“Women in Media Technology’ Panel Discussion”


Media & Studio Arts Symposium

Inventing Oneself Through Art and Technology

Special Event: ‘Women in Media Technology’ Panel Discussion

February 20, 2020 | 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Panelists: Piper Payne, Brandie Lane, Connie Huang, and Dr. Leah N. Claiborne, DMA

Moderator: Deb Mexicotte, Managing Director, ArtsEngine, Duderstadt Center

Description: Join moderator Deb Mexicotte and our exciting panelists in a dialogue as they share their experiences, challenges, successes and advice on the road to becoming successful leaders and professionals in the traditionally male dominated media technology field.

Presenter Bios:

Piper Payne is a mastering engineer based out of Nashville, TN and Oakland, CA. In Spring of 2019 Piper joined the famed Infrasonic Mastering team, merging her successful studio, Neato Mastering, with the Nashville based company, owned by Pete Lyman. Piper began her career with a BFA in Audio from The University of Michigan, continuing her graduate education in audio at the University of Stavanger in Norway. She has apprenticed under both Bob Katz and Michael Romanowski. Piper has mastered a wide variety of music including projects for Third Eye Blind, Madame Gandhi, Geographer, Elettrodomestico (Jane Wiedlin/Go-Go’s), as well as Bay Area favorites Kat Robichaud, ANIIML, Sioux City Kid, and The She’s.

Brandie Lane currently serves as a United States Army Sergeant First Class and the non- commissioned officer-in-charge of the Audio Section with the West Point Band, located at the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY. She has served as producer, recording engineer, and front of house engineer for the many performing elements of the band and is credited on their commercial stereo and surround sound releases, television and web specials for FOX, CBS, HISTORY, and military events in New York City. Prior to joining the United States Army, Brandie held the position of Head Audio Engineer at GRAMMY winning Sono Luminus, an independent classical label in northern Virginia. In her free time, Brandie is an adjunct faculty member at NYU – Steinhardt and a freelance engineer/consultant in the Hudson Valley area.

Her accolades include a GRAMMY Award for “Best Engineered Album, Classical,” engineering credits on multiple GRAMMY nominated albums, a Downbeat Award for “Best Engineering for a Live Recording” and an “Award of Excellence” from the Audio Engineering Society High Resolution Recording Competition. Her military awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, and Army Achievement Medal.

Her professional affiliations include membership with the Audio Engineering Society, where she frequently serves as a judge and panel member, and voting membership with The Recording Academy (Producers and Engineers Wing).

Connie Huang is an Asian-American filmmaker who grew up in Sterling Heights, Michigan and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. She is a member of the International Cinematographer Guild Local 600 and works as a professional camera assistant on feature films in NYC. She is an aspiring cinematographer and when she’s not making films you can find her at Crossfit, surfing, writing postcards, snowboarding, teaching her cousins art lessons or just watching a good movie at home.

Dr. Leah Claiborne, D.M.A. promotes diversity in the arts by championing instrumental music by Black composers in her performances, research, and teaching. She was the first pianist at the University of Michigan to be awarded the Rackham Predoc fellowship which is the most prestigious fellowship awarded by the graduate school. This fellowship allowed her to further research, compile, and edit piano music by Black composers. In 2019, Leah was a prize winner in the ProMusicis International Music competition. This competition awarded her the Father Merlett Award for her high quality musical performance and commitment to social outreach.

In 2018 she curated a sold out concert at the University of Michigan Museum of Art which featured instrumental and vocal music by Black American composers. In the same year, she recorded selections from Samuel Coleridge Taylor’s 24 Negro Melodies for piano solo and piano trio. In 2016 she was a top prize winner in the National Association of Negro Musicians National Piano Competition. In the same year she was awarded the University of Michigan Martin Luther King Spirit Award for her creation of a free piano program for local students where the focus of study is on the impact of Black classical piano composers.

Leah has performed across the United States as well as Germany, Italy, and the Czech Republic. Most recently, she performed at Hiroshima University in Japan with the Asia America New Music Ensemble.

Dr. Claiborne received her undergraduate degree from the Manhattan School of Music where she received the Josephine Whitmore graduation award. This award was given to a graduating senior “whose personal qualities enriches the spirit of the school and community at large.” She received her Masters of Music and Doctorate of Musical Arts degree at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Claiborne currently teaches at the University of the District of Columbia where she serves as coordinator of keyboard studies and teaches the History of African American Music.

Deb Mexicotte received her BFA and MA in Theatre from Case Western Reserve University and the University of Michigan, and worked in local and regional theatre as a designer and painter before joining the University of Michigan. She has spent her career working initially with students and student organizations engaged with the arts to help them achieve their highest developmental aspirations, and more recently with faculty and administrators to integrate the arts and design with science and engineering across the curricular and co-curricular spheres. Deb was named Student Organization Adviser of the Year in 1999 and has led research efforts on the impact of the arts on students at U-M. Prior to the last three years at ArtsEngine, she spent eight years as the Program Director for Arts at Michigan, a co-curricular arts engagement program. Her experience in the community includes 13 years as a Trustee on the Ann Arbor Board of Education, chairing the Arts Alliance of Washtenaw County, and currently serving on the Ann Arbor Public Art Commission.