Senior Profile: Reiss Wilson, On His Way To Making Music Happen


Aaron Toney

Wilson and a friend work on the sound mix for a project. Says Wilson of his experience in the drama tech program, “I’ve had practice being a leader, and talking with others has definitely helped in a work environment.”

Aaron Toney, A&E Editor

Every year is totally different from the next, weather it be the events experienced by one person or the events that shook the planet that makes it different, It’s just left for the people to decide, the people of the world a country or a high school in Missoula Montana, a school that by it self has had one wild ride were every year seems to have a very different feel from the one before it.

For Big Sky Senior Reiss Wilson theater was a strong focal point in his high school career. “There was a preview during my sophomore year for a show called we’ll right back after this murder, and i’d never seen anything to do with theater before that. And I saw the preview, it was a mystery I needed to know how it ended, so I went the next night when it was actually showing, and I liked it so I went the next night, and the next night, and I asked how I could help, I really liked helping and doing everything with that so that’s how I kinda joined theater.” Said Wilson.

“One thing that has helped is this year I’ve actually had to teach people how to run the light system and a bunch of other things. I’ve never had to teach people before and that was a little more difficult than I was expecting”. Said Wilson “I’ve had practice being a leader and talking with others definitely helped in a work environment” Said Wilson.

With anything in life that people do because they care about it and thus are good at it caries in to many aspects of their life, aspects like work and thing they do for fun.

“On mount dean stone we have all of our radio towers we have all of our transmitters and receivers all those fun things satellite dishes. And it’s like a two hour drive just to get up there. On tiny thin roads and if you’re not careful you will be going down the mountain. It’s a fun trip especially in the winter.  I think in the past three or four weeks we’ve done five trips.

You know when we had the accident on I-90, well at the same time north west energy went down for a little bit and that messed with a bunch of our stuff” Said Wilson. “And we’re still trying to bounce back. Every time it’s raining in Missoula it’s snowing up there. And right now their is like five feet of snow so it’s not the easiest to work with. And that’s a lot of water i don’t want to be around with electricity” Wilson Said.

In Missoula there are many opportunities to work and make money around or doing things in the music industry. And when there is a vast array of opportunities to make money companies really show their colors, companies like like Logjam or Rocky Mountain Rigging.

“They haven’t called me in a while but I used to work for Rocky mountain rigging, setting up shows, like I set up Pearl Jam, I help set it all up, the staging the matt the trust the fabric, all of it. It was one hundred and twenty five degrees on the stadium floor” Wilson Said. “I had a thirty two ounce water bottle I went through that every five minutes, I never had to use the restroom once and I was still dehydrated, we were there from about six am till six at night everyday for eight days” Wilson Said.

A fair amount of people do things that involve the career path they are  aspiring toward for their senior projects.

“I was essentially helping Tommy Evans, the project manager of the Missoula broadcasting company. Following him around seeing how he did everything, what did what and since I’m actually going to be working there after I graduate it’s kind of a training for me as well” Wilson Said.

“So that was two birds one stone, we were keeping the radio on the air, monitoring that, making it sound good” Said Wilson

“Over the summer I had a job as an onsite technician it was little bit during the school year as well it was during the griz home games” Wilson Said. “We did the pre and post game shows at the commerce of Missoula building right there by the foot bridge and the university. So my job was to constantly monitor how I sounded on the air, make sure it was good quality” Wilson Said. “So I learned how to do that and I just learned how to make radio happened on the engineering side as well as the producing side” Said Wilson.

“I was thinking about going in to radio engineering because all of the current radio  engineers are old. My boss said radio is dying but it’s necessary” Wilson Said.