Bryan Clark

Bryan Clark

Instructor / Producer


A Texas native, Bryan began his professional guitar  playing career as the opening act for legendary jazz guitarist Larry Carlton. A graduate of University of Southern California (BM, DMA), and University of Texas (MM), His music is regularly featured on FOX, ESPN, VH1, Lifetime Network, WB Network, and the History Channel.  He has worked with a diverse range of artists: Bonnie Raitt, Lisa Loeb, Scott Henderson, renowned Chinese Erhu virtuoso Xiaohui Ma, Phil Keaggy, and Kelsea Ballerini to name a few.


Marian Matthis

Marian Matthis

Digital Marketing Director


Marian manages the social media channels, websites, SEO, email marketing, and other digital stuff for The Blackbird Academy and Blackbird Studio. She also designs print advertising and the catalog for The Blackbird Academy.

Marian has been a freelance marketing/design pro at Big Moon Marketing since 2000. There she found her love of designing everything related to music and created pieces for artists such as George Strait, Trisha Yearwood, Dolly Parton, Lee Ann Womack, Terri Clark, and many others. In 2018, she joined authors Dwight Lewis and Susan Thomas in creating the book, “Temple’s Tigerbelles: An Illustrated History of the Women Who Outran the World,” which she designed and produced. Marian is a former manager, admin & design in the newsroom and marketing director at The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville.


Rolff Zwiep

Rolff Zwiep

Schedule Administrator—The Blackbird Academy / Blackbird Studio Manager


As Blackbird Studio’s manager, Rolff handles all of the bookings and oversees the operations of Blackbird’s many studios. Rolff also does the scheduling for The Blackbird Academy students & staff.

Before this position, Rolff managed Blackbird Audio Rentals.


Blair Gallimore

Blair Gallimore

Career Services and Account Manager


Blair is the Career Services & Account Manager for The Blackbird Academy, as well as the Accounts Receivables/Payables Manager for Blackbird Studio. Blair provides career advising expertise to The Blackbird Academy students regarding the job-search process in our industry, interviewing, resume writing, and all other facets of career planning. Blair is the liaison with our employer clients and is responsible for developing contacts for the purpose of expanding employment opportunities for our students and alumni.

Blair graduated from Belmont University in 2009 with a degree in Music Business. During her time at Belmont, she interned at Blackbird Studio, and ultimately was hired as the Receptionist/Client Services/Administrative Assistant. She moved to Accounts Receivables/Payables in Spring 2017. Blair is from Greenville, NC.


Carma DiCianni

Carma DiCianni

Director Of Student Operations & Marketing


Carma DiCianni is responsible for strategically building, executing, and maintaining our student and alumni programs, oversees the creation/implementation of communication and marketing materials for the school, and has financial responsibility for the Academy. Carma also oversees the management and operations of recruitment, admissions, enrollment and orientation services at The Blackbird Academy.  

Carma has been in the education and music industries for over 20 years. In the music industry, she has worked in recording studios, tour management, and as a professional event/concert photographer. Carma has worked with artists/bands including Bon Jovi, Stone Temple Pilots, Ted Nugent, Alice Cooper, Marty Stuart, Travis Tritt, and many more. Carma has taught at the high school, university, and corporate levels and has degrees in Education, Audio Engineering, and Entertainment Business.


John McBride

John McBride


John McBride, the owner of Blackbird Studio and Institutional Director of The Blackbird Academy, has spent his entire life in the pursuit of quality, professional sound. Getting his start in live sound by launching MD Systems Sound in his hometown of Wichita, he came to Nashville in late 1990. John sold the company to Clair Brothers Audio in 1997.

John fulfilled a lifelong dream by opening Blackbird Studio in 2002 – which quickly became a favorite of artists, musicians, producers, and engineers worldwide. A champion of analog recording, he has amassed one of the largest private collections of vintage and modern recording equipment on the planet, including a microphone collection without equal.

In 2013, John opened The Blackbird Academy, dedicated to advancing the quality of recording education through a hands-on, professional training curriculum. In 2014, John received two Pensado Awards – the Educator Award and the Live/FOH Award.

John is married to country superstar Martina McBride, his partner in life and business; they have three children.


Rich Flora

Rich Flora


“I have lived all over the country, pursuing my passions in audio and electronics. I started in Omaha, Nebraska, while in high school, working for a regional company doing lighting and monitor mixing. I found that I loved monitors more than lighting, so I decided to focus on the audio side of production and haven’t ever looked back.

