MATC Experience Supports Graduate’s Musical Career


July 01, 2015


Gabriel Sanchez

Gabriel Sanchez came to Milwaukee Area Technical College because he loves to learn and was seeking a deeper knowledge about subjects he was familiar with. He graduated with a skill set that helps him support his professional music career and a plan to bring one of his musical dreams to fruition.

Gabriel has built a steady following around southeastern Wisconsin and the Midwest through a number of musical ventures. He performs "The Prince Experience," a tribute production based on music superstar Prince from the 1984 era, and also plays concert dates as a solo artist and as part of a duo (Gabriel v.2) and trio (3 Little Pigs) and band (Pulse).

One fan raved about "The Prince Experience" in an online review, writing, "Best show in years. Couldn't believe how amazing each song was."

Born in Texas and raised in Milwaukee, Gabriel worked a number of jobs after graduating from South Division High School. When he decided to pursue a full-time music career, he also decided to enroll at MATC.

In addition to my client base, I have been able to build and maintain all of the websites associated with my music projects. Instead of paying someone else to do the work, I have control over the sites.

Gabriel Sanchez MATC Student

"I was taking general classes and wasn't really sure what program I wanted to pursue," Gabriel shared. "I took a film class and really loved that and decided to take more classes like that."

MATC's practical education was a natural fit for Gabriel, who was taking classes during the day and playing music in the evenings. "There wasn't much of an overlap in my class and performance schedules; there were times when it was tough, but overall it was manageable," he said.

A 2013 graduate of MATC's Visual Communication/Computer Graphics (now known as Interactive Media) associate degree program, Gabriel has steady clients for whom he creates and maintains websites. He also is a professional photographer for Scholastic Reflections.

"In addition to my client base, I have been able to build and maintain all of the websites associated with my music projects," said Gabriel. "Instead of paying someone else to do the work, I have control over the sites."

Two instructors were instrumental during Gabriel's time at MATC. Jonathan Meersman taught Gabriel many of the classes that helped him hone his web development skills.

"Gabriel was enjoyable to have in class and he took great pride in his work," said Meersman. "He was his own client for his final project and was able to put everything together in a unique way that would promote his music businesses."

Meersman had an inkling that Gabriel was serious about his music career. "He wasn't a fan of morning classes, and now we know why.

"I have seen him perform a number of times and I am impressed with his professionalism," Meersman continued. "He truly is a great entertainer, and it is exciting to see him in a different light than when he was my student."

Instructor Dan Kallenberger inspired Gabriel to fulfill a dream of an audiovisual show in which every song performed live will have a synced video.


Gabriel Sanchez performing.

"I had a dream of this kind of a show for about 10 years," said Gabriel. "Being in Dan's class opened my eyes to how much I really love video and made me realize this was possible."

The new show will debut January 16, 2016, at Milwaukee's Turner Hall Ballroom. Local artists will be featured at the event as well.

"It will not be a traditional concert. There will be a number of artists and jewelry designers. A fashion designer will create our band's clothing for the show; it definitely will not be jeans and T-shirts."

In addition to the new show debuting next January, Gabriel has dreams for a bigger musical career. And he has a career that, thanks to his MATC experience, supports his pursuit of those dreams.

"I want to keep doing music as long as I can," shared Gabriel. "I may never get rich, but I am happy and I love helping people have a good time."