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Life's soundtrack

Dustin Wise, '11

Dustin Wise’s achievements in the music business can be chalked up to several factors — talent, persistence, being open to diverse opportunities and, oh yes, his mother’s encouragement to practice the piano when he was a child.

“Everyone in my family is musical, but I’m the only professional,” Wise said. The 2011 CMU alumnus works full time from his home studio in Nashville composing tracks and writing songs for placement in television shows, films and advertising spots.

Born in Montrose, Colorado, Wise moved to Grand Junction with his family and graduated from Grand Junction High School in 2006. High school and college saw him in orchestra, jazz band and jazz combo. At one point, he set aside the trombone to concentrate on the piano, graduating from CMU with a bachelor’s degree in piano performance with a minor in music business.

“I was one of the first [CMU] students in music business,” Wise said. “One of my last requirements was an internship.”

His two-month internship at Dark Horse Recording near Nashville
convinced him that was where he wanted and needed to be. He returned to Grand Junction to work and save the money that would allow him and his wife, Kate, to make the move back to Music City, U.S.A.

Returning to Nashville in September 2011, Wise did camera work on a documentary and directed music videos.

“I was a touring musician for several different bands for about three years, but I wanted to spend more time at home when our first daughter was born,” said Wise, who is now dad to two girls.

Wise’s solo instrumental material, which he releases under the stage name Roary, boasts more than two million online streams. His work has been featured in spots for Samsung, Apple, National Geographic, Lincoln Motor Company and ABC’s new prime time drama “The Fix.”

Wise said he likes to keep his “eggs in a few baskets,” and is always looking for new outlets. He’s scoring his first full-length documentary and with another Nashville producer is negotiating with Paramount Pictures on his first music placement in a movie trailer. •


Written by Deborah Dawes