© 2015-present.  Designed by Jill Courtney.

 

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Audio Jill

Audio Chick

Jill has a broad audio background. She is an entrepreneur and recording engineer, creating through her own indie company, JCreative Multimedia, formerly known as Sharkbait Studios, which was a partnership with her ex-husband. Sharkbait Studios specialized in on-location and studio recordings in both the audio and video realm.

She ran Quad Studios Nashville on Music Row, and taught related subjects at the college level including beginning and advanced audio, producer-focused audio, audio post production for animation and the web, songwriting and music business courses. She taught locally for The Art Institute of Tennessee-Nashville's audio, animation and media arts departments, originating the audio department's student chapter for Audio Engineering Society. For Tennessee State University she taught analog and digital recording, classical and commercial voice, and directed the jazz vocal ensemble. 

 

She is a very active member of Nashville's Audio Engineering Society, where she served on the committee for several years. As a community organizer of sorts, Jill has connected the audio-centered females in the Nashville area via social media and gatherings (NAW), in order to facilitate support and more involvement, and to encourage younger generations of females within the audio industry. 

 

She is writing a book entitled "Audio Chicks" which provides a snapshot of mentors within the field, and analyzes the positives and pitfalls of being a gender minority in audio, in order to encourage younger women to bravely enter the field.

Jill's Audio/Music History Timeline

 

* Manitou Springs Elementary School and Junior High - Manitou Springs, CO

Was in a touring choral group throughout childhood (road gigs were normal!), called the Colorado Springs Childrens' Chorale, led by the infamous Bob Crowder, took piano lessons from age 6-14 with Nancy Ekberg, and picked up the trumpet for band in 6th grade because her parents owned a trumpet. She wanted to play drums badly at the time because she loved the drums and didn't want to be the only girl playing trumpet. She got several solos in choir during this time. Her first solo ever was in 5th grade, singing "I wanna hit that high" in "Jitterbug" by Wham!, followed by a hard-fought victory in 6th grade, singing a full verse of the Dan Fogelberg song "Longer", much to the dismay of several other 6th grade girls who hated her from that point on. Somehow, those same girls don't hate her anymore.

 

* Manitou Springs High School - H.S. Diploma - 1993 - Manitou Springs, CO

Jill went to audio camp one summer during this time and was lead singer in a rock band throughout high school called "Valhalla", was in musicals and choirs, went to All-State twice as a vocalist (led by Weston Noble, who wanted her to attend Luther), got a scholarship to musical theatre choral camp, learned to play guitar via guitar class with Stevie Astley, played trumpet and piano for the high school jazz band (and was the jazz vocalist) under Dr. Brian Hopwood, and took jazz piano privately from Steve Barta. Was in all musicals offered during her high school tenure as well as theatre productions. Most notably, she landed the lead role of "Dolly" in Hello, Dolly! She participated in jazz choir all four years, and won a MVP award for choir which means her name is on a plaque in her high school somewhere. She began writing poems and songs, and in her final choir concert, Jill sang an original song called "I Will Remember" while accompanying herself on piano.

 

* St. Olaf College - BA in Music Education k-12 - 1997 - Northfield, MN

While earning her music degree, Jill took St. Olaf's one music technology class offering (with the brilliant Peter Hamlin), dabbled with computer science as a major, took on journalism as a minor, and began to record some singer-songwriter compositions. She started recording using a dual cassette deck karaoke machine that Aunt Sharon had kindly given for a Christmas present, and just kept rotating the tapes to layer the "tracks," all the while using a microphone that resembled a "My First Sony" brand, until she remembered that she had a better EV microphone that she used in live performances with her band. The results of these recordings are hilarious and most definitely short of professional-sounding. She also had others record her as a singer/songwriter, collaborating on some cool arsty-folky songs with Carl Skildum at Minneapolis College of Art & Design's recording studio. She was also in several short-lived bands (one 80s band and one rock band called The Electric Mayhem), and did some musicals and classical recitals. Jill studied voice under Dr. Robert Scholz and Mary Martz, and guitar was her declared secondary instrument because she miraculously tested out of piano. She studied conducting with legends Dr. Robert Scholz and Dr. Anton Armstrong (director of St. Olaf Choir). She enjoyed portraying the lead role of "Desiree" in A Little Night Music, and was notorious for being the antithesis of the typical St. Olaf classical music major. Her favorite passtime was sitting outside of the St. Olaf Orchestra rehearsals and being moved to tears due to the beauty of the sound. She emerged a classical music fan in the 11th hour of her degree program.

