Guest Lecturers

Azusa Pacific’s Master of Arts in Music Industry program regularly hosts guest lecturers whose expertise in the music industry encompasses the areas of intellectual property law, music festival management, endorsement partnerships, image URL and branding, nonprofit music organizations, and more.

Several of our visiting lecturers are entrepreneurs with successful independent record labels. Each lecturer has more than ten years of experience in the music entertainment industry, representing the top artists in various genres.

Through our lecturers’ expert instruction, APU music industry students not only gain firsthand accounts of the current status of the music industry, but also the opportunity to directly network with the guest lecturers and their companies, and even receive invitations to private industry events.

  • Cristina Abaroa

    CEO of Moon Moosic

    Cristina is a producer, songwriter, arranger, musician, and music copyist on over one hundred well-known music projects.

    Her extensive career in the music industry includes countless production projects for artists such as Lady Gaga, Luis Miguel, Céline Dion, and Enrique Iglesias, among many others.

    Cristina has collaborated with the Latin Recording Academy as a musical producer of the exclusive “Person of the Year” tributes, honoring Alejandro Sanz, Plácido Domingo, Shakira, Miguel Bosé, and Caetano Veloso.

    Cristina holds a degree in commercial arranging from Berklee College of Music. She was also honored with the 2018 Berklee Alumni Achievement Award.

  • Jenine Civil

    Senior Brand Marketing Manager, Ultimate Ears (Logitech)

    In her role at Ultimate Ears, Jenine leads design and development of global brand marketing strategy to create poignant campaigns. She also establishes strategic partnerships with top touring musicians for content marketing development. Prior to joining Ultimate Ears, she worked in talent relations at Jimmy Kimmel Live.

    Jenine holds a BS in Television and Radio, with a minor in legal studies from Ithaca College.

  • Kele Currier

    Assistant Vice President, Strategic Services, ASCAP

    Kele Currier’s twenty-three years in the Music business began at SESAC in the broadcast administration department, followed by administration and licensing positions with publishers, Maypop Music Group, Alabama Band’s publishing company, Opryland Music Group and a stint as audit manager at publishing administration company, Integrated Copyright Group (ICG). While at ICG, Kele met songwriter Craig Wiseman, who recruited her to assist in opening Big Loud Bucks Administration.

    As executive vice president, she co-managed Wiseman’s catalogs along with the catalogs of Big Tractor Publishing, Extreme Writer’s Group and the hit catalogs of Rodney Clawson, Chris Tompkins, Jim Collins, and other independent publishers.

    She currently serves on the Academy of Country Music Board, the Gospel Music Association Board and is a member of The Copyright Society of the South, Association of Independent Music Publishers, SOURCE and Country Music Association.

    Kele has a Bachelor of Professional Studies in Music Business from Berklee College of Music.

  • Natalie Ferwerda

    World Tour Manager

    Natalie Ferwerda’s career as a Tour Manager has allowed her to travel throughout the United States, Europe, the Middle East, Australia, and Asia. She has had the opportunity to work alongside Matt Maher, Michael W Smith, Troye Sivan, The Roadshow, Natalie Grant, and Audrey Assad, and also assisted John Mayer’s band on his recent World Tour.

    Prior to touring, she partnered with several venues and festivals in the roles of talent buyer and event manager. Natalie taught college-level courses in music industry and concert touring for seven years and continues to be featured as a guest in college courses around the country.

    Natalie holds an MA in Arts, Entertainment, and Media Management from Columbia College and a BA in Music from North Park University.

  • Tricia Fontneau-Ramos

    A&R Coordinator at Disney Music Publishing

    Tricia Fontneau-Ramos is on the A&R team at Disney Music Publishing and Hollywood Records.

    With a background in publishing, Tricia has used her experience to sign new talent and expand the reach of Disney’s developing roster of writers, producers, and artists. Prior to working with Disney Music Publishing and Hollywood Records, Tricia was the Executive Assistant and Publishing and Business Apprentice at Adarga Entertainment Group, and Booking Coordinator and Tour Manager for the Azusa Pacific University Choir and Orchestra.

    Tricia graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a Bachelor of Music in commercial music.

  • Alex Gershwin

    Manager, Business Development, Songtrust

    Alex is the Manager of Business Development for Songtrust, the world’s largest technology solution for global music publishing royalty collection and administration.

