Throughout his entire 26-years with Intel, Jim McNerney had a secret passion — the blues!

Music made his heart sing, but programming was his career (and he did it well; working as part of a global team, Jim contributed to the initial development and testing of  next-generation cable modems).

Retirement gave him the chance to play out a new idea — blending passion and skill at the Phoenix Conservatory of Music. PCM had talented musicians who needed recording space, but lacked the budget and technology to make that a reality.

As the new Experience Matters Encore Fellow at PCM, Jim did what he does best:  he improvised and innovated. With donated equipment, a lifetime’s worth of  know-how and the help of an intern, Jim created three new recording units.  Students can now make the recordings they need for college applications, and  can record and sell their own music. Some were able to pay for their own post- secondary training and a bit of the revenue even comes back to the school.

When you visit PCM, be sure to check out the new studios. And while you’re there, keep an eye out for a brand-new student who is just a bit older than the others. That’s Jim, who now studies piano at PCM, fulfilling a lifelong dream of his own.

“Without Jim and his technical expertise and passion, coupled with the funding and resources that Experience Matters coordinates and supports, Phoenix Conservatory of Music would not have been able to get this project off the ground!”

 – Regina Nixon, Executive Director, Phoenix Conservatory of Music