“After high school, I joined the Navy as an Electronics Tech but found that live production was really where my heart was. I have worked in some of the coolest places – Seattle, New Orleans (twice), San Diego, and Orlando. About 30 years ago, I moved to Nashville – and not a day goes by that I have regretted that decision.

“I have been an Audio Engineer, Lighting Director, Radio Broadcast Engineer, Celebrity Guest Truck Loader, and even an A/V Tech for a top-50 law firm. I have worked with numerous bands, I was out with Little Texas & Collin Ray the longest – working 27 years at Clair Global.

“I have worked with some of the most passionate and knowledgeable people on all sides of the industry. Now, I get to share my passion and help light the fires for someone else’s dreams.”


Scott Brewer

Scott Brewer


Scott has been a musician for more than twenty years and started his career playing in bands before moving to the other side of the console. Scott studied at Guildford Tech where he double-majored in Recording Engineering and Concert Sound & Lighting.

During his time at Guildford Tech, Scott freelanced for production companies and the local IATSE. This work led him to a gig with Imagine Design and Productions, where he was an audio engineer, systems designer, and installer.

Scott joined The Blackbird Academy in 2017 to head the Live Sound Engineering program. He is originally from North Carolina.


Kevin Boettger

Kevin Boettger


Kevin Boettger is an audio engineer with over ten years of professional studio experience.

After spending time in New Haven, working at Trod Nossel studios and studying Audio Engineering at the University of New Haven, Kevin decided to move to Nashville to pursue an audio engineering career at Blackbird Studio. Kevin has had the opportunity to work with artists such as Kacey Musgraves, Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, Paramore, Capital Cities, Dan + Shay, Willie Nelson, and more.

In 2018, Kevin had his hands on three projects that won Grammy Awards: Willie Nelson’s ‘My Way’ (Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album), Dan + Shay ‘Tequila’ (Best Country Duo/Group Performance) and The Travelin’ McCoury’s self-titled record (Best Bluegrass Album).


Jeremy Cottrell

Jeremy Cottrell


After graduating from The Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences in Tempe, AZ in 2000, Jeremy moved to Nashville. He joined Sound Stage Studios and worked with such artists as Wynona and Peter Frampton. From there, Jeremy went to Sputnik Sound, where he worked on the Grammy-winning album The Eleventh Hour by Jars of Clay. A few months later, while recording 11Live, Jars of Clay’s live concert DVD, Jeremy met John McBride. In 2002, after he recorded a few live concerts for artists including Martina McBride and ZZ Top, Jeremy became a staff engineer at Blackbird Studio. While at Blackbird, Jeremy has worked with such artists as Sheryl Crow, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Martina McBride, Keith Urban, Alison Krauss, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Raul Malo, Big & Rich, Richard Marx, Kid Rock, Jars of Clay, John Hiatt, Buddy Miller, And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Third Day, Lauren Lucas, and many, many more.

Jeremy is a published songwriter (Melody Roundup Music, 2010—2012) with songs recorded internationally and is a member of BMI.

Jeremy is the head studio instructor for The Blackbird Academy. Along with the students, he’s recorded Jim Lauderdale, Exile, Garry Tallent of The E Street Band, John Stoddart, and many others.
Jeremy also owns and is the master builder for Ampcoustics studio acoustic panels.

KUDOS:

Keith UrbanBe Here – 4x Platinum; ACM Album of the Year; ARIA Album of the Year; Grammy-nominated Best Country Album
Martina McBrideMartina – 2x Platinum; Grammy-nominated Best Female Country Vocal Performance; ACM nominated Album of the Year
Martina McBrideTimeless – Platinum; Grammy-nominated Best Female Country Vocal Performance
Faith HillFireflies – 2x Platinum; Grammy winner for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals; Grammy-nominated Best Country Album; Grammy-nominated Best Female Country Vocal Performance; CMA-nominated Musical Event of the Year
Tim McGrawLive Like You Were Dying – 4x Platinum; AMA Album of the Year; ACM Song and Single of the Year; Grammy winner Best Male Country Vocal Performance
Big & RichHorse of a Different Color – 3x Platinum; Grammy winner Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group
Jars of ClayThe Eleventh Hour – Grammy winner Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album; GMA Best Modern Rock Album
Jars of ClayFuthermore – Platinum; GMA nominated Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year
Third DayOfferings II – Grammy-nominated Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album; GMA Praise and Worship Album of the Year
DownhereSo Much For Substitutes – GMA Modern Rock Recorded Song of the Year; GMA nominated Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year; GMA Canada Rock/Alternative Album of the Year; Juno Award-nominated Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album of the Year