    He has worked in the music industry for more than 12 years. Prior to Songtrust, Gershwin was a Publisher Services Specialist at ASCAP on its Global Services team. He started his career in music at RightsFlow, a mechanical licensing agency in NYC, and has also held roles at MusicBox and Red Bull Records. He is based in Los Angeles, California.

    Alex received his BS in Television, Radio, and Film, with a minor in Music Industry from Syracuse University.

  • Blake Huxell

    Publishing Accounts Manager, Adarga Publishing

    Blake administers the copyrights and music assets for a large roster of boutique music clients.

    In his role, he works directly with many top international music companies and organizations, including the Harry Fox Agency, YouTube, ASCAP, BMI, CCLI, Songtrust, MultiTracks, Adorando Brazil and Easy Song Licensing, among others.

    Blake holds a BM in Commercial Music from Azusa Pacific University and is currently pursuing an MS degree in Music Industry Studies at the University of Southern California.

  • Andrew Lambeth

    Director of Marketing at Centricity Music

    Andrew is Director of Marketing at Centricity Music where he works to develop strategies for music streaming, creative marketing and analytics.

    He began his career by founding a management firm in Nashville that advised songwriters, producers, and recording artists on all career facets. Then, he joined Centricity Music in 2015 where his current role is to develop marketing strategies for Centricity Music’s roster includes artists like Lauren Daigle, Needtobreathe, and Jordan Feliz.

    Andrew holds an MBA from The College of William & Mary, and a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science from The University of Alabama.

  • Nick LaPointe

    Director of Rights Management, AdRev

    Previously, Nick ran the Mechanical Licensing Department at Warner/Chappell Music, overseeing the clearing and licensing of tracks for all major and indie releases. Nick also ran WCM’s in-house YouTube team, maintaining their entire catalog and ensuring that new content was properly monetized and payable in YouTube.

    Nick has a BA in Music Business and Management from the Berklee College of Music.

  • Stefan Lim

    Music Entrepreneur based in Singapore

    Stefan began his professional music career in California working with the Grammy Foundation, Universal Music, Live Nation, and various music supervision companies. He was offered a position in Silicon Valley to bring his music and cultural knowledge to technology startups as part of the business development team.

    After relocating to Asia with a music technology company expansion, he launched his own startup, GigOut, a live concert discovery platform for Asia. Today, Stefan is the lead product manager for Ticketbox, Vietnam’s largest ticketing company, as well as Giig, a new platform where agencies discover and book influencers for their marketing campaigns.

    Stefan holds a BA in Commercial Music from Azusa Pacific University.

  • Ben Patterson

    President, Dashgo, Inc.

    Ben Patterson is the founder and President of DashGo and an experienced senior executive specializing in digital distribution, marketing, and content monetization recognized by Billboard magazine as a 2020 Indie Power Player. His career began at the music management company, The Firm, where he served from 2000-2005 as Vice President of Digital Music and Strategic Development. He oversaw all digital marketing and business development for clients including Snoop Dogg, Dixie Chicks, Korn, Linkin Park, Enrique Iglesias, Weezer, Audioslave, Backstreet Boys, and more.

    Ben graduated from Northwestern University with a BS in School of Speech and Communication Studies.

  • Dayna Richards

    Principal, Law Office of Dayna Richards

    Dayna’s practice areas include copyright, trademark, and negotiating and drafting entertainment industry transactions. In 2018 she opened her own firm, where her clients include filmmakers, musicians, nonprofits, and small businesses and entertainment companies. 

    Previously she worked for Warner Music, Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox TV, and the Estate of Bruce Lee. 

    She holds a Juris Doctor from Chapman University and a Bachelor of Music from Azusa Pacific University, and is licensed to practice law in California.

  • Claudia Santa Cruz

    President, Santa Cruz Communications, Inc.

    Claudia’s leadership has earned the company a strong reputation in the entertainment industry as one of the driving forces behind internationally televised events, garnering media awareness and interest for Telemundo’s highly-rated prestigious awards shows, such as the Billboard Latin Music Awards, Premios Tu Mundo and the Latin American Music Awards, and contributing to their overall increase in ratings performance. SCC has been recognized with the HPRA National Bravo Award for Media Event Campaign of the year for its work on the Billboard Latin Music Awards.

