Students plan, produce, star in concert for 1,500+ guests
On Saturday, April 11, at 7 p.m. Belmont University’s Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business (CEMB) will present its annual Best of the Best Showcase. The free show, which is open to the public and offers a variety of musical performances from rock to urban/pop to Christian to country, will honor longtime music executive Gary Overton with the Robert E. Mulloy Award of Excellence. This award is given annually to 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.
Gary Overton has been a leading force in the Nashville music community for decades, most recently as the chairman and CEO of Sony Music Nashville, home of country superstars Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood. Prior to his five-year tenure at Sony, Overton served for 15 years as executive vice president and general manager of EMI Music Publishing’s Nashville division, where he was responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations, including the exploitation of copyrights, acquisition of catalogs, signing of writers and artists, and securing record deals. During his tenure, the company earned Publisher of the Year honors from ASCAP, BMI and/or SESAC a total of 12 times. Prior to joining EMI, Overton was personal manager for country artist Alan Jackson and served tenures as head of A&R for BNA Entertainment and vice president of Warner/Chappell Music. Overton currently serves on the Belmont University/Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business Advisory Board, in addition to other volunteer efforts.
“The Best of the Best showcase continues in the tradition of providing a professional performance opportunity for our student artists and hands on experience for our live audio, lighting and production student teams,” said Curb College Dean Doug Howard. “The impact of these experiences plays a key part of a Curb College education and can be seen in the creative and expert talents of our alumni all over Music City and the entertainment world at large. I’m also incredibly grateful for Gary Overton’s years of service both as an advisory board member and as a generous benefactor for our programs, and I’m delighted that ‘Best of the Best’ will honor him Saturday night.”
Belmont University was recently selected as a stop on student-led nonprofit Turning Green’s nationwide road tour to inform, inspire and mobilize college students around conscious living and sustainable practices. Traveling to 16 universities, the Conscious College Road Tour seeks to encourage students to make educated choices in their day-to-day lives that benefit the health of both people and the planet.
The tour includes two main components designed to help students work to create change in their lives and on-campus, both of which were held earlier this week to celebrate Turning Green’s arrival to campus.
The Conscious Information Station, an informational event for students and administrators, included 7 stations that featured all aspects of sustainable living. Attendees toured booths sponsored by Turning Green as well as Belmont’s ECO Club, Slow foods and the Environmental Science Program to learn more about converting their lifestyles from conventional to conscious. The Town Hall Meeting was held later in the day and served as a dinner gathering for approximately 70 students, faculty, staff and school leaders to focus their attention on developing a student-led sustainability project on campus.
In conjunction with The Tennessean and WSMV, Belmont will be hosting two mayoral debates this summer and as the city’s debate headquarters, Belmont students will lead the efforts to officially introduce Nashville to its new mayor. Through its partnership, Belmont selected seven students who will each follow one candidate, review a recent interview and write a piece to be published in the Tennessean prior to the debates.
Participating students have been tasked with producing short pieces that will outline their candidate, review and analyze how their platforms will affect young Nashvillians and ask questions as millennials soon entering the workforce. In the end, this “millennials write for millennials” format will produce easily digestible pieces for young voters to review. When debate time rolls around, these seven students will have the chance to ask questions of the candidates.
Sophomore political science major McLean Pillon said he was excited about the opportunity to get involved with this project and have concrete experience in his field. As a student, learning in the classroom is important, but it’s the hands-on experiences that bring material to life. “Employers are not just looking for classroom experience. They wish to see applicants who are battle-tested and ready for the professional world,” Pillon said. “Belmont has greatly aided in my professional development through opportunities such as these.”
Belmont’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter hosted their second regional conference, “NASHvantage: Entertainment PR Beyond the Music Industry,” the weekend of March 20-22. The conference brought more than 200 students and young professionals from around the country to network and learn about Nashville’s growing public relations field.
The conference was led and directed entirely by Belmont students. Pictured (left) is Director of Logistics Mary Anna Davis, Regional Conference Director Makenzie Albracht, Director of Hospitality Aryn Van Dyke, Director of Promotions and Creative Arielle Schrader and Director of Finance Nicole Smart. Other student volunteers from the Public Relations Department formed the committees and served as extra hands necessary to execute the conference successfully.
“NASHvantage’s success directly reflects the passion and dedication of the directors and Belmont PRSSA. We spent six months planning this conference and seeing it come to life was definitely the highlight of my college career,” said Davis.
Released for iOS and Android platforms, product represents three apps in one
Anyone searching for “Belmont” or “Belmont University” last week in the iTunes or Google Play stores stumbled across a nice surprise as the University released its first official mobile app, a free combination product that offers access to public Belmont information (Belmont app) as well as a secondary secure MyBelmont app for students, faculty and staff to reach their personal information on mobile platforms. A third app, for Belmont Bruins athletics, is also included.
These new additions to campus life are a direct result of Media Studies Professor Dr. Sybril Bennett’s submission last year to the Belmont Challenge, an ongoing project that encourages faculty and staff to recommend ideas–in this case, ones based on technology–that can improve student learning and contribute to the effectiveness of the University as a whole.
Bennett said, “The purpose of the submission was to serve our students. For years students in my Mass Media and Society classes submitted Belmont app prototypes as part of the mobile app class project. They wanted to access information on the go. With the growth of mobile devices, this wasn’t an option, it was and is an opportunity. This will allow students to use their device of choice to better manage their educational journey on a mobile platform.”