central Square Theater. He has also engineered for the Manhattan Class Club, The O’Neill Theater, and was the sound technician and A1 at Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island. While in Providence, he designed at Perishable Theater and Providence Black Rep. His first experience in mixing and designing sound was with Rhode Island Youth Theater. He currently resides in Astoria, NY with his wife, dog, and their two cats.

 
Andrew Tarr
Class of 2019
Andrew is originally from Lafayette, Indiana, where he worked as a freelance sound designer and composer while studying at Purdue University. Currently based in Los Angeles, his recent theatre associate design credits include: Quack (Circle Theater Group, Robbin Broad design), Little Shop of Horrors (Pasadena Playhouse, Veronika Vorrel design), and Twelfth Night (Dallas Theater Center, Andrea Allmond design). In addition to theatre, Andrew is continuously working with choreographers to compose and perform new music for Modern Dance. andrewjtarr.com
 
Ningru Guo
Class of 2019
Ning was a recipient of the National Arts Scholarship by the Singapore National Arts Council in 2016 for her studies in UCI. Currently back in her home country Singapore, she is back to designing for various companies including Singapore Repertory Theatre, Pangdemonium, T.H.E. Dance Company and Nine Years Theatre. She has continued to explore using spatial audio for theatrical performances, after having written her MFA thesis on it. She also teaches Audio Production at LASALLE College of the Arts, and regularly records the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. ningsounddesign.com
 
Hunter Moody
Class of 2020
Hunter Moody is incredibly honored to have graduated from the sound design program at UCI! A native Arkansan, he first discovered the fascinating world of sound design in his undergraduate years. After graduation, he set out for eastern Kentucky to join the 2013 summer season of Jenny Wiley Theatre as the A2. With the advent of potential full-time work in 2015, he was promoted to resident sound and graphic media designer. He has since designed the sound for and engineered over thirty productions between JWT and the budding University of Pikeville Theatre program. Hunter has developed extensive experience in educational theatre, working with the Jenny Wiley Footlights Theatre, a pre-professional TFYA program, and guest lecturing at the University of Pikeville. Outside of theatre, he has designed sound for dance, voice-over, and competition, with experience in audio engineering for concert venues, church events, and live comedy. His research interests include the historical contexts of music, the psychoanalytic effects of sound upon memory and mood, and innovations in audio production technology. In his free time, Hunter is an avid video gamer and loves (trying) to bake. BFA Theatrical Design/Technology, Arkansas State University
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Jack Bueermann
Class of 2020
Jack is thrilled to have graduated from the UCI Sound Design program. Jack is passionate about theater and story-telling through sound, and is excited to explore his post-UCI future.
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Ezra Anisman
Class of 2021
Ezra Anisman is a sound designer and composer originally from Berkeley, California. They completed their undergraduate education at Western Washington University, where they studied theatre, audio recording, and storytelling. Since graduating UCI in 2021 Ezra has returned to Western Washington University to teach classes in the Audio Technology, Music, and Society Minor.

Ezra is a sound designer because they love telling stories. They are inspired by the power stories have to move people and bring people together. They are especially interested in nonlinear stories and other alternative story structures. They add their quirky flair to various freelance projects.

ezraanismansound.com.

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Garrett Gagnon
Class of 2021

Garrett is a sound designer and musician from Michigan. He will forever miss the snow-covered, but cold, winters. Getting his MFA from UCI was an amazing experience, and unlocked myriad possibilities to do creative work on the West Coast! His favorite part of working in this field is the flexibility to go from theatre one day, to live sound the next, and studio recording after that. It never gets boring. Currently, Garrett is doing just that - freelancing for various production companies, theatres, and musical groups in California and Michigan.

garrettgagnon.com.

 

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Meghan Roche
*Class of 2022 (thesis pending)

Meghan Roche is a west coast-based theatre sound person. Prior to moving to Irvine for grad school, she was living and working in Seattle where she worked at a number of theaters across town as a sound technician, assistant, and designer. Throughout the pandemic, she continued to work with several of those companies as a remote events technician and by designing several remotely-recorded audio dramas, and this past summer, she received a Sound Design fellowship from Chautauqua Theatre Company, where she had the opportunity to design several outdoor productions. She holds a BA in Theatre with Honors from Seattle University and is not great at starting or ending bios.

