Happy New Year! I hope everyone was able to have a wonderful holiday season. I can’t believe that January is almost over. It’s even more amazing to think that our (not so) little company is over 3 years old already!
2018 is going to be our best year yet!
I don’t think Nick or I really knew where Cut Off Studios would go when we started. We definitely had big dreams - having this be our full time job, traveling, working from home, flexible hours, all the perks of being a business owner. Well, over the past 3 years things changed, our lives, careers, our passions - all for the better. Nick got married, welcomed a beautiful daughter into the world and found his place in the studio, serving as the president and CFO, but more importantly a best friend to me and a constant supporter of the team and our mission.
Picture: 2016 Retreat
Sometimes I think my role as CEO is a blessing and a curse. The team has dubbed me the “face of the studio” and while I appreciate the compliment, this team of people makes me look good every day. The last 12 to 18 months, I have seen a big change in what my role has been. Gone are the days of mass e-mailings to groups, holding potential client meetings, writing proposals and contracts, all while working on editing and arranging. While I truly enjoyed having my hands in all of the projects that we had, I knew that in order to be the best, I needed to find people that were better than I am. So that’s what I did.
Now my time is spent, collaborating, talking with and learning from this amazingly talented group of people. Each of them make me a better person and want to be the best leader I can be for them.
I met Mickey in the Rochester a cappella scene years ago. He has been with us since the beginning, helping us navigate our way through all the craziness of starting a business. As our Director of Production, it has been amazing to watch his work continually improve over the last 3 years. We’ve shared hundreds of miles and countless hours of recording together and our Production services would not be anywhere without his hardwork and guidance!
I’m not even entirely sure how I convinced Katie to join the studio, and actually thinking about I’m not sure how I convinced her to sing with me in Cut Off (the group), but how lucky are we! Katie organizes and directs what has been our flagship product the last two years, L.E.N.S.! Her hard work has changed the lives of numerous groups that our team has gotten to work with, not to mention ours as well!
When two Studio people go to judge an ICCA event together and both come back saying “you have to talk to this girl we met…”, you listen and wow, we couldn’t have asked for anyone better! Mackenzie has got to be one of the happiest and most outgoing people I have ever met. Combine that with an unrivaled love of a cappella music, who better to have as your Director of Outreach? Even though “Mack” hasn’t even been here a year, it feels like we have known her for decades!
Whenever I talk to people about what it’s like to work on our team, I always talk about Kyle. I received an email about how to stay connected to a cappella after graduating, I casually replied with “well you could join our team” and Kyle hasn’t stopped working since. From arranging to learning about recording/editing/mixing, to helping teach people how to arrange, and helping oversee an internship program, he is always finding ways for us to be successful and shows the endless possibilities you have when you’re a part of our team.
One of my favorite memories of Lishni was receiving her 5 page proposal for a new service the studio could offer. It was the most organized and planned out document I had ever seen in a cappella...not to mention, most of my professional career! Lishni’s calm and thorough personality brings a welcomed balance to my fast-paced, somewhat chaotic line of thoughts. She will be serving as the Director to the new line of services that we will be launching soon!
Finding ways for our team to get experiences that they’re interested in is one of my top priorities, and I am glad I got to help Shannon with that. When she joined she mentioned that she had always wanted to judge for an ICCA event and thankfully I knew who to contact to make it happen! Even more rewarding was being able to judge alongside her at her first event! Shannon currently is the LENS Network Coordinator, and teaches the most popular class at our LENS events, Develop Your Sound!
Allison or “Schmal”, as I like to call her, is probably the most efficient (and fastest) arranger I have ever worked alongside. She’s our queen of notation and is always keeping me on my toes with her quick wit and sass (it’s a good thing, haha)! Shannon and she are actually the second longest members of the team!
I think Koby wins the award for being the “most judged” member of our team. I am pretty sure about half of our team served as a judge when he completed in ICCA over the last couple years. Needless to say, we all felt like he was someone we wanted to work with. Even though he is currently aboard in Japan, we still get input from him and are looking forward to having him back in North America!
It goes without saying that I wouldn’t be able to do anything of this without the amazing support of my wonderful fiance! Jennifer would be the first to tell you that she’s not musical (which isn’t true…), but she has helped us get to where we are today. That amazing logo - she designed that. Her help in video editing, taking pictures for us and advice with marketing and social media has been invaluable!
Picture: 2017 Retreat
This group is the reasons why we will have the best year yet in 2018. Oh, and did I mention they all have full time jobs, aside from this? When you work with us, you are working with people that LOVE what they are doing and have devoted their spare time to helping groups be the best they can be.
I invite you to join us in having our best year yet! Happy 2018!