What’s Going On?
Music Producer & Performer, Matt Williams c/o 2008. "I received the first Departmental Award for the Commercial & Electronic Music program under Dr. Bruce Frazier. Since my graduation, I have started to become a successful music producer and performer. I received a Grammy Award Certificate in 2012 for my contributions as Recording/Audio Engineer on the Grammy-Award Winning Best Children's Album, a compilation called "All About Bullies... Big And Small." I also have become a very active performer, sharing the stage with notable players and receiving sponsorship through official artist Endorsements." More info at www.MattWilliamsMusic.com
Singer Jeanne Jolly lives in Los Angeles but travels a lot with the Chris Botti Band, for whom she is vocalist. They headlined at the JVC Jazz Festival in Carnegie Hall in New York City recently. Jeanne sang two memorable solos, "Good Morning Heartache" and "What'll I do?" Irving Drake, 83 year old composer of "Good Morning Heartache" and his wife, about whom the song was written, were in the audience and Jeanne got a chance to visit with them after the show. "What'll I do?," a favorite of many, was the encore and closed the sold out concert with a standing ovation. After leaving Western Jeanne earned the Master of Music in Opera Performance from New England Conservatory in Boston. She was chosen as the "Young Alumnus" award recipient and was honored at the Western Homecoming football game in 2006.
Betsy Walker works as the administrative assistant to the Chief Operating Officer of the County Music Association (CMA). Her position puts her in contact with many of the leading artists in the country field and has taken her to CMA events all over the country. She's been working there since 2004 and says, "I am infatuated with the town and the business. I am blessed to have had incredible teachers that helped get me here and to have been lucky enough to land my position with the COO of CMA."
Jeff Browning and Patrick McNeil ('06) are both applying their recording studio experience and knowledge to work for Diversified Systems of San José, California. They are involved in design, installation, and consultation of high definition professional audio and video systems for the broadcast industry. Pat's first location job took him to a broadcast installation at Chapman College in Orange, California: "I was supposed to only stay here for about two weeks, helping with the first stages of cable pulling ... they then called me ... talked about my time at Western and said that I was a 'good find,' a guy that had a background in film and post." Jeff is currently in Washington state working with a team engineering an uplink facility for Direct TV. He adds, "Thanks to instructors and top-notch equipment at Western, I was exposed to the kind of instruction that I needed to establish myself as an engineer, taking on a challenging project right out of school."
Jennifer Walker is a musical instrument representative for The Music Center chain of retail music stores in North Carolina. Look her up at their booth at the NCMEA convention in November.
Shelly Stachler has been hired by the Muzak corporation recently. She reports it's a "dream job"—taking advantage of her music interests and her technical skills. She is the Encompass/XD Process Coordinator, which means critical listening for quality control. She rates lyrics and provides programming for certain clients. She is delighted that she makes her living listening to music all day.
Many thanks to all the alums who keep and touch. We enjoy hearing about recent activities and want to share the news. Are you a Western music alumnus? Drop us a line and let us know what you're doing.