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January 31, 2020

Meet Luke Jackson

As Senior Coordinator, Music Services, Luke Jackson assists the department’s director, Sue Sinclair, with music and sound effects (SFX) pull requests, music licensing, American Federation of Musicians (AFM) payments, and all other music-related needs that pass through the department. “We’re basically the music subsection of Legal,” Luke says. Read on to learn about the path that led Luke to WNET, the public television program that influenced his approach to music, and more.

Luke Jackson

What is your background, and how did you land at WNET?

I graduated from Stony Brook University in May of 2019 with a BA in Music and a Business minor. Growing up, my Dad would take us to the Tanglewood Music Center (TMC) in Lenox, Massachusetts to see John Williams conduct his annual “Film Night” program, which featured scores and scenes from his most famous pictures in addition to numerous celebrity and musician cameos. Combining that with a childhood household full of showtunes, movies, and video games, I wanted to write scores for multimedia productions.

In college, I realized that I wanted to have a stable career that would still allow for me to be creative and work hands-on in the industry at the same time. After spending a summer as an RA at TMC and working for my school’s music department, I got an internship here at WNET in the Music Services Department in my final semester. After spending the summer in Europe as an RA for Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America, the Music Services Coordinator position became available and the rest is history.

For our Media with Impact campaign, we’ve been asking viewers to share stories describing how THIRTEEN has influenced their life. How has THIRTEEN (or the PBS station of your childhood) inspired you?

When I was young, my Dad called me in from across the house and begged me to watch a Victor Borge routine with him. I begrudgingly did, and recall biting my cheeks to not give him the satisfaction of him being right about Borge being hysterical. I still feel guilty about it to this day. (I’ve long since told him the story, though, so it’s fine)! Music is a serious art, but Borge’s sketches helped me to approach it with a child-at-heart mindset.

Which three shows airing on our stations this month are you most likely to watch, stream, or record?

Probably Journeys in Japan, No Passport Required, and Antiques Roadshow, to name a few.

Where do you live, and what are some of your favorite places in your neighborhood?

I live in Eastern Suffolk County, Long Island somewhat close to the fork. Other than my library, there aren’t many points of interest in my neighborhood. Thankfully, some decent shopping spots, beaches, restaurants, theatres, and cultural events are only about a half-hour drive away in whichever direction you choose to pick.

What book are you currently reading?

I’m currently going through an autobiographical graphic novel called Blankets by cartoonist Craig Thompson that has been fascinating. I’m not sure what I’m going to be picking up next. Maybe I’ll go back to Michael Crichton or Agatha Christie.

Do you have a special interest or hobby outside of work? If so, tell us about it!

I spend most of my time outside of work brainstorming, writing, sketching, and drawing for a graphic novel that I would like to publish someday (my dream is to create a series of serious, slice-of-life dramas told with an original cartoonish art-style). Aside from that, I just started training at a karate dojo that’s conveniently close to my train station. It focuses on the Okinawan style with the fun bonus of teaching Kobudo (classical weaponry). It’s a really great way to exercise while practicing mindfulness, which I find that I don’t really get from zoning out at the gym.

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