Artistic Finance: Lighting Up The Dance Floor With Lighting Designer Marsha Stern
By Ellen Lampert-Greaux Jul 21, 2022 08:15am
My friend Marsha Stern has been in this industry almost as long as I have! Identifying as a lighting designer, she moved to New York City in 1976 for a career in music: playing, composing, and producing. She got a job as a publicist at The Howard Bloom Organization, where she was introduced to disco and rock’n’roll clients. Those business relationships morphed into friendships and a series of jobs, culminating with The Joe Long Sound, a music production team.When that disbanded, Marsha was offered $35 a night (and all she wanted to drink) to work lights at a local club in the West Village. The rest is history. READ MORE (PDF): CLICK HERE
DISCO CHRONICLES INTERVIEW
Disco Chronicles Episode 4 feat. Marsha Stern
By Felipe Rose (Village People) June 8, 2021
Disco Chronicles is a video/podcast series exploring ‘The Good, The Bad & The Ugly’ of the Disco Era and it’s continued impact on culture and society.
WATCH ON YOUTUBE: CLICK HERE
Lighting & Sound America
A New Exhibit Celebrates The Wild Nights Of Studio 54
By Julie Rekai Rickerd June 2, 2021
Iconic unforgettable nightspots appear once in a blue moon, and Studio 54 was one of them. To celebrate the founding of the celebrated disco more then 40 years ago, Matthew Yokoosky, senior curator of fashion and material culture at Brooklyn Museum, curated and designed the exhibition Studio 54: Night Magic.
Co-founded by Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell, who met while students at Syracuse University, Studio 54 was 17970s´reigning club a celebrity magnet know for its outrageous staging and state-of-the-art lighting and sound.
FULL ARTICLE: CLICK HERE
TRUE HOUSE STORIES INTERVIEW
Marsha Stern & Robbie Leslie interviewed by Lenny Fontana for True House Stories™ # 031 (Part 1 & 2)
By Lenny Fontana Feb 25, 2021
Tune in to hear from Lenny Fontana ’True House Stories’ as he discovers how Marsha Stern and Robbie Leslie became involved in music and their biggest influences.
Hear about how Robbie, Marsha and Roy Thode met each other whilst Robbie was waiting in a restaurant / club in Florida. Discover where this friendship took them! Listen as Marsha talks about her memories of hanging out with Roy Thode. What happened when Marsha and Robbie moved to New York, the epicenter of night clubs and music scene that they both became in solved in? Playing at clubs such as Studio 54,The Saint and 12 West hear their stories about the amazing times they spent partying.
This then continued both for Robbie as a DJ and Marsha as a light technician. Learn from Marsha how a piano type light control was designed and how she expressed herself with music and lights to absolutely bring the 2 sensations to truly mesh. Take in the memories as both guests share how their younger involvement in the music industry has continued to take them to such great levels since the Disco Days in NYC. In this interview you will hear all the stories of the hottest clubs in NYC in there 1970’s and 80’s from 2 incredible people in the industry as they lived and breathed this life.
THE HISTORY OF NIGHTCLUBS…
The History of Nightclubs and Architainment with Marsha Stern – Webinar
By Martin Professional Nov 12, 2020
Led by lighting expert Marsha Stern, this webinar covers the evolution of analog to automated lighting systems and how that revolutionized our industry, providing the bridge for entertainment technology to be included in the architectural lighting design environment.
LIVE DESIGN ONLINE
Monday Musings: Marsha Stern
By Ellen Lampert-GreauxJul 8, 2019 12:52pm
Not sure how many of you know my good buddy Marsha Stern, who has been a lighting designer for many years and also works as the special projects support person for Acclaim Lighting. But what a lot of people might not know is that her first career was in the music biz. She grew up in North Miami, saying she was born on Miami Beach. On September 1, 1976, she moved to New York City to be in the music biz, aspiring to be a songwriter and producer. Her first job in NYC was producing radio jingles, then she moved to the Howard Bloom Organization, where she was a publicist for musicians including TK Records bands such as KC and The Sunshine Band and The Ritchie Family, the first artists she repped that had a press party at Studio 54. She also worked on ZZ Top’s Worldwide Texas Tour, and her role as a publicist led her into the New York City club scene.
At the same time, her best friend, her soul mate, Roy Thode was one of the DJs at Studio 54, starting in the fall of 1978 when he did Thursday and Sunday nights…these were the Steve and Ian years at Studio 54, and Stern became a part of the family there.
A documentary came out last year: Studio 54, The Documentary. Stern was consulted by the producer and music supervisor on the the sound track (the documentary music supervisor Liz Gallacher won an award for this film for Best Music Supervision – Documentary, from the Music Supervisors Guild).
Stern’s friend Roy Thode died in May 1982, and she inherited his master reels that he had recorded live over the years. She began archiving and digitizing the tapes about 15 years ago, and this led to Sirius XM, which gave her time to do some specials via Geronimo, the program director for Sirius, who is also an EDM specialist. Robbie Leslie has a show on Sirius on the Studio 54 channel, and he has featured Thode’s work on his show, and with Stern, produced two six-hour specials for Sirius, which feature full-evening performances recorded live in the 70s and early 80s by Thode at various clubs.
“I am now a radio personality,” says Stern, with a laugh. “The history of the disco era is a passion of mine. Ultimately, it influenced so much of what’s happening today.” April 26, 2019 was the 42nd anniversary of the opening of Studio 54, and there was a town hall event recorded live in front of a radio audience and played later on the Sirius XM Studio 54 channel this spring. Stern was the moderator and the panelists were legendary DJs: Robbie Leslie, Tony Smith (who also has a Sirius Radio show), Bobby Viteritti, and Sharon White, all from that era.
Stern eventually got to lighting but isn’t sure how: “I began pushing buttons and doing lights at a club in NYC. Like pasta on a wall, lighting was what stuck,” she says. By 1980, she began doing lights at New York, New York, another NYC club, which she considers her first professional lighting job. As for lighting at Studio 54, the rig was by Paul Marantz and Jules Fisher, with Bobby DaSilva, the lighting director of note in the Steve and Ian years. But that is another story for another day.