Don Johnsen – Sound and Theater Engineer

1985 – Lighting for Sound of Music at Homestead High School, Cupertino CA

1984-1985 – Participant in Common Ground choir with Bethel Lutheran Church, Cupertino, CA. This group would do a “tour” of getting on a bus for a week to a collection of churches further south and perform an hour-long show. I was eager to help with setting up the mobile sound rig and running the board (circa 1980’s Carvin board and Bose pole-mount speakers run on Crown amps).

1986 – Sound design for Diary of Anne Frank at Homestead High School, Cupertino, CA. This was my first opportunity to play with a multi-head reel-to-reel magnetic tape recorder (had been working with cassette tape for 5 years)

1986 – Apprentice work at Sonic Images Studio, Santa Clara CA – where I started working with their 2″ 16-track

1986-1987 – Sound Technician for Keystone Palo Alto – performed band load-in and setup, microphone placement, initial sound check and monitor mix setup

1987 – Built replacement sound system for Homestead High School auditorium

1987 – De Anza College, Cupertino, CA – led to work in the public access cable TV studio there, and gave me experience leading to Television Associates.

1987-1988 – Videotape Duplicator for Television Associates, Mountain View, CA. This work lead to engineering work rebuilding their edit suite/master control, and the beginning of Ambush Productions where I did independent contracting on audio/video/computer projects for ten years.

1989 – UC Santa Cruz – Theater Arts Film/TV focus – Led to engagement as video engineer for multi-camera shoot of Midsummer Night’s Dream with Shakespeare Santa Cruz

1990 – Product Test Engineer for E-mu Systems, Scotts Valley CA for new  Proteus keyboard line

1992 – Cogswell College, Cupertino CA – Computer Video Imaging and Music Technology

1994-1996 – Continued work with Sonic Images and projects they were involved in – build-out of new post-Cogswell Sonic studio in San Jose; site wiring for a church sound system

1997-2005 – Systems Administrator for Cisco Systems

2010-2017 – Produced live sound and recordings for Apex NC LDS Church Christmas Nativity display and music program, for multiple performers/group sizes across multiple nights.

2013-2016 – Apex NC High School Chorus – Daughter was participant; I attended chorus trips as chaperone and captured/distributed recordings

2020 – Relocate to Seattle WA

2022-2023 – Sound Engineer for Phase 5 band. I would later fill in as vocals/guitars for vacationing members.

2023-present – Singer with Seattle Men’s Chorus