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Belmont Class Returns to the Road for ‘Happy Together’ Tour

Belmont students have class backstage with Gary Lewis during the Happy Together Tour.

Belmont students have class backstage with Gary Lewis during the Happy Together Tour.

Students gain experiential education on ‘Happy Together Tour’

A class of Belmont University students have join their professor, legendary musician and The Turtles founding member Mark Volman, for an East Coast run of the “Happy Together Tour” for the third consecutive year.  The tour’s “classroom” and schedule include 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 Volman, assistant professor of entertainment industry studies, and staff adviser Lucas Boto, the students are working with touring artists and crew professionals in the areas of tour management, stage management, audio engineering, tour accounting and merchandise sales. These duties are 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.

“Happy Together is a once in a lifetime opportunity where students get to learn first-hand what it’s like to be a touring professional. Not only are concepts taught, but they’re put into practice along the way,” Boto said. “I don’t know of any other university that partners with a professional tour to further the education of students in the realm of entertainment. The experiences gained are priceless and translate directly into potential job opportunities.”

Volman is excited to show students what he knows outside of the classroom, he said, and the students have added energy to the tour experience. The two previous classes have been so successful that Volman has hired two former students to work merchandise and as a photographer on the tour.

“I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to further explore my passions. Big thanks to Mark Volman for putting this together. It’s one thing to learn concepts in the classroom but having hands on experience takes it to another level,” said Erika Eenigenburg, a senior from Cedar Lake, Indiana studying music business.  (more…)

GRAMMY Camp Nashville Held at Belmont University

Grammy Camp performanceGRAMMY Camp® Nashville was held last week at Belmont’s 34 Music Square East facility, home to historic Columbia Studio A and the Quonset Hut, with 39 high school students from 25 cities and 12 states. Celebrating its 10th year, GRAMMY Camp is  the GRAMMY Foundation’s signature music industry camp for U.S. high school students and is an interactive non-residential summer music experience focusing on all aspects of commercial music.

Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business faculty members Drew Ramsey (songwriting), Nathan Adam (audio engineering technology) and Dave Tough (music business) taught classes and mentored students involved in the camp throughout the week. In addition, Luke Gilfeather, facility manager at 34 Music Square East, assisted with the camp’s studio and classroom needs. The program culminated on June 13 with an Open House event where guests received a behind-the-scenes look into what the students learned throughout the week, including the music and media they created. President and Chief Executive Officer or the Journeys Group Jim Estepa,GRAMMY Foundation® Vice President Scott Goldman and leadership from The Recording Academy® were on hand to speak with students.

GRAMMY Camp provides instruction by industry professionals in an immersive creative environment with cutting-edge technology in professional facilities. GRAMMY Camp Nashville offered four music career tracks: audio engineering, songwriting, vocal performance and instrumental performance. This GRAMMY in the Schools® program is supported by Converse and Journeys, among others.

Historic Columbia Studio A Reopens as Educational Space for Belmont Students

Linda Curb, Mike Curb, Harold Bradley and Charlie McCoy celebrate the Columbia Studio A grand re-opening.

Linda Curb, Mike Curb, Harold Bradley and Charlie McCoy celebrate the Columbia Studio A grand re-opening.

Mike Curb, Curb Family Foundation in kind gift equivalent of $10 million

Preserving Music City history while shaping the music of the future, Belmont University and the Curb Family Foundation announced today the completed renovation of Columbia Studio A at 34 Music Square East as a classroom and hands-on learning lab for students in Belmont’s Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business. Through his Curb Family Foundation, Curb Records’ founder and CEO Mike Curb is giving the University a 40-year lease on the 34 Music Square East property (including office spaces, Columbia Studio A and the Quonset Hut) as an in kind contribution, an estimated donation value topping $10 million.

A-Team session musician Charlie McCoy greets Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher.

A-Team session musician Charlie McCoy greets Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher.

From its opening in the mid-1950s as part of Bradley Studios to the building’s purchase by Columbia Records in 1962 to its transition to office space in 1982, Columbia Studio A and the Quonset Hut provided the sonic landscape for many of that generation’s biggest hits and greatest artists, including Bob Dylan, who recorded his legendary 1969 Nashville Skyline album in the most recently renovated space. “A-Team” session musician Charlie McCoy, who played on Nashville Skyline, noted that thanks to Dylan recording in town at Columbia Studio A, “Nashville was certified as a recording center in music to artists who might never have come here otherwise.”

