BIO – Donavan Skaggs

As a lifelong musician (multi-instrumentalist), my early ambition was to produce music and the tools for making music.  I worked through electronic engineering school as a graphic artist, then began my first career teaching computer repair in the mid-80’s, while freelancing in graphic arts and custom electronics work for musicians, radio stations and performance venues. 

This led to a position on the technical crew for The Capitol Theater (Yakima WA) where I started as a lighting tech, and eventually audio engineer, while freelancing as a stagehand and party deejay. 

I took a 25-year pause from The Arts for a career in field service with a global biotech company.  That lifestyle didn’t play well with artistic pursuits, beyond occasional dabbling in music and art. 

As my children became interested in The Arts, another career change freed up valuable time to guide them toward their achievements in music (both are trained multi-instrumentalists and vocalists) and theater (both have won awards, and one earned a degree in theater at CWU).  As a band-parent and stage-parent with an arts background and technical experience, I fell naturally into the roles of recording engineer and videographer, producing fundraising DVDs and audio CDs, which turned into requests to record auditions and application videos.

This led to work recording local musical groups, and providing audio engineering for outdoor music festivals.  Marketing was outside of the skillset for many of these groups, so I started doing concert photography, creating show posters, developing websites and building workflows for event promotion. 

This was about the time I registered my company, “Silent Knight LLC” (after the name of my first band in the 80’s), and had to start picking and choosing the work I could complete.  I decided that it would be exclusively for The Arts and individuals, especially making access to creative media production accessible to students, schools and community groups. 

Since then, I continue to make more contacts within the regional arts world.  I have served on the board for the Harmony Kings Chorus, the Auburn Mountainview Band Parents Association, AMHS Booster Club, SoCo Culture Leadership Team, Consultant to National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) and Sweet Adelines International, and Evergreen District of the Barbershop Harmony Society Technical Director. 

I have built relationships with a full range of professional musicians for session work and launched an independent record label (Sonomontis Records, for “Sound of the Mountain”), registered with the RIAA.  I have a growing catalog of recordings which I market and distribute in all media and platforms, and continue to develop and host websites for arts groups and individual practicioners (  Currently, I’m renovating my personal recording studio (Slaughtertown Sound, after the original name for the city of Auburn WA), where in addition to mixing and mastering for other producers, I hope to record my first album of original compositions.

Meanwhile, if you, as an arts organization, school, private instructor, or independent musician need some creative support, hit me up!  I do it all so you can concentrate on practicing your art.

New Project, New Blog

On Tuesday of this week I got the song list from the barbershop chorus I will be recording this fall.  This will also be the first start-to-finish major project that I will record, mix and master in Presonus Studio One Pro.

On Wednesday, I downloaded a book to read on my upcoming trip to North Carolina.  I really enjoyed season 1 of “American Gods” on Starz, and from the imagery and story, thought the book might be even better.

In the forward of the 10th anniversary edition, the author mentions  starting a blog when he started writing the book, to document the process and the experience.  That seemed serendipitous, as I am starting a new major project right now.  The only time I have ever blogged was during a big RV trip around North America we took as a family six years ago.  Therefore, I’ll start adding posts to a new “Project Blog” category on this website, and try to keep up with it.  This will be the inaugural post.

Let’s see how long this lasts.