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Successful Alumni

Here are the stories of four former MTRA students that partipated in our programs:

Patrick Cooley

When Patrick first started studying sound engineering at Cabrillo, he already had some experience under his belt. He’d worked with his friends’ bands in high school, “hauling gear” and experimenting with live sound work. He came to Cabrillo in 2005, where the MTRA program was just getting started.

At Cabrillo, Patrick had the chance to supplement his experience in live music with a foundation in theory and plenty of time in the studio.

"We studied the theory of how sound works, the signal flow of using microphones and getting the best performances out of bands that you’re trying to record — it was nice that Cabrillo gave us the opportunity to spend that much time in the studio to record and to actually get hands-on experience."

In his free time, Patrick continued to do live sound work with friends and at local venues. His favorite moment was getting the chance to share his newfound expertise with some old friends by bringing them into the studio.

"“Being able to bring my close friends in and record their band was probably one of the best moments at Cabrillo,” he says."

Patrick transferred to Chico State University in 2007 and graduated with a B.A. in Music Industry & Technology, with a focus in Recording Arts. He’s been in the music business ever since, working on festivals such as Warped Tour, touring the country with different bands, and even traveling as far as New Zealand.

He takes occasional breaks to focus on his hobbies, like photography and beer brewing. But would he ever consider changing careers?

Patrick shakes his head. “Never.”


Connor White

Connor came to Cabrillo in the spring of 2016 to study electronic music.

He’d already learned the basics at a private school in New York, which he attended for two years. His plan when he came back to California was to attend classes at Cabrillo and then transfer to a four-year university for his degree.

"It was just good timing that the MTRA accreditation got passed through, because that’s something that’ll be really useful for me to have under my belt,” Connor says. “Now I’m looking to be ready to transfer by the end of fall semester."

Connor also enjoyed the field trips facilitated by James Durland, MTRA’s Program Chariman. Students received full tours of professional facilities and studios. He’s also grateful for the opportunity to intern at InDigital Studios in Santa Cruz, which he says is all thanks to MTRA — “I probably wouldn’t have gotten that internship otherwise.”

Most of all, Connor enjoys the valuable network of musicians and professionals he’s found. “I met a ton of people, especially in the local scene for electronic music, who can often be found at Cabrillo. It’s been a great central place to be spend a bunch of time and meet people who are like-minded.”


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