Written by Becky Chaffee
Published: December 11, 2014 at 2:47 PM [UTC]
I love to see a successful creative career - this one combines music and education to make children's learning CDs. When my kids were very young, I got a free CD out of the second hand bookstore giveaway bin. I think it was called "5 a Day, Dole Adventures". The games all emphasized nutrition, getting 5 helpings of fruit and vegetables a day, and had many unique math games (counting calories and weighing different foods on scales). My 3 year old spent hours with this game and for many years was determined to have his 5-a-Day. And to this day, as a college boy, he still doesn't eat candy! I attribute it all to that CD at the right age. So I strongly believe the right learning CD's can do worlds of good.
The SoKnox (Knoxville, TN) Studios of Digitrax Entertainment are professional recording studios that create and record music and animation for Television, Games, Apps, Commercials, Radio and Film. As the Project Manager, Cathy Vangieri oversees SoKnox Studios session bookings, events, tours, and publicity. DigiTrax Entertainment is America's premier karaoke company, bringing interactive music, apps and products to the web, mobile and social media. DTE is the only company based in the USA delivering licensed digital karaoke for streaming and download.
1. Violettes: Tell us a little about some of the projects that the SoKnox Digitrax Entertainment Studios are working on.
Ms. Vangieri: In addition to recording music for DigiTrax, SoKnox is currently recording original music for a local groups, vocalists and a singer/songwriter from Nashville. The animation studios are in full swing animating a new children’s series for learning about letters - which was just released, Sing and Spell.
2. Violettes: Can you tell us a little about your music background or bio?
Ms. Vangieri: I’ve always had a passion for music, visual media and teaching. My career activity spans all three! While studying radio and television production in college, I was busy behind a camera on various video productions and managed a musical act. I was on the ground floor in the public relations department when MTV Networks was just beginning, was introduced to the art of audio mastering while at Polygram Records, and became a devoted educator - as a mother, elementary school teacher and tutor. Now, I’m producing and directing Sing and Spell – a fun musical animation series for learning about letters. It’s the perfect blend of all of my experiences.
3. Violettes: I was lucky enough to attend your SoKnox opening event and hear Mark Radice, DTE Creative Director, perform some of his Sesame Street Songs. He actually signed on with RCA records at the age of seven, and has earned the nickname, “The Song Doctor”. Does he write any of his own music any more, or mainly for your clients.
Ms. Vangieri: Mark writes continuously. He’s been writing for 50 years and has a catalog of over 5,000 songs! We’re planning a new release in 2015 which will include a collection of his songs. He oversees all the recordings done in the SoKnox studio. Additionally, he wrote most of the original songs for the Sing and Spell - Learning Letters series. And they are brilliant!
4. Violettes: When I visited, I had fun playing with your teach yourself guitar toy (Play a Tab), where I played a guitar with visuals telling me where to move my fingers along with music accompaniment. That was a lot of fun. What is your most popular “toy” for families? Most popular App?
Ms. Vangieri: For musicians, the Play a Tab app is a great way to practice and even perform. DigiTrax has created a fun way to practice and play music with color-coded tabs, and a lyric prompt for singing. So you can play and sing along. There’s an APP for that and we’re making sure it’s working perfectly before it’s released.
5. Violettes: Do you have any fun stories about recording sessions at SoKnox Studios?
Ms. Vangieri: There are many! We recorded live performances of Cereus Bright and Caleb Hawley during the weekend of the Rhythm and Blooms Festival. The Knoxville Music Warehouse sent a video crew; the performances and recordings were top notch! WBIR-TV contest winner for ‘Knoxville Unplugged’ recorded here – we enjoyed working with her and her lovely family. The Sing and Spell productions have been very fun. We recorded character actor performances for the animations – there was a lot of creativity flowing! For the Sing and Spell Christmas Sing-Along we had sessions which included Santa, Elves, reindeer and the Three Kings (who are rappers)! And then we have Mark Radice. Every time he plays is a treat. He played his original ‘Catching Some Z’s’ a Sing and Spell – Learning Letter’s original. It amazing; I got teary-eyed! Whenever he sits at the keyboard in our main room – the studio stops to experience his magic.
Magic Indeed - Listen to a sampling of the Digitrax Entertainment Studios animation project, and hear the Mark Radice fun for yourselves.
Digitrax Entertainment Studios animation Project, "Sing and Spell"
SoKnox Digitrax Entertainment Studios are donating a professional recording of the Songwriter winner of the ViolettesbyBecky.com "2nd Annual Youth Composition and Songwriter Competition".
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