 

* The American Musical and Dramatic Academy - Professional Degree in Musical Theatre Performance - 1998 - New York, NY

This was a 2-year professional program centered on performance - singing, acting and dancing (tap, jazz, ballet and ballroom). Jill was also writing songs on the side, and while she got gigs singing (and portraying) other people's words she had something of her own to say. She loved acting though. She was involved in several short-lived collaborations and bands of various rock-based styles at this time, and wrote a few great songs with a guy named Jonathan Lopes - more pop-rock stuff. She studied with some of the best musical theatre teachers in the business, and her primary applied vocal coach was an opera diva named Jacklyn Schneider. Jill's peers at theatre school always marveled at how high she could belt, but she just saw it as her rock voice.

 

* New York University - MM - Music Technology - 2005 - New York, NY

Her first class was September 10, 2001. She worked full time as a manager for Gymborree Play & Music while attending school full time. She decided on an "Audio for Multimedia" concentration with a studio recording foundation. She minored in Music Business and took as many video editing and web classes on the side as she could. Her first album of songs, "Eyelash Wishes" was completed for her Master's thesis project and is on file at the NYU library along with the 60-page paper that accompanied it. She wrote, performed, recorded, edited and mixed this album by herself, but then hired a bass player and drummer to replace the MIDI bass and drums. Eyelash Wishes' tracks are preserved in their original state because she likes how they turned out as her first album recording attempt. Most people like the first track that she ever recorded (while tipsy to overcome technological phobias). It is called, "The Shower Song" and it is absolutely ridiculous.

 

In NYC she sang lead vocals with two not-as-short-lived bands. The first was a party rock band called the Kosmic-nots, now called Lucky 13 or Cherry Bomb, centered on classic and modern alt-rock and 80s female rock. The second was a skilled funk/soul band called Mama Feelgood, which played a lot of Aretha-Jill Scott-Mary J.-James Brown-styled music and had a logo, a demo, a website and everything....all designed/produced by Jill. She studied with a great vocal teacher named Jennifer through NYU, and became an ASCAP member.

 

In addition, she began a partnership known as Sharkbait Studios in 2002/2003. Sharkbait began as an on-location recital recording service, grew to include multi-camera video, recorded in giant concert halls and cathedrals in NYC, and then added studio and rehearsal space once the business was moved to Nashville in 2005 (Sharkbait Studios officially closed in 2012). 

* Nashville, TN
Jill taught audio for Tennessee State University and The Art Institute of Tennessee-Nashville, served for several years on the committee for the Nashville chapter of Audio Engineering Society (AES), was the studio/business manager for Quad Studios Nashville, organized a group of local audio-focused women called "Nashville Audio Women (NAW)," and currently works for her own company, JCreative Multimedia, which is a boutique vocal coaching and audio/video production company specializing in singer/songwriter demos. She taught for Belmont University, John Robert Powers, and through Sharkbait Studios as a commercial voice instructor. She is a proud member of WIFT, NSAI, AES, ASCAP, Country Music Hall of Fame (Troubadour Society), and is a broadcast TV producer at PEG Studios for NECAT. She become an ordained minister while her now-ex-husband was out getting a 5-hour tattoo in 2011. She is borderline-fluent in Spanish and the language of love, and is legendary for being publicly obsessed with animal videos and photography (examples will be displayed on a separate page on this website soon, naturally).

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