Speaker Series: Jake Gukowsky

Last month, The UC Theatre’s in-house sound engineer, Jake Gukowsky, visited the Concert Career Pathways (CCP) interns to talk a bit about his experience in the music industry, specifically regarding his background in audio production. The way he spoke made it clear that he was very excited to share personal anecdotes, tips, and tricks, to interns who want to pursue a career in sound.

I showed up early to strike up a conversation with Jake beforehand, to try and get a sense of what kind of concepts and life lessons he would be touching upon throughout the session. As a current CCP intern, his journey and perspective was not only insightful but eye-opening. He grew up in New York and has built himself from the ground up, which is something I believe we all can identify with. He elaborates on the importance of accountability when working in the music industry where people are always relying on each other. To make it in the music industry, Gukowsky stresses that there are no shortcuts. You simply must show up and work hard.

Gukowsky spoke about his past experiences working with the different sound production companies such as Delicate Productions and Firehouse Productions. He showed us pictures of him working with PA systems throughout the years, and I was surprised about how recently analog boards had advanced to digital. Gukowsky has been a freelance audio production specialist for the past 20 years and even started his own company, Jakeyland Productions LLC.

As I left, I began to reflect on his passion for music as well as the artistry that goes into crafting the perfect sound that will best compliment the given musical style. Hearing a bit about Gukowsky’s experience was invaluable to me because it shed more light on sound engineering as a possible career path. Listening to his stories, looking through his photographs, and seeing how far he has come truly reinforced my dream of establishing a career in music. I knew then, that this is where I want to be in 10 years.


– Lily Borghino, Concert Career Pathways 2018-19

Lily Borghino, born and raised in Oakland, has been exposed to many walks of life. She was brought up in an artistic family who showed her a life outside of ‘practical’ work. She has a deep appreciation for what music can do for the soul and can’t think of how many times she has relied on music to help her work through the obstacles she has faced. After the nine-month program, she plans to enroll in community college and work towards becoming a sound tech for a theater and hopefully get a job with a local Bay Area theater/venue.