 

 

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JJ Margolis
*Class of 2022 (thesis pending)

JJ is a Sound Designer and Audio Engineer. A graduate of Colorado State University, he has worked at The Santa Fe Opera, Glimmerglass Festival, Celebrity Cruises, and spent time freelancing in New York City, where he was A1/Audio Mixer for shows including KPOP at A.R.T./NY and Ain't No Mo' at The Public Theatre, and A2 on for Everybody at the Juilliard School and Wild Goose Dreams at The Public Theatre. He also gained experience as a freelance technician across off broadway as an Audio Engineer, Electrician, and Carpenter. At UCI, JJ has designed several shows, projects, and podcasts, including the New Musical Jubilee of 2020, a recorded musical cabaret, Human Error, a theatrical comedy in the film medium, and recently Do You Trust Me as part of the Fall 2021 Audio Dramas. JJ is excitedly expanding his list of skills to include Game Audio and design for Virtual Reality.

 

 

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...and an honorable mention to our Undergraduate Honors Alumni

...and an honorable mention to our Undergraduate Honors Alumni

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Sinan Zafar
Class of 2013
Sinan Refik Zafar is a sound designer, aural collagist, composer, and clown. He first discovered his passion for sound while studying at UC Irvine, leading him to become the first student to graduate with Honors in Sound Design. He recently graduated from the Yale School of Drama with an MFA in Sound Design. He recently opened his first Broadway show What the Constitution Means to Me. His recent work includes Coriolanus (Yale School of Drama); The Master and Margarita (Yale School of Drama); The Zero Scenario (Yale Cabaret); and This Flat Earth (by Lindsey Ferrentino). Past work includes O, Fallen One (Curly Cue & Co.); Blood Knot (Lounge Theatre); Woyzeck (Illyrian Players); Julius Caesar (Griot Theatre of the West Valley); Hello, Again; The Misanthrope (d. Keith Fowler), and Jane Eyre (d. Annie Loui). His current interests have extended into the world of gesture-based technology, electronic music, and the intriguing world of ASMR.
 
Cinthia Palmer
Class of 2013
Cinthia completed her B.A. in Drama in December 2013, and is the second person ever to have earned Honors in Sound Design at UC Irvine. In her two and a half years here she worked on over 13 theatrical productions, co-devised an original ensemble piece, and completed the Minor in Anthropology. She designed and composed for The Dwarf, Of Sound Mind, and the world premiere of The Last Lifeboat by Luke Yankee, to name a few. When not in the theatre space, she teaches yoga and ESL/TEFL. She enjoys dance, the outdoors, and taking naps with her cat. Follow her adventures at www.cinthiapalmer.com.
 
Karli Blalock
Class of 2014
Karli Blalock graduated from UCI in June of 2014, earning a BA in Drama with Honors in Sound Design. She spent the summer with Vassar and New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Season before making the move to Chicago. Karli immediately plunged into the Chicago theatre scene. She works as Resident Sound Designer at Redtwist Theatre, Sound Designer and mentor at New Trier High School, and freelances around the city for multiple developing theatre companies. Karli has a passion for collaborating with fellow artists to create impactful, memorable theatre. Favorite projects at UCI included The 39 Steps and Elysian Roux. Since moving to Chicago, she has designed six shows, including a production of Red, for which Karli received a Jeff Award nomination for Best Sound Design of a Play (non-equity).
 
Ryan Schwalm
Class of 2016
Ryan Schwalm, grew up in Nevada City, Northern California, went to undergrad for three years at University of Nevada, Reno as a physics major and with a minor in recording arts. He transferred to UCI in Fall 2013. Ryan started playing guitar at age 12, and has since picked up 15 additional instruments. He played in and composed for four metal bands, a gypsy swing brass band, and a bluegrass band. He also directs and writes profusely. He likes long, long walks on the beach and the silence of the wilderness at night.
 
Jacques Zweilich
Class of 2018
Zacques currently works for Meyer Sound Laboratories.
 
Kyle Causey
Class of 2020
Kyle's bio coming soon....
 
Pan-Pan Gou
Class of 2022
Pan-pan's bio coming soon...