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MTSU forms partnership with Grammy Museum as educa...

MTSU forms partnership with Grammy Museum as educational affiliate

LOS ANGELES — MTSU wrapped up its trip to Southern California on Sunday, Feb. 12, by announcing an educational partnership with the Grammy Museum, one of the nation’s top educational venues devoted to the music industry.

President Sidney A. McPhee, who accompanied College of Media and Entertainment faculty and staff to Los Angeles for events before the 59th Grammy Awards, applauded the partnership as a true win-win for the university and the museum.

“We are proud to become the 10th university in the nation to become a Grammy Museum affiliate,” McPhee said. “This collaboration will allow MTSU to collaborate on research and use the museum as a teaching tool for our students.”

Students, faculty and friends of MTSU's College of Media and Entertainment surround President Sidney A. McPhee, who accepted a plaque that designates the university as the 10th member of the Grammy Museum's Educational Affiliate program. (MTSU photo by Andrew Oppmann)

Students, faculty and friends of MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment surround President Sidney A. McPhee, who accepted a plaque that designates the university as the 10th member of the Grammy Museum’s Educational Affiliate program. (MTSU photos by Andrew Oppmann)

Bob Santelli, the museum’s executive director, said MTSU and the nine other educational affiliates are invited “to engage in a unique resource-sharing opportunity.”

The museum in downtown Los Angeles occupies four floors of “cutting-edge exhibits, interactive experiences and films provide a one-of-a-kind visitor experience — engaging, educational, celebratory and inspirational,” according to its website.

McPhee credited and thanked Stacy Merida, an assistant professor of music business and faculty adviser to the student-run Match Records, for connecting the university and the museum and requesting the affiliate status. MTSU is the only university affiliate in Tennessee.The_Grammy_Museum_logo-web

Stacy Merida

Stacy Merida

Also Sunday, McPhee, along with Dean Ken Paulson and Beverly Keel, chair of the university’s Department of Recording Industry, welcomed alumni of Leadership Music, an annual educational program for music industry leaders, at a reception immediately before the Grammy telecast.

Debbie Linn, Leadership Music’s executive director, recognized Paulson and Keel as program alumni.

“Our alumni enjoy meeting with President McPhee,” she said. “We are happy they have made our event an integral part of MTSU’s annual trip to Southern California.”

This year was the fourth time McPhee, Paulson and Keel have brought a delegation to the Grammys to underscore MTSU’s industry ties and celebrate its alumni receiving award nominations.

Hillary Scott

Hillary Scott

MTSU alumna Hillary Scott, who recently branched out into contemporary Christian music with her group The Scott Family, won a pair of Grammys on Sunday in her new field: best contemporary Christian album for “Love Remains” and best contemporary Christian music performance/song for “Thy Will,” which she co-wrote, off that album. The Scott Family includes Scott’s parents, country singer Linda Davis and songwriter-musician Lang Scott, and her younger sister, Rylee.

On Saturday, MTSU recognized the nominations of Scott and fellow country artist Chris Young, as well as Pete Fisher, the Opry’s former longtime vice president and chief executive officer, and Brad King, who specializes in audio production. Also Saturday, MTSU co-sponsored its third concert at the legendary Troubadour Club in West Hollywood to honor country music icon Loretta Lynn.

On Friday, The Bluegrass Situation, a Los Angeles-based organization that creates Americana music events, and MTSU’s WMOT Roots Radio co-sponsored a show headlined by genre Grammy nominees Carla Morrison and Mark O’Connor.

The Department of Recording Industry, for the third straight year, is part of an international list of acclaimed music schools praised by The Hollywood Reporter that includes Juilliard, Berklee and London’s Royal College of Music. It ranks No. 18 on the “Top 25 Music Schools 2016” list.

— Andrew Oppmann (andrew.oppmann@mtsu.edu)

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, left, chats with alums Pete Fisher, CEO of the Academy of Country Music, center, and businessman Michael Cartwright at a Leadership Music reception in Los Angeles before the 59th Grammy Awards. (MTSU photo by Andrew Oppmann)

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, left, chats with alumni Pete Fisher, CEO of the Academy of Country Music, center, and businessman Michael Cartwright at a Leadership Music reception in Los Angeles before the 59th Grammy Awards.


University honors Hillary Scott, other MTSU Grammy nominees in Los Angeles [+VIDEO]

Feb. 11, 2017

LOS ANGELES — MTSU put its spotlight upon country star Hillary Scott as faculty and friends gathered Saturday in Southern California to celebrate the former student’s Grammy nods in two Christian music categories.

President Sidney A. McPhee and College of Media and Entertainment Dean Ken Paulson also recognized three other Grammy nominees with MTSU ties at a university reception held at The Standard in downtown Los Angeles.

