MTSU music business program on ‘Hollywood Reporter...

MTSU music business program on ‘Hollywood Reporter’ top-25 list

MTSU’s Department of Recording Industry is on an international list of acclaimed schools touted by The Hollywood Reporter that includes Juilliard, Berklee, Yale and even London’s Royal College of Music.

Click on the screen grab above to see the complete list.

The department’s music business program is part of the magazine’s “Top 25 Music Schools 2014,” which was published online and in the Nov. 14 edition of The Hollywood Reporter.

The international list, which refers to MTSU’s “music business school,” was compiled by the publication’s editors and “dozens of industry and academic insiders” who “assessed each school’s reputation,” according to the report. The schools then ranked each other anonymously.

“We are thrilled that the national recognition continues for the Department of Recording Industry, which was recently named by Billboard as one of its Top 5 schools to study music internationally,” said Beverly Keel, department chair.

Beverly Keel

Beverly Keel

“Our faculty is dedicated to providing students with a foundation of communication and critical thinking skills that will prepare them for careers in the ever-changing music business. Our alumni have become award-winning artists, songwriters and producers, as well as managers, publishers, booking agents, publicists and label executives, and we are so proud of all they have accomplished.”

Recording industry undergrad majors in the College of Mass Communication at MTSU can focus on audio production, commercial songwriting or music business. A Master of Fine Arts degree in recording arts and technologies prepares MTSU graduate students for advanced work in audio production, recording and integrated electronic media.

The recording industry department, which is regularly included in top-program listings around the world, also collaborates with MTSU’s School of Music on a “music industry” minor concentration that allows students to minor in music-industry entrepreneurship or recording industry.

The Hollywood Reporter listing noted that MTSU’s “music business school grads run the Nashville outposts of Sony Music and Universal Music (Group) as well as New York’s Electric Lady Studios. Chris Young and Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott went there, too.”

The mention also quoted longtime music journalist Alanna Nash as saying that MTSU has “an incredible music business school.” Like the other schools, the MTSU item included a pair of notable alumni — Sony Music Nashville Chairman and CEO Gary Overton and multi-Grammy-winning producer Blake Chancey.

More than 20 MTSU alumni or former students and faculty from around the university have been nominated for Grammy Awards in the last decade. Nine have won Grammys, including a couple of repeat recipients, in categories from classical to gospel to bluegrass.

Former students, including Young, Scott, Eric Paslay and Brett Eldridge, have found themselves on the Billboard Country Airplay chart simultaneously.

On the THR music school list, The Juilliard School in New York City took top honors, followed by Boston’s Berklee College of Music, the University of Southern California at Los Angeles, UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music and the Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio.

MTSU was No. 23 on the list, just ahead of fellow music-business player Belmont University’s Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business.

In September, Billboard magazine included MTSU among 11 of the best music business schools in North America in “Music Business 101: Schools Where You Can Learn About the Industry.”

You can learn more about MTSU’s recording industry program at

— Gina E. Fann (

Music publisher Woody Bomar, center, makes a comment while observing fellow songwriter Bobby Taylor’s guest-teaching stint in a Commercial Songwriting class at MTSU Wednesday, Nov. 12. Bomar, a native of Wartrace, Tennessee, and an MTSU alumnus, is the founder of Green Hills Music Group and the former senior vice president of Sony/ATV Music Publishing and president and co-owner of Little Big Town Music. He also wrote No. 1 singles for Conway Twitty and Jim Glaser and has written songs for Hank Williams Jr., Loretta Lynn, T.G. Sheppard and Lee Greenwood. MTSU’s Department of Recording Industry, which offers the Commercial Songwriting course in its curriculum, was included this week in The Hollywood Reporter’s “Top 25 Music Schools 2014.” (MTSU photos by Andy Heidt)

Bobby Taylor, right, smiles at a student’s comment during a guest-teaching stint in a Commercial Songwriting class at MTSU Wednesday, Nov. 12. The two-time MTSU alumnus and Cumberland County, Tennessee, resident wrote the Billboard-charting “Hillbilly Shoes” for Montgomery Gentry and “A Man’ Holdin’ On” for Ty Herndon and also has written songs for the Oak Ridge Boys, Mark Collie, Gretchen Wilson, Billy Ray Cyrus, the Marshall Tucker Band and the Road Hammers.