Frequently called on as a music, technology and entertainment business expert by national media outlets, Billboard Editorial Director Bill Werde spent time at Belmont Wednesday sharing his insights with students in the Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business. Werde’s focus centered on his own career journey and instilling in students traits that could lead to their long-term success.
“I’m still a diehard music fan, and I listen to it for hours a day,” Werde said. “If you don’t really, really, really love music, then there’s way better ways to make money if you’re smart. [The music business] is hard, it’s a hustle.”
Werde recalled hearing author and New Yorker magazine contributor Nicholas Lemann speak to a class, noting, “99 percent of journalists are doing the same story. If you want to be a success, go after the one percent.”
This fall four juniors in the Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business (CEMB) will take part in Creative Connection, a unique internship program designed to connect students with key music industry companies and help them establish familiarity and meaningful relationships with four different facets of the industry: publishing, administration, artist management and business management. Students will experience the different aspects of the music business by working with four different local companies: Creative Nation, Words and Music, Crush Management and The Kella Stephenson Company.
Jamie Stamey, CEMB Internship Coordinator, said, “This industry is full of individuals that are driven to provide experience and opportunities to up-and-coming professionals. Belmont and the Mike Curb College are fortunate and grateful to have relationships with these people for the benefit of our students.”
Belmont University junior Cecilia Y. Tregelles was recently selected to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Tregelles, an entertainment industry studies major and music business minor in the Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business, will study abroad and participate in an international internship at Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea, during the 2013-2014 academic year.
Dr. Mimi Barnard, Belmont’s assistant provost for Interdisciplinary Studies & Global Education, said, “In recent years Belmont has demonstrated increasing intentionality for internationalizing the institution – that means expanding students’ real and virtual worldviews and their understanding of how they see themselves as global citizens. We are thrilled that Cecilia has this prestigious opportunity, for her own development and experience, and also because of what it means for our students and faculty.”
Tregelles is the first Belmont student to study at Sogang University through an exchange program negotiated between the two universities last year. “I’m honored to be a Gilman recipient and thrilled to finally be moving toward my goals of working in the Korean music industry. I’m also very excited to bring what I learn back to share with the Belmont community and expand our knowledge of culture and international music.”
A native of Apollo, Pennsylvania, Tregelles is a member of Belmont’s Japanese Club, Alpha Chi Honor Society and a Bible study on campus known as Awakening.
10 students to gain experiential education on ‘Happy Together Tour’
This June, for the second year in a row, 10 Belmont University students will join professor and legendary musician Mark Volman (a founding member of the band The Turtles) on the road for an East Coast run of the “Happy Together Tour.” The tour’s “classroom” and schedule looks something like this: one tour bus, a precious few hotel rooms, long hours and many stages—for two and a half weeks and a grade.
Under the guidance of faculty advisor Mark Volman and staff advisor Lucas Boto, students will work with touring artists and crew professionals in the areas of tour management, stage management, audio engineering, tour accounting and merchandise sales. These duties will be in addition to their continued learning each day during the process of load-in, setup, tear-down and load-out. These hands-on educational avenues outside of the classroom provide networking opportunities with all of the supporting organizations while gaining an understanding of the revenue flow from music consumer to touring performer. Click here to view a recap of student tour experience from Summer 2012.
“Only at Belmont do students get such a unique opportunity to experience the world of tour management, live production and what life on the road looks like before embarking on their career paths. I’m excited to teach them what I know outside a normal classroom space and to see what I’ll learn from them. Inevitably, their energy will add to the tour experience for the performers as well,” says Turtles founding member and Curb College Assistant Professor of Entertainment Industry Studies Mark Volman.
Amanda Mae Renkel, a senior from Phillipsburg, New Jersey who is majoring in music business, said, “I knew this [tour] was an opportunity I had to seize. I’m excited to get the chance to learn what life is like on the road—beyond the classroom, the campus and the textbooks. I am so looking forward to getting the hands-on experience while building lasting friendships.”
U.S. Congressman Lamar Smith shared his “three-prong approach” to combating the theft of intellectual property with a full room of Belmont University students this past Monday, Feb. 11. The event, sponsored by the Center for Business Ethics, was an academic lecture convocation titled “Internet Piracy: Copyright Infringement and Compensating Creativity.” Representing Texas’ 21st congressional district since 1987, Smith recently proposed legislation with the purpose of hindering the negative impact of foreign websites that consistently engage in illegal acts of digital piracy. Smith described SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and how the legislation primarily focuses on the prosecution of foreign-based websites.
Smith’s three-prong solution includes public education to the negative effects of copyright infringement, technological advances that allow artists to be paid fairly for their work and legislation that allows federal enforcement. Smith explained, “Theft of intellectual property can affect anyone in this room in one way or another.”
Several students from Belmont’s College of Law asked questions relating to copyrights and recent cases from their class studies. Second-year law student Franklin Graves commented, “It’s important for Belmont to host this type of event. They bring focus to the artist, the creator, the people the legislation truly affects. From a law student’s perspective, it’s great to hear a pro-copyright voice.”