Georgina “Gina” MaldonadoOwner, SMPTE StudioFreelance actor, singer, model and recording engineer
“I knew I wanted to be involved in music since I can remember. After I graduated from high school, I performed with a Latin band for about eight years, as lead singer of Gina and DZ3 (DEZAZTRE). We toured and I was making a living making music, but after a while, I figured I needed a college degree. I thought, ‘I want a back-up plan for when I’m old and ugly and can’t be in front of the microphone or camera any more.’ When I found out about Cedar Valley’s music program, I wanted to go there.
“I actually earned three associate degrees at Cedar Valley when I graduated in May 2007: Arranger/Composer/Copyist, Performing Musician and Recording Technology. It was pretty crazy — I took 25 to 27 credits every semester and had to have a special permit to register each time. I was doing all three associate degrees at once, so I was taking vocal lessons, piano, choir, music theory, recording technology.
“I thought Cedar Valley’s program was perfect for me. The education there was awesome. The teachers are so professional — they’re all professional musicians and know the industry. And they’re so talented too. The teachers and students have a personal relationship; everybody knows each other and helps each other.
“My music education was very affordable. Cedar Valley is one of the only colleges I know of with the Recording Technology program. I found one other college in Florida, but it was really expensive. I think my education at Cedar Valley was better anyway, not only because the quality of teaching was so good but because the classes are so small. The teachers really pay attention to your individual needs.
“My education gave me experience. Now I know what I’m talking about in the music industry, and I’m not just a performer. I have knowledge that nobody’s going to take away from me.”
A graduate of Sunset High School, Georgina Maldonado runs SMPTE Studio in her home; does sound system rentals, engineering and lighting for JAR Audio and Lighting; and performs on- and off-camera work, music for commercials and infomercials and video editing for DigiTechnology as a freelancer in both English and Spanish.
Her on-camera work has included commercials for Honda and Estée Lauder perfume. She was also the Dallas finalist in the Latin Grammy national karaoke contest, in which the ultimate winner won a trip to the red carpet of the Latin Grammy Awards. Several members of her former band enrolled in Cedar Valley College’s Commercial Music program at her encouragement.