A man playing the Optron, a light bar that uses sensors to make music.



Virtuosic musicians, musical entrepreneurs, researchers, and curators took the stage during the Guthman Musical Instrument Competition concert. Each virtuoso, appearing together with one of the competition finalists, helped to explain how each new musical instrument works and how it transforms musical creation and performance. 

Cameron "Chip" Crotts

Chip Crotts sitting on a bench with his trumpet.

Dr. Chip Crotts is Director of Jazz Studies and Assistant Director of Bands at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Highly active as a professional trumpet player, Chip has performed and recorded for the Disney Company in Europe and the United States, and as a first call player, maintains an active career of national touring shoes, regional symphony dates, and local performances throughout the year.



MILK + SIZZ posing together on a bench.


MILK+SIZZ, a Grammy and Latin Grammy Winning husband and wife production team has the recipe for versatility. The Multi-Platinum duo has charted their success in Pop, R&B, Hip Hop, EDM, and Reggaeton. Their progressive sound, infectious melody, and innovative lyrics can be currently found on "25 to Life" + "Feel Like" the latest releases by J. Holiday.

Karen Milchus

A closeup of Karen Milchus

Karen Milchus is a Senior Research Engineer at Georgia Tech's Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation. Her research focuses on how technology and strategies, particularly computer-based solutions, can be used to help employees and students with disabilities participate in workplace and in school. Karen is also a musician, occaisionally playing English horn or oboe with the Georgia Symphony Orchestra. She is excited about the opportunity to combine her interests for this evening, and the idea that some of tonight's designs might enable a broader group of people to take an active role in making music.


Chelsea Shag

Chelsea Shag holding a guitar.

Canadian-born and Atlanta-claimed, Chelsea Shag holds many titles in her musical journey, constantly evolving and creating. Singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer. Her live show, a colorful blend of R&B, neo-soul, and jazz with Jimi Hendrix era rock & roll and guitar solos, has garnered her a passionate fan base.


Klimchak playing a created instrument created with rods and a stem running through the middle.

Klimchak builds and plays unusual musical instruments, using them to compose electro-acoustic music for film, theater, dance, and live solo performance. Recent performances include Flux Night 2016 (using instruments made from decommissioned guns with Bent Frequency in Pedro Reyes Disarm), Art in Odd Places Orlando (playing music on a theremin bike for the solo piece, Pied Pipers Payback), and Dancing in Arctic (composed music for Jody Sperling at Brenau University about dancing on ice). In March 2015, Klimchak premiered his solo show, Cooksnotes, in which he makes music on kitchen implements while cooking dinner for the audience.

Shannon Ladson

Shannon Ladson playing a flute.

Shannon Ladson is a native of Atlanta, GA and a product of Dekalb County Schools. He holds degrees in music from Hampton University and the University of Mississippi. He has served as: Assistant Director of University Bands and Instructor of Music at Hampton University, musician/performer at Busch Gardens Europe, and managerial supervisor of entertainment at Six Flags Over Georgia.


Jayson Dobney

A headshot of Jayson Dobney.

Jayson Kerr Dobney is the Frederick P. Rose Curator in Charge of the Department of Musical Instruments at The Metropolitan Museum. He was recently the curator of the exhibition Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll (2019). Past exhibitions include The Sau-Wing Lam Collection of Rare Italian Stringed Instruments (2013), and Guitar Heroes: Legendary Craftsmen from Italy to New York (2011). Publication highlights include "Asian Musical Instruments at The Metropolitan Museum" in the Arts of Asia magazine (2019 the article "Royal Kettledrums from the House of Hanover," in the Galpin Society Journal (2016), and as a co-author of the Musical Instruments: Highlights of The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2015) among others. He is also currently the president of the American Musical Instrument Society. In addition to his scholarly activities, Jayson is a keyboardist and percussionist, and served as the organist and music director of Memorial United Methodist Church in White Plains, NY from 2008 to 2016.

Ally Stout

Ally Stout wearing a Georgia Tech shirt and posing in front of wall art in tones of blue and purple.

Ally Stout is a third-year undergraduate at Georgia Tech, majoring in music technology. She is also an accomplished violinist, playing across many genres and ensembles on campus such as Rock & Pop, Symphony Orchestra, and Jazz. In addition to her studies, she is currently the GRAMMY U Representative for the Recording Academy, where she works to connect college students who are pursuing careers in music with professional opportunities and events around Atlanta. She is a student ambassador for the music technology department at Georgia Tech as well as active member of both the Audio Engineering Society and Women's Audio Mission.

Sam Cape

Sam Cape in front of a keyboard and a large mixer bathed in blue light.

Sam Cape is an audio-visual artist who aims to integrate the artificial sounds of electronic music with the natural human element of performance. He played guitar in numerous bands in styles ranging from funk to death metal to classical wedding music. As a composer he's worked with saxophone quartet, world instruments, chamber ensembles, and most recently, modular synthesizers.

Craig King

Craig King posing in front of a white background.

Craig King attended Howard University, where he majored in jazz and classical piano. During his sophomore year, he was recruited to go on tour with Ray Charles for "The Black Requiem Tour" conducted by Quincy Jones. From there, King went on to work on many Grammy award winning albums, television shows, commercials, tours, and award ceremonies (Will Smith, Ludacris, Kanye West, Aaliyah, etc.). Now King (CEO of the tech platform Rapplug and Gentleking Technologies) has partnered with Comcast NBC Universal, Serena Williams, Microsoft, Revolt Summit (Diddy), A3C, The Mandela Foundation, Reebok, Ford, The Andrew and Walter Young YMCA, Ushers New Look and many more.

Peter C. Evans

A close up of Peter C. Evans' face in black and white during a performance

Peter C. Evans is the Managing Partner of the Platform Strategy Institute and passionate about the intersection of music and technology. He is currently leading a project in collaboration with the Music Division, which explores the many benefits available to companies from developing a comprehensive, enterprise-wide sound strategy. He is the founder of MusicTech Connect, a thought leadership forum aimed at advancing the city of Atlanta as a global music tech hub. Peter is an active DJ in the Atlanta electronic music scene, mixing deep house, tech house, and speed garage at a wide range of venues under the name DJ Provost. He has served as an advisor to startups including Rap Plug, a platform where record labels, corporations, artists, and industry professionals discover each other, collaborate, and monetize together. He received his master's degree and Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


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