Before there was Sunshine Studios Live, there was Sunshine’s apartment.
This is where Christina Corbitt, a student in Florida, recorded music and other audio material for her friends and the friends of her friends.
“My nickname is Sunshine,” says Corbitt. “In college, people said go to Sunshine’s apartment and she would check you in.”
These days, you can find Corbitt perched behind the sound card at Sunshine Studios Live, a concert hall and recording studio that she owns with her father, Tony Korte, a guitarist who made a name for himself in the local band Random Spex in the 90s and 2000s. She is a sound engineer who works with the big dogs of the music industry, such as the artists at Sony Pavement, as well as with groups from Colorado Springs hoping to gain national attention, such as He Kill 3, Gravel, and The Endless Line. And then there’s the solo acoustic guitarist who just wants to do a recording for his mom and dad for Christmas.
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Corbitt’s main concert, however, brings nationally recognized bands to the hall for all ages, including rock bands Puddle of Mudd, Hinder, Saliva, Soul Asylum and Stitched Up Heart, rapper Tech N9ne and band heavy metal band Bad Wolves, which drew over 2,000 fans to Sunshine’s outdoor stage in 2018. Outdoor shows can seat 2,400 people, while indoor shows are at a maximum of 700.
While at least 90 percent of its shows have a big headliner, it’s not just the big ones. She is also passionate about helping local musicians.
“We always include local groups on national shows to give them visibility that way,” says Corbitt. “Some groups say locals are off limits, but I will fight for them. I want at least one of the locals to have that kind of exposure.
Sunshine Studios Live has not started in Colorado Springs. Corbitt founded Sunshine Studios of Miami in 2004 and spent two years managing live music and recording music, voiceovers, and audio and film publications. She had to do jobs like recording the wake-up calls from basketball star Shaquille O’Neal for a Miami Beach hotel chain.
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But then Hurricane Katrina came in 2005. It destroyed her studio and her house in Miami Beach, and left her without power for four months. Korte invited her back to Springs, where she graduated from Air Academy High School in 2000, to record her band. They opened the recording studio around 2006-2007 and the concert hall in 2008.
“There was a lot of space in the studio,” says Corbitt. “Some bands asked to play and I said I would do some sound for them. He has become the monster he is today. I had no intention of this happening, but I am so grateful.
When not booking groups or recording, Corbitt is busy traveling for her second acting career. At 14, she started doing commercials and modeling. If you have Amazon Prime, you can check out one of his latest projects, the 2018 sci-fi movie “Astro”. On hold is “Dead Slate,” a horror film that she hopes to resume production soon.
And then there is his drum. Growing up, his guitarist father needed someone to keep up the pace. Guess who he turned to? Corbitt learned to play the drums at the age of 3 or 4 and continued through high school, where she was the first female in the drums line at Air Academy. She went to St. Petersburg College in Florida on a music scholarship, then to Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida, where she earned an associate’s degree in recording arts.
“You never need to find the right melody,” she says.
She always pulls out the drumsticks if the studio records a band that needs extra percussion, including the rock band Emperors and Elephants. She was previously a substitute as a drummer at a tantric show in Florida. This is the former rock band of her fiancé Scott Wilson. She met Wilson, a bass player, when she brought Tantric to town seven years ago. He has since left Tantric and joined Saving Abel, and he is also now a music producer at Sunshine Studios Live.
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“She’s very laid back,” says Jason Meudt, drummer for Emperors and Elephants. “She’s the nicest person, but she’ll hold up just as well. My singer at the time might be a maniac. In a nice way, she would be polite, but she would put her foot down. I really liked it. You have to have someone in charge of the studio, and sometimes it’s not the band.
Although the concert hall is closed for the time being, due to the pandemic, the recording studio has been back for over a month.
Corbitt is hoping to half-open capacity soon and feature local bands, as national bands are not on tour at the moment.
She does around 200 shows each year, and in a variety of genres, including country and hip-hop, but mostly alternative rock. And she can say with pride that she is one of the only women in her industry.
“I am incognito and in a room of industry professionals,” says Corbitt. “They don’t know what I look like. They start talking and it’s nice to come out and say here are my thoughts and my point of view. It is my responsibility to lead the way for other women who would like to be in the music industry, staying informed, consistent, fair, humble and kind.
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