Beverly Keel, chair of MTSU’s Department of Recording Industry, introduces the father of 2017 Grammy nominee and MTSU alumna Hillary Scott, Lang Scott, and Hillary’s sister Rylee, at a reception in Los Angeles honoring the university’s Grammy nominees. (MTSU Photo by Andrew Oppmann)

Beverly Keel, chair of MTSU’s Department of Recording Industry, introduces Lang Scott, father of 2017 Grammy nominee and MTSU alumna Hillary Scott, and Hillary’s sister, Rylee, at a reception in Los Angeles honoring the university’s Grammy nominees.

“We celebrate Hillary’s music, her continued ties to her alma mater and the inspiration she engenders among the students in our program,” McPhee said. “She is True Blue.”

Later that evening, MTSU capped off its Saturday in Southern California with its third consecutive concert co-sponsored by the Americana Music Association at the Troubadour Club in West Hollywood and honoring legendary singer Loretta Lynn.

Scott, absent from Saturday’s events because a bout of flu, was represented by her father, Lang Scott, and her little sister, Rylee.

“Today, we recognize Hillary Scott, not only for her achievements in music, but for the work she has done to personify the spirit of what it means to be a member of the MTSU community,” Paulson said. “We thank her, and her family, and celebrate their hard work and achievement.”

Present at MTSU’s Saturday reception was also family members of MTSU alumnus Chris Young, a nominee for best country duo/group performance category for No. 1 single, “Think of You,” which he co-wrote and which features singer Casadee Pope.

Paulson and Beverly Keel, chair of MTSU’s Department of Recording Industry, also recognized Pete Fisher, the Opry’s former longtime vice president and chief executive officer.

Fisher, now CEO of the Academy of Country Music, is part of a team that created “American Saturday Night: Live from the Grand Ole Opry,” a concert film released in theaters in December 2015 and a nominee in the best music film category.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee (center) poses with Grammy nominee, MTSU alumnus and Academy of Country Music CEO Pete Fisher (left) and Fisher’s spouse, Hope, at a reception in Los Angeles honoring the university’s Grammy nominees. (MTSU Photo by Andrew Oppmann)

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, center, poses with Grammy nominee, MTSU alumnus and Academy of Country Music CEO Pete Fisher, left, and Fisher’s spouse, Hope, at a reception in Los Angeles honoring the university’s Grammy nominees.

Also noted by Keel and Paulson was Brad King, a 2015 MTSU recording industry graduate specializing in audio production. He is competing with Scott in the best contemporary Christian album category for his engineering work on the team that recorded “Poets & Saints” by the group All Sons & Daughters.

Meanwhile, later Saturday, MTSU co-sponsored its third concert, organized by the Americana Music Association, at the legendary Troubadour Club in West Hollywood to honor country music icon Loretta Lynn. Several Recording Industry alumni, as well as faculty and administrators, were in attendance for the event. You can watch a video recap below.

“We are privileged again to partner with MTSU for our annual pre-Grammy Salute to Loretta Lynn,” said Jed Hilly, executive director of the American Music Association. “Our mission is to advocate for the authentic voice of American Roots music and working with an institute of higher education helps us to reach the next music loving generation.”

Among the acts confirmed for the concert were John Carter Cash, son of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash; Lynn’s daughter Patsy Lynn; singer-songwriter-producer Joe Henry; Jack Ingram; Lori McKenna; Robbie Fulks; ZZ Ward; Fantastic Negrito; and Lynn’s granddaughter, Emmy Rose.

“Our presence at these events preceding the Grammys underscores not only the importance we place in our ties to the Recording Industry, but also the commitment by President McPhee to invest in sustaining our standing at a player in this field,” Paulson said.

The Department of Recording Industry, for the third straight year, is part of an international list of acclaimed music schools praised by The Hollywood Reporter that includes Juilliard, Berklee and London’s Royal College of Music. It ranks No. 18 on the “Top 25 Music Schools 2016” list.

— Andrew Oppmann (andrew.oppmann@mtsu.edu)

Ken Paulson, dean of MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment, welcomes attendees to a reception in Los Angeles honoring the university’s Grammy nominees. (MTSU Photo by Andrew Oppmann)

Ken Paulson, dean of MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment, welcomes attendees to a reception in Los Angeles honoring the university’s Grammy nominees.

AMA MTSU Concert Poster-Loretta Lynn-web

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee (center) is joined by Grammy-winner and alumnus Luke Laird, right of McPhee, and Ken Paulson, dean of the College of Media and Entertainment, left of McPhee, at a reception Saturday before Americana Music Association and MTSU's concert honoring Loretta Lynn at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, Calif. (MTSU photo by Andrew Oppmann)

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee (center) is joined by Grammy-winner and alumnus Luke Laird, right of McPhee, and Ken Paulson, dean of the College of Media and Entertainment, left of McPhee, at a reception Saturday before Americana Music Association and MTSU’s concert honoring Loretta Lynn at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, Calif.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, left, with Grammy-winner and alumnus Luke Laird, right of McPhee, at a reception Saturday before Americana Music Association and MTSU's concert honoring Loretta Lynn at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, Calif. (MTSU photo by Andrew Oppmann)

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, left, poses with Grammy-winner and alumnus Luke Laird, right of McPhee, at a reception Saturday before Americana Music Association and MTSU’s concert honoring Loretta Lynn at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, Calif.


