Gilbert, AZ (August 5, 2020)—Student Ponie Jones at the Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences in Arizona has won the 2020 API Saul Walker Memorial Scholarship.
“Winning the API Scholarship is one of the greatest accomplishments of my life, and I am honored to be representing CRAS in such a fantastic way,” said Jones, a 26-year-old Park City, Utah native who entered CRAS in October 2019. “I first heard about the API scholarship through my CRAS internship coordinator Tamara Parker. I applied for it amidst the COVID-19 quarantine and submitted my fifth cycle project, which was a cover of ‘Ain’t No Rest For the Wicked’ by Cage the Elephant. “
The Saul Walker Memorial Scholarship—formerly known as the API Visionary Scholarship—is offered by Automated Processes Incorporated (API) in order to encourage further education in the professional audio arts. It recognizes a select group of audio students who exhibit talent and ability in and around the recording studio.
“CRAS is a school that regularly submits applications demonstrating entrants with excellent audio skills and thoughtful essays on the recording/mixing process,” noted API president Larry Droppa. “We’re thrilled that Ponie Jones is joining an elite group of audio engineers who embody the talent, skill and innovation in the audio world as exemplified by API’s co-founder Saul Walker.”
Annual scholarship submissions are encouraged from any institution with an API studio console in its audio education program. Judging is performed by API staff with winners announced by the end of June each year. Scholarships are worth up to $2,000 each.
Jones first heard about CRAS while managing music festivals in northern Utah, where she realized she wanted to pursue live sound as a career. “I was mesmerized by the production, the orchestration of this big experience/event to feed a community of like-minded music fiends such as myself,” she explained. “I fully immersed myself in that culture. At one point, my sister introduced me to her friend, Dave Rupsch. He gave me two recommendations: try to get on at SoloTech in Las Vegas as an intern or to attend The Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences. Back in June of 2019, I attended an open house at CRAS. The moment I walked in the front door, I was stunned, and I am not lying when I say that on that day, I finally found my home.”
Rupsch, an Arizona resident and monitor engineer for My Chemical Romance, Katy Perry and Red Hot Chili Peppers, said, “I am absolutely delighted to hear of Ponie Jones’ API scholarship to CRAS. She, as well as Arizona, is extremely fortunate to have such a unique facility as CRAS that will continue to grow her passion for audio both technically and creatively. With access to great equipment, a network of expert instructors, and a collaborative learning environment, I eagerly await the successes she can create for herself at The Conservatory and beyond. Oh, and protect your hearing!”
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