Music and Sound Recording Winter Graduate Looks to the Future
Thomas Barvick ’22, who studied in Nashville as part of the University’s Study Away program, is a musician who has performed all over the northeast – including at the University of New Haven. He is excited to begin his career in the music industry.
December 10, 2021
By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications
Thomas Barvick ’22 has been a fan of funk musicians George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic since he was in middle school. He started attending their shows when he was about 12 years old. At one performance, Clinton noticed Barvick and his friends, who stood out as perhaps the youngest members of the audience. He invited them to join the band backstage.
Over the years that followed, Barvick has spent time with the musicians when they have toured, even performing with them on stage.
“This story is really great because it encapsulates the power of music,” said Barvick, a music and sound recording major. “Music brings people together, even in the unlikeliest of situations, and that is one thing I love about it. Although the music industry is competitive and nothing is ever guaranteed, it is the only industry I would ever want to build a career in because of the power of music.”
‘It is very important to be a jack of all trades’
Performing has always been an important part of Barvick’s life, and he has played a variety of shows across the northeast, including some at historic clubs and venues. During a particularly memorable show, Barvick opened for Filter, his favorite band, at the Palladium in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Barvick, who accepts his degree as part of the University’s Winter Commencement, has also performed at the University, including a particularly memorable Halloween show at the German Club. He has also brought diverse musicians and bands into the recording studio as part of his capstone project. He recorded a variety of performances, including punk rock, hardcore, piano, and folk bands, enabling him to gain experience working with different musical styles.
“In the music industry, and especially the audio aspect of the industry, it is very important to be a jack of all trades and to know more than one skill,” he explains. “A lot of the work is either freelance, or if it is for a company, it involves working in different studios or at different venues. To be able to adapt to any setting, any equipment, and any situation is important, and working live sound has helped me prepare for that in my future.”
‘I am excited to see where I land’
As a Charger, Barvick was part of the University’s Audio Engineering Society and Music Industry Club, as well as the ChargerREC softball league. While attending a career fair at the University, he met the owners of a live sound company, which led to a job offer. He worked with them for a semester, broadening his skills in the live audio industry.
Some of Barvick’s favorite memories as a Charger are from his time in the University’s Study Away program in Nashville, TN, a creative center for artists, songwriters, producers, and engineers. The University works closely with Blackbird Studio, a renowned recording studio, to offer the highly selective program, enabling music students to gain real-world industry experience and hands-on learning opportunities.
“My semester in Nashville, despite being cut short by COVID-19, was without a doubt the most impactful few months of my life, so far,” he said. “I took amazing classes taught by some of the most respected names in the music industry, and I got invaluable experience at Blackbird Studio and at Sound Stage. To be 20 years old setting up sessions for artists such as Dolly Parton, Keith Urban, and more was a great step forward on my path.”
Barvick, who writes music, sings, and plays the guitar, bass, and drums, aspires to become a head engineer in a studio such as Sound Stage. His time in Nashville was so impactful that it inspired him to live in a city that he says “lives and breathes music.” After graduation, he plans to move to another such city – Austin, Texas – to pursue a career in the music industry.
“I believe my knowledge of working in a studio – from my internships and my classes at the University of New Haven – will help me land a job at a studio there,” he said. “My ability to run live sound for venues will also give me the option of working at a venue. I would love to venture into the live scene in Austin as well. I am excited to see where I land!”