MTSU's Mass Comm Department Touches LA's Grammy Awards

MTSU’s College of Mass Communication will showcase its nationally known Recording Industry program this weekend during several events in Southern California that are tied to the 56th annual GRAMMY Awards.

On Saturday, the college is partnering with the Franklin-based Americana Music Association for an event at the legendary Troubadour club in West Hollywood to honor the late Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers, who died last year.

The event, co-presented by Vector Management and Nissan, will be a celebration of American Roots Music and is expected to draw “legends and the next generation of creative artists to the stage… for an inspirational night of music,” said Jed Hilly, Americana’s executive director.

Dean Ken Paulson and President Sidney A. McPhee will meet with MTSU alumni from the Southern California area prior to the Troubadour event.

“We are working to build the visibility of our college, so it makes perfect sense for us to be present at the most visible music event of the year,” Paulson said.

On Sunday, MTSU will be among the presenting sponsors of a Leadership Music alumni reunion at a venue less than a mile away from Los Angeles’ Staples Center, the site of the GRAMMY telecast that evening.

Leadership Music, based out of Nashville, is a non-profit educational effort that holds an eight-month industry training program each year to a select group of participants. Founded in 1989, it has more than 900 alumni, including nearly four dozen current and former heads of record labels and other industry professionals.

And three of MTSU’s former students are connected to GRAMMY-nominated projects this year:

“We will be bragging this weekend about the pivotal roles our former students continue to play in the recording industry,” Paulson said.

Katy Bishop, a current MTSU recording industry student, is in the GRAMMY spotlight this weekend, as part of a Nashville-based trio called Maybe April. The group also includes Nashville residents Kristen Castro and Alaina Stacey.

The group performed Thursday night’s “A Song Is Born” GRAMMY Foundation legacy concert and will play at the official GRAMMY after-party on Sunday.

MTSU’s Department of Recording Industry, which recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, is one of the university’s signature departments and was featured in the Aug. 24, 2013, issue of Billboard’s annual look at music education.

The department is the only one of its kind in the nation to be housed in a college of mass communication. It offers a Bachelor of Science degree with concentrations in music business, audio production and commercial songwriting, as well as a Master of Fine Arts degree in recording arts and technologies.

Four former MTSU students — Brett Eldridge, Chris Young, Eric Paslay and Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott — recently had simultaneous songs on a recent Billboard Country Airplay chart.

More than a dozen MTSU alumni/former students and faculty have been nominated for Grammy Awards in the last three years, and seven have won Grammys. 

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