    Prior to starting her own PR business in 2001, Santa Cruz, who co-authored the book Hispanic Marketing & Public Relations, worked at Telemundo for over seven years where she developed and executed bilingual campaigns to promote the company’s activities, programs, on-air personalities, and special events. Santa Cruz was promoted from her PR Manager position at the company’s flagship station in Los Angeles, KVEA-TV Telemundo 52. During her tenure at Telemundo 52, she planned and executed media and public affairs campaigns targeting the L.A. market, and produced a weekly public affairs television program titled “Contrapunto.” Previously, Santa Cruz was the Public Relations Coordinator at KMEX-TV, Univision’s owned and operated station in L.A., where she developed and executed media relations campaigns.

    A recipient of a Public Relations Society of America PRISM Award and a Latino Marketing Award, Santa Cruz received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from California State University, Northridge.

  • Nelson Tristao

    President, Onimusic Ltda; President, Editora Adoranda Ltda

    Onimusic Ltda is a full-service Brazilian Christian Music Company. In 2004, he launched Onimusic with an innovative service model for worship music that focused on the needs of the local church. In 2010, the National Association of Christian Bookstores (ANLE), awarded Onimusic with the prize for the most Christian CDs sold in Brazil for two consecutive years. Onimusic successfully migrated from physical sales to digital music and is a leader in the Christian genre in Brazil.

    Nelson is also the president of Editora Adorando Ltda, a publishing company that is pioneering the Christian music publishing business in Brazil. Adorando sub publishes Capitol CMG’s, Adarga Publishing, Essential Music Publishing, Hillsong Publishing, Music Services, Bethel Music Publishing and several other foreign catalogs. Adorando also publishes a Brazilian catalog and is building a team of Brazilian worship-writers. At this time, Adorando is involved in a nationwide program to educate pastors, worship leaders, musicians, and Christians about copyright law and the music publishing business.

  • Carlos Vega

    Senior Manager of Digital Marketing, Ticketmaster

    Carlos has extensive experience working in live event coordination, marketing, and management with world-class music festivals such as Coachella, Stagecoach, and Desert Trip.

    He has held various important positions with Ticketmaster, House of Blues, AEG, Live Nation, and Goldenvoice. He is currently serving as senior consultant of email marketing for over 250 Ticketmaster clients, including the Los Angeles Lakers, Pantages Theatre, and UCLA Athletics.

    Carlos has a passion for community and entrepreneurship. He helps small businesses develop and maintain an online presence on social media and other digital channels.

    He studied marketing at California State University, San Bernardino, and holds an A.A. degree in business administration from Chaffey College.

  • Michelle M. Wahl, JD

    Partner, Swanson, Martin and Bell, LLP

    Michelle is the vice chair of the firm’s entertainment and media practice group and a member of the firm’s intellectual property litigation and transactional services practice group.

    Her copyright and trademark practice focuses on intellectual property prosecution and related transactions, including performing trademark availability searches and providing advisory opinions. She also prepares and files trademark applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, as well as copyright registrations with the United States Copyright Office. Michelle is licensed in Illinois and Indiana state and federal courts.

    Michelle holds a J.D. in Law and Intellectual Property from The John Marshall School of Law, and bachelor’s degrees in English and psychology from DePaul University.

  • Timothy Whincop, esq.

    CEO, Hillsong Music & Resources

    Timothy currently leads Hillsong’s Music & Resources, which represents the well-known bands Hillsong United, Hillsong Worship, and Hillsong Young & Free. He began his career at Hillsong as their Project Manager. After six years of being their Project Manager, he took on his current role as overseer of music and resources for Hillsong.

    Timothy studied music at Queensland University of Technology, earned his MBA and LL.B. degrees at Southern Cross University, and LL.M. at Bond University.

  • Jesse Worstell

    Senior Vice President of Rights Management, AdRev

    He began his career as a guitarist and songwriter, spending more than 12 years touring and managing his own indie rock bands, sharing the stage with Bon Jovi, Big Boi, Kid Rock, Cage the Elephant, and many others. 

    Jesse has been with AdRev since 2013, and specializes in administering music copyrights, helping his clients reach their maximum earning potential in YouTube’s Content ID platform. 

    Jesse has a Bachelor of Arts from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Note: This information is current for the 2022-23 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.

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