MTSU, alumni reconnect at special pre-Grammys concerts in California

Feb. 10, 2017

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — MTSU made its presence known in Southern California Friday, reconnecting with area alumni and sponsoring the first of two Americana concerts before the Grammys.

The Bluegrass Situation, a Los Angeles-based organization that creates Americana music events, and MTSU’s WMOT-FM Roots Radio co-sponsored a show Friday night at The Hotel Café in Hollywood, headlined by genre Grammy nominees Carla Morrison and Mark O’Connor.

Jessie Scott, WMOT’s program director and afternoon drive-time host, was the emcee of the concert, which was taped for broadcast later on the campus radio station 89.5 FM. Proceeds benefitted a local charity to bolster music education in area schools.

Ken Paulson, left, dean of MTSU's College of Media and Entertainment, chats with GRAMMY-winning artist and MTSU alumnus Torrance Esmond at Friday's Southern California alumni reception. (MTSU photo by Andrew Oppmann)

Ken Paulson, left, dean of MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment, chats with GRAMMY-winning artist and MTSU alumnus Torrance Esmond at Friday’s Southern California alumni reception.

59th Grammy Awards logo web

“Friday’s show is the first time we brought WMOT’s BGS Radio Hour to a live audience and we’re thrilled to do it at one of our favorite L.A. venues, The Hotel Café,” said Amy Reitnouer, co-founder and executive director of The Bluegrass Situation.

Enjoying the show was MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, who, along with faculty and students from the College of Media and Entertainment, has traveled to the Grammys for the last four years to celebrate the award nominations of alumni and touch base with industry leaders.

“It’s a joy to partner with The Bluegrass Situation and bring some of our Southern California alumni to such a great show,” McPhee said. “Tonight, and everything we do this weekend, underscores MTSU’s deep connections to the music business.”

College of Media and Entertainment Dean Ken Paulson called Friday’s concert “an ideal launch for MTSU’s Grammy outreach.”

“It brings together our Recording Industry program, our new Americana format for WMOT and the highly respected Bluegrass Situation for a singular evening of talk and talent,” he said.

McPhee, Paulson and Beverly Keel, chair of MTSU’s Department of Recording Industry, hosted a dinner for about 30 alumni before the concert, which kicked off the university’s series of pre-Grammy events for 2017.

Saturday night, the MTSU College of Media and Entertainment will co-sponsor a second Americana concert at the legendary Troubadour Café in West Hollywood. The concert will be produced by the Americana Music Association.

A pair of former MTSU students and two recent graduates are among the nominees for Sunday night’s 59th Grammy Awards, along with an alumnus who executive-produced a special film about the Grand Ole Opry.

Hillary Scott

Hillary Scott

Chris Young

Chris Young

Chris Young’s No. 1 single, “Think of You,” which he co-wrote and which features singer Casadee Pope, is a nominee in the best country duo/group performance category. It was released in January 2016.

Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum, who recently branched out into contemporary Christian music with her group The Scott Family, was nominated for a pair of Grammys in her new field: best contemporary Christian album for “Love Remains,” and best contemporary Christian music performance/song for “Thy Will,” which she co-wrote, off that album.

The Scott Family includes Scott’s parents, country singer Linda Davis and songwriter-musician Lang Scott, and her younger sister, Rylee.

Pete Fisher

Pete Fisher

Josh Craig

Josh Craig

Brad King, a 2015 MTSU recording industry graduate specializing in audio production, is competing with Scott in the best contemporary Christian album category for his engineering work on the team that recorded “Poets & Saints” by the group All Sons & Daughters.

Josh Craig, a 2015 cum laude audio production graduate, is part of a special project: “Hymns” by artists Joey & Rory, nominated for a Grammy for best roots gospel album. He worked on the “Hymns” album alongside winning producer Joe West at “The West Barn” studio in Franklin, Tennessee. 

Pete Fisher, the Opry’s former longtime vice president and chief executive officer, also is part of a team that created “American Saturday Night: Live from the Grand Ole Opry,” a concert film released in theaters in December 2015 and a nominee in the best music film category.

The Department of Recording Industry, for the third straight year, is part of an international list of acclaimed music schools praised by The Hollywood Reporter that includes Juilliard, Berklee and London’s Royal College of Music. It ranked No. 18 on the “Top 25 Music Schools 2016” list.

— Andrew Oppmann (andrew.oppmann@mtsu.edu)


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