Blog > Audio Dreams do come true at Centre for Arts and Technology

Audio Dreams do come true at Centre for Arts and Technology


Picture this; a 19 year old who just wanted to play guitar and record music as a hobby…..Have you heard a story like this before? Do you think you know how it ends?

Riley MacIntyre is the embodiment of this story.  Riley graduated from CAT in 2009.  The story of his beginnings in Penticton, BC to his thriving career are both, amazing and inspiring.

Riley became interested in recording music about 11 years ago, while in high school.  He acquired some cheap recording equipment and converted his bedroom into his very own little studio.  Shortly after that he moved to Kelowna, BC and applied to the Audio Engineering Program at Centre for Arts and Technology.  As much as parents might want to encourage their children, there is always concern.  Riley’s parents reflect

“I remember asking the Program Advisor when he registered what the job prospects were for graduates in the field. She told us that they had very little data in this particular area, because of the diverse nature of the graduates.”

Obviously, Riley made his choice to pursue his passion – and what a great choice it was!

After attaining his Diploma in Audio Engineering from CAT, he continued to pursue his passion by any means.  While working, playing guitar in bands and recording albums for local acts, Riley was collecting enough gear that he had a great little recording space and was always honing his skills.

Through his travels, he ended up in London, England.  As we all know, London is a mecca of music history and talent.  Riley’s parents remember

“…there are dozens of studios in the city. However, there are just as many schools producing engineers.”

Through an unpaid internship, Riley landed at “The Church”.

“He was assigned to “The Church” in Crouch End and began a 4-week internship that included mopping floors, cleaning toilets, getting tea, and organizing and cataloguing equipment. He even got to make lunch for Adele during this time.”

The education that Riley received at CAT was vital to his success, but it was driven by his passion, persistence and at the same time encouragement from his parents.

“Putting out CV’s was not getting him anywhere…..It was tedious and he felt underutilized but was intrigued with the work others were doing with the musicians.  At the conclusion of his internship Paul Epworth, who owns the studio hired Riley to work for him. This is very unusual but he saw potential in Riley’s skills.”

Riley’s experience and education continued, and so did the opportunity to be in the company of some very impressive artists.

“Over time he was asked to do sound checks and assist the engineer in setting up sessions. During this time, he had the opportunity to be in session with U2, Adele, Usher, Thurston Moore and many other world renowned artists.”

Riley is building a great reputation into his career.  His list of accolades is taking shape;

  • In 2015 he was featured in Sound on Sound magazine (October, 2015) detailing a 24-hour recording session he produced for his own local band. That along with other work led to a nomination for Pro Sound’s Rising Star Award. Out of dozens of nominees from around the world, he was selected as the winner in October of 2015.
  • Since that time he has been given credits for providing engineering on two songs from Adele’s latest album and is now engineering full time for Paul Epworth’s private label, Lone Wolf Records.
  • He received an Exceptional Talent work visa in November so he is able to work in the UK for at least 5 more years. He will have worked at The Church for 2 years in May.
  • He has just completed producing an album project for a band from France on his own at The Church.

The details of this amazing bio were provided to us from Riley’s parents – They are very proud, and so they should be!  They also want to make sure others have access to this great story of success and the opportunities out there for students of CAT, and in this case the Audio Engineering Program specifically.

“I thought it might be useful to share with you Riley’s story since his graduation from your school.  I think it is important that your students have access to his story and I know it might help parents who, like us, questioned the opportunities associated with this program. “

As for Riley, he is still working very long hours, for little money, but he is thriving in the industry and beginning to live out his dream of a career in the music industry – and loving it!

This is the perfect example of;

(Passion + Education)Hard Work = Success = Happiness

How is that for an outstanding opportunity for a 19-year-old guitar player who just wanted to play in a band and record as a hobby…?