Alumni Spotlights


Tom Spiker ’93 & Jimmy Butterfield ’20

A faculty member at the University of Arts in Philadelphia for the past eight years, Tom Spiker ’93 has taught many classes (and students) about music producing and engineering.
However, this spring, in his Recording 1 class, Tom quickly learned of some pretty cool news and something that he had not experienced before: he would be teaching another WFS lifer throughout the semester, Jimmy Butterfield ’20! 

As Tom recalls, “It was almost as if Jimmy knew something and wasn’t letting on… Or maybe I just mentioned Delaware in passing. I’m not sure. It was funny though. Once we figured it out, we threw about 20 names of WFS teachers around in the span of 2 minutes (during class), then the crazy part: I realized that Jimmy and another University of the Arts Freshman saxophone major, David Scott, both have parents that directed the bands at WFS.” In fact, as WFS lifers, both Tom and Jimmy had Adrian Burston for 6th grade History and Cynthia Stan Mellow for High School Art!

Jimmy, a double major in Instrumental Performance (Saxophone) and Music Business, Entrepreneurship, & Technology, enjoyed Professor Spiker’s Recording 1 class this spring. He notes, “I have learned about the history of recording, production technology, and mixing. It has also been helpful to learn how to record live music with the sound board.” A member of the Jazz Band and the Whittier throughout his time at WFS, Jimmy would like to pursue a career in sound engineering and building music technologies, primarily working with synthesizers and amps.

In addition to serving as a professor at the University of Arts, Tom is the owner/founder of Undercarriage Recording which has allowed him to work with a variety of artists, including: Marshall Allen, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, John Medeski, Bilal, Kelis, Ellie Goulding and Meghan Trainor. He has toured throughout the world in many musical roles ranging from avant-jazz to hip-hop, playing guitar, bass, keyboards and percussion.

His advice to a WFS senior? “See as much of the world as soon as you can. You never know who’s going to hook you up with that “golden ticket”, so be respectful to everyone. Be a sponge, no matter how much you think you know . . .” 
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