Zach Washko '18 Shares Stories of Audio and Music Internship and Experiences
Zach Washko ’18, an audio & music production (AMP) and music double major, has learned a lot about his chosen field from Lebanon Valley College faculty and alumni, with much of this learning occurring outside the classroom.
Washko entered LVC as a music recording technology major, which transitioned to the new name of AMP during his sophomore year. The curriculum for the program enabled him to continue his passion of jazz performance and pick up a music major. His classroom experiences and connections made during LVC’s annual student-run VALE Media Industries Conference also led him to find an internship that he was enthusiastic about pursuing.
“I learned about Anderson Audio during my freshman year at the 2014 VALE Conference,” Washko said. “From that moment, I knew I wanted to intern there.”
Chris Anderson ’95, founder of Anderson Audio, opened his company’s doors to an LVC Music Department class, Concert Systems and Commercial Audio, of which Washko was a student. The students would carpool to Anderson Audio in Harrisburg once a week to learn about equipment in a hands-on setting.
“After class one night, I shared an interest with Chris Anderson about interning for him,” Washko said. “It worked out, and I had one of the most eye-opening experiences of my life.”
During his time with Anderson Audio, Washko experienced many aspects of the audio and music production industry. Soon enough he found himself driving production equipment halfway across the country for national concert tours, including a music festival featuring country star Trace Adkins.
“We worked on video shoots for ESPN, corporate shows in convention centers, college graduations, and other concerts such as Pat Benatar and Rick Springfield,” Washko said.
Washko also gained experience through the Audio Engineering Society (AES) here at Lebanon Valley College, which he joined with two of his friends. Washko was president of AES last year and worked to oversee the partnership between the club and the College’s student-run VALE Music Group.
“Through AES, I was able to teach myself and feel my way through some more concentrated areas of audio, such as live sound reinforcement,” Washko said. “Many skills needed to work in audio are not focused around working a console. You can learn signal flow in class, but you need to feel the pressure of a real-world situation to test your organizational and communication skills.”
This combination of in-class and real-world experience has shown Washko the large number of paths he can follow once he graduates and he has many things to consider before he chooses his final career.
“I still have an incredible passion for playing music, but my internship also sparked a love for all things audio,” Washko said.
The most frequent path for recent graduates is to get involved with freelance work, which Washko already partakes in following his time at Anderson Audio, but this option doesn’t offer the benefits and stability of a full-time position. Washko hopes to get his career as a musician off the ground following graduation, though he is also searching for a more stable job in audio or event production.
“The most important thing is to be able to survive, pay off my education, and still be able to enjoy life,” Washko said. “I want to love my work, and I will make that happen.”