MTSU
READING

MTSU connects with alumni, industry pros at Grammy...

MTSU connects with alumni, industry pros at Grammys

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Middle Tennessee State University students and faculty connected with Southern California alumni and recording industry executives Friday, Feb. 8, on its first full day at the festivities before the 61st annual Grammy Awards.

Six students from the MTSU Department of Recording Industry, who were selected by chair Beverly Keel to represent the university, went backstage and on stage Friday as the Recording Academy prepared Staples Center to host the national telecast Sunday, Feb. 10.

The students, along with professor Matthew O’Brien, also met with Billboard magazine’s west coast editor, Melinda Newman, and A&R executive Jay Landers, who has worked with a stable of renowned artists that includes Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra and Bette Midler.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, left, chats with multiple Grammy award nominee and 2000 School of Music alumnus Wayne Haun, who is nominated again this year as part of the best roots gospel album category for producing “Clear Skies” by Ernie Haase & Signature Sound. (MTSU photo by Andrew Oppmann)

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, left, chats with multiple Grammy award nominee and 2000 School of Music alumnus Wayne Haun, who is nominated again this year in the best roots gospel album category for producing “Clear Skies” by Ernie Haase & Signature Sound. (MTSU photo by Andrew Oppmann)

The day concluded with President Sidney A. McPhee, Provost Mark Byrnes and Ken Paulson, dean of the College of Media and Entertainment, hosting a reception for Southern California members of the MTSU Alumni Association.

The event allowed the area’s graduates to provide career advice and insights to the six students.

“The reason we come to the Grammys, now six years in a row, is not only to underscore the impressive footprint of our graduates in the recording industry but to provide these students such amazing opportunities,” McPhee said.

Junior Micaela Griffin was wowed after learning all that the Recording Academy does to prepare for the Grammys, the industry’s largest and most prestigious event.

“I’ve gained a more vast understanding of everything that goes into the planning and production of the biggest night in music,” she said.

“The most exciting part of the day was walking the ‘Winner’s Walk’ under the stage and standing in the footsteps of all the great musicians. It was empowering, magical and truly unforgettable.”

Students and faculty from MTSU Department of Recording Industry, in Los Angeles as part of the university's annual trip to the Grammys, met with legendary artist executive Jay Landers, who has worked with Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Chris Cornell, Johnny Mathis and Bette Midler. Landers invited the students to his home to answer their questions about his career and the music industry. (MTSU photo by Andrew Oppmann)

Students and faculty from MTSU’s Department of Recording Industry, in Los Angeles as part of the university’s annual trip to the Grammys, meet with label A&R executive Jay Landers, shown seated at center, who has worked with Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Chris Cornell, Johnny Mathis and Bette Midler. Landers invited the students and staff to his home to answer their questions about his career and the music industry. Seated with Landers are, from left, Department of Recording Industry Chair Beverly Keel and MTSU senior Natalie Madigan. Standing, from left, are MTSU seniors Samantha Bicknell, Trianne Newbrey, and Neeko Crowe; MTSU recording industry professor Matt O’Brien; MTSU senior Austin Sawyer; and MTSU junior Micaela Griffin. (MTSU photo by Andrew Oppmann)

Senior Natalie Madigan called the tour an “eye-opening and educational experience that showed me just how much detailed work goes into producing the show.”

“It was amazing to see so many MTSU alumni working these positions as well,” she added.

One of those MTSU alumni is Garry Hood, who’s spent the last three decades as the head stage manager for the biggest award shows on TV and again will be in charge behind the scenes at Sunday’s Grammys event.

“It was an amazing experience to see music’s biggest night from a totally new and unique perspective,” said senior Samantha Bicknell. “It was a life-changing experience, and I am so thankful for the opportunity.”

Bicknell, Griffin and Madigan were joined by three fellow recording industry students: seniors Neeko Crowe, Trianne Newbrey and Austin Sawyer.

On Saturday, Feb. 9, MTSU held a brunch at The Standard hotel in downtown Los Angeles in honor of repeat Grammy-winning songwriter/producer and 2003 music business alumnus Torrance “Street Symphony” Esmond, who’s recognized this year for producing “Hussle & Motivate” on Nipsey Hussle’s best rap album-nominated “Victory Lap” CD.

Then, later Saturday night, MTSU will co-sponsor The Americana Music Association’s pre-Grammy Salute to John Prine, a career-spanning tribute concert set for the legendary Troubadour nightclub in West Hollywood, Calif.

And, on Sunday, MTSU will team with Leadership Music for a reception for Nashville-area recording industry executives and artists before the national telecast of the Grammy Awards ceremony.

In addition to Esmond, eight other university-connected people contributing to rap, Americana, country and gospel projects are set to be recognized with nominations at the awards ceremony.

The Grammy Awards will air live at 7 p.m. CST Sunday on CBS.

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

Ken Paulson, center left, dean of MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment, and Provost Mark Byrnes, center right, pose with some of the attendees of Friday night’s MTSU Alumni Association reception for Southern California graduates. (MTSU Photo by Andrew Oppmann)

Ken Paulson, center left, dean of MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment, and Provost Mark Byrnes, center right, pose with some of the attendees of Friday night’s MTSU Alumni Association reception for Southern California graduates. (MTSU Photo by Andrew Oppmann)


COMMENTS ARE OFF THIS POST

INSTAGRAM
WE ARE TRUE BLUE