Entertainment Technology

Are you looking for a career doing what you love? GTCC's Entertainment Technology Program offers four degree paths in the music industry; from lighting and live sound, studio recording and music business to commercial music, GTCC has you covered. Learn from true industry professionals how to turn your passion into a living. Entertainment Technology creates a community of like-minded individuals who learn how to make a living doing something they really enjoy. We are helping create a lifestyle.

Credentialing Options

About Entertainment Technology

Frequently Asked Questions

You will need to follow the general enrollment process for GTCC.  During the advising process you will have the opportunity to indicate your desire to study within this curriculum. Your advisor will help you sign up for the specific courses you need.

Ron Barrans (Instructor) is a Live Sound and Lighting technician with more than 30 years of experience in club, radio, theatre and house of worship environments. Barrans’ love for music began studying classical violin under Angelo Gatto, playing with the Maryland Youth Symphony Orchestra, and summer studies at the Bryn Mawr Conservatory of Music, having the opportunity to play with Isaac Stern, Jascha Heifitz and YoYo Ma. Ron has worked with several theater groups, including the High Point Tower Players, Greensboro Community Theatre, Kernersville Little Theatre, the Good News Players, the Carolina Skyline Theatre, and Drama Kids International, designing and operating lighting and sound reinforcement for more than one hundred performances.

While working as Technical Coordinator for First Christian Church Ministries, Ron worked to maintain, operate and upgrade three permanent performance stages, including sound, moving and conventional lighting, image magnification, robotic and hand-held cameras, and web streaming.

Over the past several years, Ron has worked with numerous touring acts and speakers, including the Crabb Family, Seven and Seven Is, Natalie Grant, Newsong, Denver and the Mile High Orchestra, Nicole C. Mullen, Karen Kingsbury, Jason Crabb, and several senators and congressmen.


  • BA English Mass Communications Media, High Point College

Liz May (Instructor) is an audio engineer, musician, and entrepreneur in the music scene of the North Carolina Triad through SoundLizzard Productions (SLP), a company she founded in 2003. After growing the business to include an A&R department, record label, and publishing company for a short time, sound mixing for several independent films, and running a music festival for six years, the company now operates primarily as a recording, post-production, and live sound business.

Liz has also been in production management at a few of the city’s facilities assisting in their daily operations, event production, and growing the organization’s revenue stream. She most recently was the production and operations manager of the historic RJ Reynolds Auditorium, a 1,900-seat, 100-year-old classic performance hall located in the heart of Winston-Salem.

She has worked with countless award-winning and nationally recognized artists both in the studio and on the stage. Her current audio work includes: live sound mixing for the Winston-Salem Symphony Pops and Unbound series, post production for virtual recording projects, running sound for various N.C. festivals, and providing system and audio support for many churches, schools, and venues in the Triad. Liz has also been a contributing writer for magazines such as Pro Sound News, Sound & Video Contractor, and Pro Audio Review and maintains strong connections with audio manufacturers around the globe.

Liz has enjoyed working in all aspects of the music and entertainment industries and believes that we are never too old to stop learning, and we are never too young to start teaching. Liz holds certifications in Pro Tools, RedNet, Dante, and OSHA10 and is a member of AES (Audio Engineering Society) and IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts).


  • BA Arts Management Salem College, 2015
  • Audio Engineering Certificate, SAE Institute, Nashville, 2006

Thomas “TJ” Johnson (Instructor/Department Chair) is an audio engineer, producer, and musician. He is best known for his work with Porno for Pyros and Rancid. Johnson has been an active professional in the industry since 1981, and trained at the Recording Workshop in Chillicothe, Ohio. Johnson’s involvement with Porno for Pyros began during the recording of their second album, Good God’s Urge, on which Johnson engineered, co-produced, and played. Following the album’s release, Johnson toured with Porno for Pyros from 1995 until the spring of 1997, providing samples, playing keyboards, and singing. During that time, Johnson also recorded new tracks for what should have been Porno for Pyros’ third album, which was instead released on Perry Farrell’s solo effort Song Yet to Be Sung and Jane’s Addiction’s Kettle Whistle. Johnson has worked with an array of major and independent labels including Sony Music, Warner Bros. Records, Mercury, Virgin Records, Geffen, and RCA. He also did work for Epitaph Records, and its offshoot, Hellcat Records. In the spring of 1997, Johnson started a long relationship with Rancid, resulting in his recording Life Won’t Wait (1998) and Rancid (2000) for the Bay Area punk band. Johnson has been a part of GTCC's Entertainment Technology program since its beginning in Fall 2000.


