ALUMNUS OF THE MONTH
This month’s Alumnus of the Month spotlight belongs to
Andy Wildrick, Class of 2002.
Andy, son of Dude and Anne Wildrick of Jacksonville, is an audio engineer, producer, and musician who currently lives in Nashville, TN, with his wife Osualda. From a young age, Andy learned that he loves music and he has been studying various aspects of the industry ever since. Following his time at Routt Catholic, Andy attended Illinois State University where he studied classical guitar, and then continued his education at American University where he received degrees in Business, Music, and a Master’s Degree in Audio Technology – a degree that allows him to teach music production at the college level.
For a music guy, it’d be hard to find a more perfect place for Andy and Osualda to live than in Nashville, TN. He stays busy in Music City, working as the Audio Program Chair and Assistant Professor at SAE (School of Audio Engineering) – Nashville while also owning a production studio called Wild Rick Sound Productions.
As the Audio Program Chair and as an Assistant Professor at SAE-Nashville, Andy is responsible for several things, including (but not limited to) working on the curriculum to make sure it remains relevant, delivering the curriculum, and the hiring of faculty. “In Nashville, there is quite a bit of interest from creative individuals in search of a focused education in music, audio, recording, and production. There are a number of schools in the area that offer degrees or certificates in these fields… fortunately we are one of the few located directly in the heart of Music Row. Many of the most successful records in the world are created in our neighborhood. Literally, Keith Urban and The Deftones are recording next door today.” SAE offers classes in game audio, audio scripting, projection mapping, as well as live sound, studio production, and post-production. “I absolutely love both the technical and artistic sides of recording music,” says Andy. “It’s rewarding to share my experiences with our students. Two years ago, Andy was instrumental in launching a bachelor’s degree program at SAE-Nashville – making them one of only two SAE campuses in North America that offer this option. The program allows Andy (and others) to teach students how to create commercial-sounding recordings ready for release. “It takes a significant amount of editing, manipulation, and signal processing to achieve this…I feel really good about selling a product that is pure and based on the love of music and art,” says Andy. Their first bachelor’s degree class graduated in May 2019.
When you can’t find Andy at school teaching, he’s probably in his studio working on a slew of projects. “I’m thrilled with how busy we’ve gotten lately,” says Andy. “I’ve been working on a new single just this week with central Illinois natives, Broseph. I love working with people from my neck of the woods.” Andy employs one assistant engineer at Wild Rick Sound Productions who is responsible for working with the artists while Andy is at SAE. It’s a good system and while it takes a lot of time and effort, they’ve been very successful.
You won’t always find Andy behind the scenes working on the great music he is involved with, he also plays guitar and piano and has been fortunate to tour the world using his talents as part of various bands. Since 2002, Andy has played for The Junior Varsity, The Dear Hunter, American Idol winner David Cook, Leah Turner, and Tony Lucca.
When asked about his time at Routt Catholic, a few things that Andy remembers most fondly include: playing the Star Spangled Banner at the home football games on electric guitar, playing a baseball game at the old Busch Stadium, and having Rich Smith (currently an assistant boys basketball coach at RCHS) as his golf coach. “He is a tremendous teacher. He understands how disciplined you must be to excel at anything in life. The Routt and Our Saviour community is fortunate to have him.”
Andy feels strongly that the education he received from Routt continues to benefit him every day. He specifically noted his classes with Mrs. Nergenah, Mrs. Merris, and Mrs. Kirkpatrick in the English Department: “My English classes at Routt prepared me to be an effective communicator which has aided me in all facets of life.” In addition, the small environment Routt has to offer allowed the educators to hone in on educating the students about good study habits and the importance of time management. “The transition to a giant university was smooth”, says Andy. “In hindsight, I realize it’s because of the education I received at Routt.”
If you know of a Routt graduate who you would like to nominate as a future Alumnus of the Month, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.