Music Business Faculty & Students Attend NAMM Show in California

February 2, 2012

"I never had the same opportunity to study the music business in college that these students are getting.  I had to learn it the hard way," remarked Troy Blakely, Senior Partner for Agency for the Performing Arts (APA).  Mr. Blakely was one of many music industry executives that 14 of Bradley University's Music Business Majors got to meet in Hollywood, California last month.  Guided by Bradley's Music Professors, Mr. Carl Anderson and Dr. Todd Kelly, the students enjoyed the California warmth this January as part of their annual tour of the music industry.

Bradley is one of the few universities to offer such a program.  Music Business Majors combine the fundamentals of music study with important business courses from the Foster College of Business.  Additional courses specific to the music business round out the major and each student completes an internship in the music industry.  The trip becomes a crucial supplement to the students' academic coursework and provides not only a better view of the career choices in the industry, but vital contacts for later internships and permanent employment.

"We are the only school doing this kind of trip," explains Mr. Anderson. "It is one thing to read about the industry from a textbook; this trip brings it to a whole different level.  They meet some of the most prominent and successful music industry executives and then they get to experience the NAMM show in Anaheim."

The NAMM show is the International Music Products Industry trade show where some 90,000 music retailers, vendors, and artists meet to do business.  Although closed to the general public, the NAMM show is made available for our students through NAMM's Generation Next outreach program.  The show has become a great opportunity for our students to network in the industry, develop internships, and apply for permanent employment.

A few years ago Bradley expanded the scope of the trip to include many different facets of the music industry.  While in Hollywood, the students met with studio trombonist Bill Reichenbach and visited with Ron Jones, composer of the music to the popular shows, The Family Guy and Star Trek: The Next Generation.  They also met with TV & Movie Music Supervisor and Bradley alum, Allison Wright Clark '91.

The music industry has dramatically changed with the emergence of the digital age.  The students had important discussions about the strength and future of the industry as they met with record company executives, such as Xavier Ramos at Warner Records.  They also experienced first hand the stress of being in the infamous William Morris Endeavor Mailroom.

As the Music Business program continues to grow, students will have additional opportunities to make their Bradley Experience relevant as they prepare for a career in the music and entertainment industry.  This trip was an important first step.