Amanda Davis, a 2010 graduate of SAE Institute Atlanta’s Audio Technology Program, will be the front of house engineer for the U.K. concerts of Grammy-nominated vocalist Janelle Monae, which will take place in May ’14 in Birmingham, London, and Manchester.
“My touring schedule with Janelle will fill up around 150 days this year, and I’m excited to be a part of her concerts in England,” says Amanda. “She’s really popular there, and she was nominated for a Brit Award as Best International Female Solo Artist, so I’m sure that the turnout will be huge and the shows will be a fantastic experience.”
A native of Memphis, Davis loved all genres of music growing up and was especially drawn to classical. As a student at Memphis’ Central High School, she performed with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra chorus, toured Europe with the Sounds of America Chorus and Band, and won the “Outstanding Vocal Student” award from the Memphis City Schools system.
After earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music with a focus on Vocal Performance from Roosevelt University in Chicago in 2008, Davis decided that she wanted to focus her career aspirations on music recording and production.
“I looked at a university in Florida and some local programs in Chicago, but SAE’s school in Atlanta was affordable, it offered the curriculum that I was looking for, and it was best choice for my life situation at the time,” says Davis. “I enrolled in 2010 and graduated with a Diploma in the Audio Technology Program at the top of my class. I would definitely recommend SAE to women who are interested in pursuing a career in music production, recording, and engineering.”
The campus directors at SAE Atlanta were so impressed by Davis’ skills that they hired her immediately as their first female instructor, specializing in Music Theory. After two years at SAE, she went on to work as a Sound Technician for Carnival Cruise Lines and the front of house engineer for Peachtree Presbyterian Church (the largest Presbyterian Church in the nation), where she still contributes her talents today. In the fall of 2013, Davis was recruited by Wondaland Arts Society to be Janelle Monae’s official front of house engineer for her international concert appearances.
“My advice to SAE grads who want to pursue careers as front of house engineers is to be prepared, be persistent and be ready to hustle,” says Davis. “Openings for FOH gigs are very competitive, and learning on the job will need to happen before you’re totally ready to handle things on your own, but don’t be intimidated. Instead, be confident in the strong foundation that your SAE education gave you as well as your own abilities.”