Radio Broadcasting grads display work ethic, flexibility

Matthew Warry-Smith and band will be at Toronto’s Lee’s Palace on Dec. 6. Photo Courtesy of Union Duke Matthew Warry-Smith and band will be at Toronto’s Lee’s Palace on Dec. 6. Photo Courtesy of Union Duke

Lucy Sky
A&E Reporter


Educators say years students spend in post-secondary are when they learn to perfect skills, stay organized, and maintain a work ethic.

Humber has a reputation for successful grads in many fields; radio broadcasting is a notable example.

Take George Stroumboulopoulos (Strombo), who studied radio broadcasting at Humber and is now one of Canada’s most prominent broadcast personalities. He is now the new face of Hockey Night in Canada.

Joe Andrews, director of Humber’s Orangeville campus and previous Radio Broadcasting head, taught Strombo at the college. He said Strombo’s success is not attributed to “god given talent.”

“He was willing to do anything to get his foot in the door and paid his dues to get to where he is by working at it and being passionate,” said Andrews.

He said that Strombo never played professional hockey, but that “he’s a student of the game and a student of the craft of media.”

Matthew Warry-Smith, a 2013 graduate also from the Radio Broadcasting program, said, “it takes years to become an overnight success.”

His band, Union Duke, is touring the east coast to promote their new album, Cash & Carry.

Graduation may be the first day of the rest of your life, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll continue in the field you studied.

The success of Warry-Smith is an example of a Humber graduate taking the skills they’ve learned in school and using them to pursue a different career after graduation.

“I take a lot of that stuff into shows and I take the things I learnt about audio and technical things into the studio, and also loving what you do and making sacrifices for what you do,” said Warry-Smith.

Teachers also benefit from student success.

“It makes me realize why I got into education. Frankly, I get a charge or a thrill every time I turn on the TV or the radio and I hear one of my students,” said Jerry Chomyn, who also taught Strombo and was a radio station manager at the time.

Andrews said, “that desire and good work ethic are the keys to a lot of success.”

Union Duke fronts Humber grads on Canada tour

Union Duke is on the second half of their Canada-wide tour on the east coast. They hit Lee’s Palace on Dec. 6.

The Toronto band is big city rock meets melodic country, with a hint of bluegrass and folk.

The three originals, Matthew Warry-Smith (vocals, harmonica, percussion and ukulele), Ethan Smith (guitar and vocals) and James McDonald (manager), all met in high school.

Warry-Smith and McLaren are both 2013 Humber College graduates. Warry-Smith studied Radio Broadcasting at the North campus and McLaren, Jazz and Contemporary music at the Lakeshore campus.

Having only been out of school less than a year, the band is realistic about their newfound success.

“We’re not all the way there yet,” said Warry-Smith. “It’s not an easy industry, but it feels good to be able to tour. I’ve spent most of my summer travelling the country playing at festivals and it feels awesome.”