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STLCC Graduate Hopes Love of Music Transforms into Audio Career

Tuesday, May 14, 2024


St. Louis Community College will celebrate commencement Sunday, May 19, at Chaifetz Arena on the campus of Saint Louis University, marking both small and monumental accomplishments for graduating students. There are as many stories as there are graduates, and with this special series, we celebrate all of our 2024 graduates with stories about four students who demonstrate in their own way what it takes to earn a degree. A new story will publish each day the week of May 14-17, leading up to STLCC's commencement ceremony. This is the first story in the series.

Brendan HanrahanBrendan Hanrahan wants to break into the music industry and make it big as a guitarist. While he knows success won’t come easy, he’s determined to pursue a path toward this profession.

To make his dream a reality, Hanrahan turned to St. Louis Community College at Wildwood. He enrolled at the campus after high school, leveraging his A+ scholarship to complete his degree. This month, he’ll graduate with an associate degree in general transfer studies.

“Without a doubt, the pandemic impacted my high school experience,” he said, “so it was exciting to come to STLCC, start fresh and have the flexibility to take courses that interested me,” he said. “At STLCC, I’ve been able to save money while earning credits toward my four-year degree.”

In August, Hanrahan plans to continue his education at Middle Tennessee State University, where he’ll major in audio production. The move won’t be the first time he’ll have to pack his bags and resettle. In fact, this move will be the third for him in the past two years.

“During my studies at STLCC, my parents moved out of the area, so I had to find alternate living arrangements,” he said. “It’s been a lot to juggle, but I haven’t allowed the situation to derail my plans.”

Hanrahan said his family is proud of him for staying focused and earning his degree. Jane Miles, student success advisor, shares this sentiment.

“Brendan is a quiet and dedicated student with a passion for music and a goal of building a career that allows him to do what he loves,” she said. “I’ve enjoyed working with him to create his academic plan, and I’m excited for him to finish his degree. I’m also excited for him to have the opportunity to transfer to his top choice school to further his education.”

When Hanrahan isn’t in class, he works two jobs in guest services at local concert venues. While the hours are long and it’s a lot to manage, he enjoys the work.

“It’s great to get paid to see concerts,” he said. “I’ve seen some amazing artists that I love and some that I’ve never heard of before. While my favorite bands play post-grunge, alternative and instrumental acoustic, I enjoy music of all kinds.”

Another way that Hanrahan stays busy is by performing at open mic nights. While he’s a self-described introvert, he’s connected with friends over their shared interest in music.

“I started playing an instrument in middle school, and at 14, I taught myself how to play the guitar,” he said. “In a perfect world, I’d love to work as a full-time producer while also writing and performing.”

As Hanrahan prepares to transfer, he offered this advice to students –

“There’s something to be learned in every course you take,” he said. “While college isn’t for everyone, it will create opportunities in the future. So, if you choose to pursue a college degree, look for things around your passion and surround yourself with people who want to support you.”

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