  • Christopher Newport College Recording Engineering Certificate
  • Recording Workshop Certificate
  • GTCC Entertainment Technology Recording Engineering, AAS
  • Pro Media Pro Tools/Reason Training Certificates

Professional Organizations:

  • Voting Member of NARAS (Grammys)
  • Full Member Audio Engineering Society (AES)
  • Member ASCAP
  • Pro Tools Certification Operator Music Pro Tools 6.x

Yes, Financial aid is available if you qualify. Please visit our Financial Aid web page or call the Financial Aid office at 336-334-4822 Option 3.

If you have a passion for the Entertainment Industry, you qualify! All you need is a strong work ethic, a desire for knowledge and a positive attitude, however admission into the Entertainment Technology Commercial Music Option requires an audition. Potential Commercial Music Option majors must be able to perform a prepared piece of music, sight-read, and improvise within a blues ensemble. The auditions are conducted by faculty members of the Music Department and Entertainment Technology.

Students will need a set of studio quality headphones and storage media for projects. All textbooks and a simple tool kit are available in the Titan Bookstore.  This is a work- related industry, so we ask that you dress appropriately.  Closed-toed shoes and long pants are required for lab work.  Safety First!

We have five recording studios and a live sound/lighting lab.

Studio A

  • SSL AWS948
  • Avid Pro Tools 12 HD Apple Mac Pro
  • Avid HDX I/O
  • API
  • Rupert Neve
  • Avalon
  • Tube Tech
  • Manley
  • DBX
  • Lexicon
  • Eventide
  • Yamaha
  • Westlake Audio
  • QSC
  • Empirical Labs

Studio B

  • Digidesign C24
  • Avid HDX I/O
  • Pro Tools 12 HD
  • Mac Pro
  • Sonnet
  • Yamaha

Studio C

  • Slate RAVEN MTX mk2
  • Slate Media Technology Slate Control - Analog Monitoring Controller
  • Avid Pro Tools 12 HD Apple Mac Pro
  • Avid HDX I/O
  • API
  • Rupert Neve
  • Yamaha
  • Genelec

Studio D

  • Slate RAVEN MTX mk2
  • Slate Media Technology Slate Control - Analog Monitoring Controller Universal Audio Apollo
  • DBX
  • Pro Tools 12 Apple Mac Pro
  • Adams A8X

Studio M

  • Slate RAVEN MTX mk2
  • Slate Media Technology Slate Control - Analog Monitoring Controller Universal Audio Apollo
  • DBX
  • Avid Pro Tools 12 HD Apple Mac Pro
  • Avid HDX I/O
  • API
  • Rupert Neve
  • Alesis


  • AKG
  • Shure
  • Royer
  • Neumann
  • Sennheiser
  • Electro-Voice
  • Rode
  • Heil

Live Sound/Lighting

  • Digico
  • Yamaha
  • Allen & Heath
  • Soundcraft
  • RFC
  • JBL
  • QSC
  • Grand MA
  • Full Boar 4
  • Chauvet
  • Altman
  • Tomcat
  • Source 4
  • ETC
  • Radial

While no guarantee can be made regarding job placement, our Entertainment Technology graduates leave GTCC prepared to impress any employer through their practical understanding of industry workflow standards. In many cases, our graduates receive a leg up against other four-year institutions regarding job placement simply because every one of our faculty members comes from the industry and has maintained connections within industry.