Other artists who’ve graced the building include Dusty Springfield, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Brenda Lee, Buddy Holly, Loretta Lynn, George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Charlie Rich, The Byrds, Patti Page, Elvis Costello, Simon & Garfunkel, and many more. Today’s event was opened by rising I.R.S. Nashville band Striking Matches, a duo who first met when paired together in a Belmont guitar class.

Striking Matches' Sarah Zimmerman and Justin Davis meet legendary artist Brenda Lee.

Striking Matches’ Sarah Zimmerman and Justin Davis meet legendary artist Brenda Lee.

“If these walls could talk,” said Brenda Lee, who spoke at today’s announcement, “they could recount a virtual ‘who’s who’ of great artists and hit songs that first found life here… Thanks to the vision of today’s industry leadership—to men such as Dr. Bob Fisher, president of Belmont University, and Mike Curb, whose namesake Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business is unparalleled as a music industry learning resource—thanks to them, these walls can and will ‘talk’ to a new generation of young creativity that will come here to experience and learn where it all began. And for that, we can all be grateful.”

Dr. Fisher added, “When it comes to honoring Nashville’s music roots, we all need to thank Mike Curb for both his generous contributions and visionary commitment to keep that history alive in this town for future generations to recognize and enjoy. But Mike’s vision extends beyond our history to our future, as he has and continues to be a tremendous resource for tomorrow’s legendary artists through his support of Belmont’s Curb College. We’re truly grateful for his contributions to all of our programs.”

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Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business Honors Gordon Kennedy with Mulloy Award

Award presentation slated for March 29 ‘Best of the Best’ Showcase on Belmont’s campus

Gordon KennedyContinuing a tradition of recognizing music industry greats who are also dedicated to the educational process, Belmont University’s Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business will honor Gordon Kennedy with the sixth annual Robert E. Mulloy Award of Excellence on March 29. The award presentation, which will occur during the University’s 2014 Best of the Best Showcase at Belmont’s Curb Event Center, will feature special performances by Belmont students as well as Kennedy colleagues Peter Frampton and Ricky Skaggs. “Best of the Best” begins at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

In the spring of 2008, the Curb College established the Award of Excellence in memory of program founder Bob Mulloy to annually recognize an individual who has achieved a level of excellence in the music business and entertainment industries with notable service to Belmont University and the Nashville community.

Curb College Dean Dr. Wes Bulla said, “It’s an honor for us to present the Robert E. Mulloy Award of Excellence to Gordon, who considers Bob one of his early mentors. Gordon has remained a long-time champion and unofficial spokesman for the Curb College and all things Belmont and has never said no to a favor that supports our students, faculty and programs.”

Belmont alumnus and Curb College Board Chairman Doug Howard added, “I often say that Gordon Kennedy is a ‘world class songwriter, musician, producer and performer.  I need to add that he is a ‘Heaven class’ family man, friend and Christian brother. I know Bob Mulloy was extremely proud of Gordon’s professional achievements. However, the latter traits are what Bob sought to instill in his students and are truly what matter most of all.”

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Alumna Carla Wallace Honored with Music City Milestone Award

CEMB Dean Wes Bulla and Carla Wallace

CEMB Dean Wes Bulla and Carla Wallace

The Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business, alongside industry partner ASCAP, honored alumna Carla Wallace as the fifth recipient of the Music City Milestone Award (MCMA).  The MCMA celebrates Belmont’s connection with Music Row while also recognizing a Belmont graduate who has achieved truly superlative success in the entertainment and music industries early in their career.

Co-owner and general manager of Big Yellow Dog Music, an independent music publishing company based in Nashville, Wallace graduated from Belmont with a B.B.A. in Music Business.  Throughout her time at Belmont, Wallace interned at many Music Row publishing companies.  She also worked for the public relations department at The Nashville Network (TNN), delivering flyers across Nashville for upcoming concerts and shows, clipping articles that referenced TNN shows and seating the stars for the Viewer’s Choice Awards.

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