Ernie’s music career began while attending the University of Illinois, Chicago Campus (UIC) as a DJ working evenings and weekends at campus parties including fraternity and sorority events. His talent and dedication caught the attention of well-regarded entertainment organizations which quickly elevated him to the DJ of choice for some of the most elite parties and social events in Chicago. Under the mentorship of the best known DJs and event producers, Ernie quickly demonstrated his passion and talent for music and precision sound which served as the foundation and early beginnings of his success in creating a business in the music industry.
Upon graduation from UIC, Ernie began his corporate career in the technology industry as a customer engineer at IBM in 1976, where he developed his technology/engineering capabilities as a programmer until 1991. During this time, however, his big opportunity in music production came when he was hired to provide and manage sound production at the Petrillo Band Shell for the City’s Taste of Chicago and the Neighborhood Festival Programs. Ironically, a corporate downsizing and employee buyout at IBM occurred in 1991 providing the impetus for Ernie to devote full time to his music business. This led to his company’s significant growth, resulting in contracts with the New Regal Theatre and major radio stations including WVAZ, WGCI, and WJPC where he met Tom Joyner. Ernie and Tom worked and grew together over the years from their days of the all night dance marathons to the Southwest Airlines Tom Joyner Morning Sky Show to TJ Fantastic Voyage and TJ Family Reunions of recent years.
Today, Sound of Authority is one of the leading sound engineering and production companies in Chicago and the country serving some of the largest festival and concert touring organizations, industrial and corporate events as well as providing full line, high quality systems to churches, universities and other clients.
Ernie has won numerous awards over the years, including the Chicago Defender’s Men of Excellence Award, the Monarch Award, and the IBM Means Service Award. He is a member of Apostolic Church of God, serving in the Saving Grace Outreach Ministry as an audio engineer. He lives in Chicago and enjoys traveling, chess and woodworking.