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Introducing API's 2019 Scholarship Winners

Once again, we would like to thank all who applied for the 2019 API Saul Walker Memorial Scholarship. We received many excellent submissions from audio production students around the world and were impressed by the hard work and dedication demonstrated by each applicant. We'd like to take this opportunity to share a little more about this year's scholarship winners:

Juan Esteban Avilés is a 22-year-old music producer, songwriter and guitarist from Quito, Ecuador. He has also worked as an audio, recording, live sound and mix engineer. He is currently finishing his bachelor's degree in Music Production and Sound Engineering at Universidad San Francisco de Quito.

Juan Esteban's musical career started at the age of 12 as a songwriter, guitarist and arranger for various bands of different music genres. He currently works as music producer, guitarist and songwriter for the progressive rock band, Doris Delta, and guitarist for alternative rock band, Coka. He plans on pursuing his dream of owning his own professional recording and mixing studio and expanding his knowledge of the audio world.

Ausma Lāce is a recording engineer and producer from Latvia. Since she was young she has been surrounded by music. She discovered her passion for recording which led to her studying Sound Engineering at Jazeps Vitols Latvian Academy of Music. She finished her degree at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, in the Netherlands, where she specialized in classical music recording and production. During her time there, she interned for Channel Classics Records which led to assisting in various productions in the Netherlands, Hungary, United Kingdom and Estonia. Shortly after graduation she did a six month Audio Recording Engineer Practicum at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Alberta, Canada. While studying and working there, she got to work on various recording projects, as well as have mentoring from excellent staff recording engineers and guest faculty. This fall, she will begin her graduate studies at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

Chris Lippincott is a producer and artist based in Nashville, TN one year from completing an MFA in recording arts and technologies at Middle Tennessee State University. A native of Tupelo, MS, Chris studied music business and production under John Snyder at Loyola University and Dockside Studio. In addition to producing in the studio, Chris has performed and recorded as a multi-instrumentalist (including guitar, pedal and lap steel, and piano) with a variety of artists including Lee Ann Womack, Peter Bradley Adams, Rob Kirwan, Bill Medley, and Maggie Koerner. Some of Chris's major influences as a producer include Daniel Lanois, Radiohead, Nils Frahm, and Brian Eno. Chris is currently working toward a solo release as well as aiding several other artists around Nashville achieve their sonic vision with his perspective and touch on production.

Bruno Sanchez is an Ecuadorian/ German mixer, producer and audio engineer from Quito. Since 2015, he has been studying his Bachelor for Music Production and Audio Engineering at Universidad San Francisco de Quito. Bruno started as a piano technician and musician, playing cello, guitar and keyboards. His career in the music industry started as an intern at the National Sucre Theatre Quito. He has since worked as a stage manager and assistant director in operas like Gounod's Faust and musicals like Les Misérables, and continues to be a performing artist, writing and co-writing songs. Since starting his studies he has worked with bands like Soios, Coka, Natural Groova, Charles White, Chikaru and others. At present he is arranging one of his biggest projects so far, producing a fusion jazz band called Silfo Sideréo, featuring compositions and arrangements of David Tapía, an Ecuadorian composer. Bruno is extremely grateful for the opportunity he has been given with the API Saul Walker Memorial Scholarship award. He appreciates the way API helps people all around the world to keep studying and enhancing their knowledge.

Phoebe Seston was brought up in London and studied at the BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technologies, learning the importance of creativity and collaboration at the then only free performing arts school in the country. She then went on to obtain a BA (Hons) in Radio Production at the University of Westminster where she produced her own country music radio show, while also interning and shadowing at companies including Wise Buddah and Nash FM. After falling in love with songwriting and the value music holds in Nashville at age 13, Phoebe decided to move to Music City. Since coming to MTSU two years ago, she has had the pleasure of working with so many talented musicians and creatives in Nashville. Whether it's working as an engineer, producer or mix engineer and regardless of whether she's working on pop, country, neo soul or jazz music, she loves just being a part of the musical process. Phoebe plans to spend the third and final year of her studies working on her final project, which will focus on female storytelling and how this is translated into production. "Before coming to MTSU, I had no prior musical or technical experience," Phoebe says. "So I understand how valuable education is and how I wouldn't be in the position I am in now if it wasn't for organizations like MTSU and API taking a chance on me."