LOS ANGELES — Middle Tennessee State University students hit the Grammy red carpet a bit early Friday, Feb. 2, as they worked the Recording Academy’s black-tie charitable fundraising event honoring legendary rocker Jon Bon Jovi as MusiCares’ Person of the Year.
MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee joined the seven students from MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment before Friday’s event to thank them for being part of the university’s ninth trip to the music industry’s biggest awards weekend.
The students, accompanied by Recording Industry professors Odie Blackmon and Denise Shackelford, arrived in Southern California on Wednesday. In addition to the MusiCares event, they’ve been touring recording studios, iconic music venues and meeting with recording industry professionals.
“I’m so very pleased and proud of our students and faculty for not only again honoring our Grammy nominees up for awards this year, but also providing and participating in such a once-in-a-lifetime educational experience out here,” McPhee said.
The seven students on this year’s trip are:
- Grace Choi, a senior from Nashville majoring in Music Business;
- Nicolas Edgerson, a senior from Atlanta majoring in Music Business;
- Kelly Grenvik, a third-year graduate student from Bristol majoring in Recording Arts and Technology;
- Ian Gilleland, a senior from Cullowhee, North Carolina, majoring in Songwriting;
- Lindzey Lopez, a senior from Hendersonville, majoring in Music Business;
- Dalton Miksa, a senior from Morristown majoring in Audio Production.
- and Zoe Naylor, a senior from Murfreesboro majoring in Journalism and French.
Naylor, covering the trip for Sidelines, the university’s student news website, and the MTSU Student Voice, the university’s student-run social media team, said she’s gaining experience in entertainment and event reporting. “Not to mention,” she added, “the possibility of seeing some awesome artists at the awards ceremony.”
Grenvik, learning to be a producer and an artist, said going to the Grammys is something I have always dreamed of but never knew if I would be able to attend. This is an incredible opportunity to observe and be inspired by the industry’s leaders.”
NBC News in 2019 began calling MTSU a “Grammy-winner factory” in the wake of its alumni, students’ and staffers’ multiple nominations and wins.
MTSU alumni, former or current students, and faculty from across the university have been a part of more than 149 Grammy Award nominations in the last two decades.
The number of MTSU-connected Grammy winners since 2001 currently stands at 19 people with a total of 39 Grammys, including nine repeat recipients, in categories from classical to pop to rock to country to gospel.
Students, faculty and administrators gathered Friday in Santa Monica with MTSU alumni from all disciplines, as well as a Saturday event celebrating the 15 nominations this year among nine former students before attending Grammy ceremony at the Crypto.com arena. The awards telecast will air Sunday from 7 to 10:30 p.m. Central on CBS and the Paramount+ networks.
More details about the 66th annual Grammy Awards are available at https://Grammy.com.
(Story updated Feb. 6 with additional nominees)
— Andrew Oppmann (Andrew.Oppmann@mtsu.edu)