Recording Connection 'Pensado’s Place' Scholarship Winners Make Moves

Award Recipients Brian Zadel and Dani Munoz are Hard at Work
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Award Recipients Brian Zadel and Dani Munoz are Hard at Work

Photo: Dani Munoz, Recording Connection Pensado’s Place scholarship recipient, working FOH for Magic! on Maroon 5’s current tour.

Recently, The Recording Connection Audio Institute partnered with Pensado’s Place – the acclaimed weekly web series known as the most influential show for engineers, mixers and producers – to offer a number of full-ride scholarships for training in professional recording studios. Winners are currently receiving the full benefits of the Recording Connection program: hands-on training by a respected audio engineer or music producer in partnership with a curriculum-backed instruction, along with free tutoring and job assistance services. To enter, applicants had to send in a short essay explaining why they deserved to win and move forward with their careers. Pensado’s Place hosts Dave Pensado and Herb Trawick announced the contest winners over several episodes of the series in 2014. These selected individuals are hard at work on the next phase of their careers, thanks to the opportunities afforded by this scholarship.

Award recipient Brian Zadel, an aspiring EDM producer, says, “I didn't have to pay anything to enter, and one day I was watching the show and they announced my name.” Shortly after receiving the scholarship, Brian was placed with music composer and engineer Dick Orr at John Wagner Studios, located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Brian has chosen to make the most of the rare opportunity to receive one-on-one instruction from a bona fide industry professional. “I know by the end of the program, I'm going to have a vast amount of knowledge that I didn't have, not even a year ago,” he says. “I’m just glad to be a little lucky, and I'm glad I took that chance.”

Dani Munoz, another scholarship recipient, was placed with Hal Batt of Afterhours Music in Miami, Florida. Since then, he’s gone to work as the FOH (Front of House) live sound engineer on artist Flo Rida’s European Tour, and besides producing the up-and-coming artist Tien, is currently gearing up to do FOH for the band Magic!, who has been serving as an opening act for Maroon 5 on their V World Tour. When asked about the scholarship and the opportunities it has afforded him, Munoz says, “It’s a blessing! When I got a call from you guys saying I got it, I was like ‘no way!’ I’m extremely thankful for that.” When asked about the effectiveness of the Recording Connection approach, Munoz says, “The fact that you connect with somebody that’s working, the fact that you connect with somebody that’s in it – that, to me, is the way to go.”

Dave Pensado, GRAMMY®-award-winning host of Pensado’s Place, says he and co-host Herb Trawick are glad to contribute to the future successes of the scholarship recipients. “One of the greatest pleasures Herb and I have is the opportunity to educate,” says Dave Pensado. “The fact that we can partner with organizations like Recording Connection, offer Pensado’s Place Scholarships, and then watch the recipient grow and succeed, makes it all worthwhile.”

Founded in 1983, Recording Connection Audio Institute has placed more than 10,000 persons in professional recording studios located in cities throughout the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. Persons admitted into the program receive mentored instruction in audio engineering and/or music production from within a local, high-caliber recording studio, generally located within an hour of where they live. The institute’s approach is to select dedicated individuals for apprenticeship positions within local recording studios, thus enabling them to build local connections while they learn their craft.