Tess is a seventh-generation North Carolinian. Though she grew up in a musical family (her grandmother, Kate Mangum, taught Randy Travis how to play guitar and great-uncle Homer Briarhopper was fortunate to call Doc Watson a fan), she always felt her role in the family business was behind the scenes.
Live music builds community and commerce.
She holds a B.A. in Public Relations from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.A. in Ethnomusicology from the University of Limerick, Ireland. She served as Concerts Director & Facility Rental Coordinator of The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, a non-profit performing arts center, from 2002-2012 and developed the critically-acclaimed American Roots Series, which helped launch the careers of the Avett Brothers and Carolina Chocolate Drops, as well as spotlight American music legends such as Dr. John and Mavis Staples. Tess is a 2012 Indy Arts award winner.
She founded her own concert and event production company, Sonic Pie Productions, LLC, February 14, 2013. As CEO of Sonic Pie Productions, the company’s talent buying, production, stage management and artist management clients have included “cosmic Americana” artist Kamara Thomas, IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association), Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., ArtsGreensboro, Duke Performances, Carolina Railhawks, Beericana, Durham Central Park, Hippie Fest, Town of Aberdeen, City of High Point, Downtown Greensboro Parks, Art of Cool Festival, Festival for the Eno River and Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden in Kernersville.