FOR RELEASE: Oct. 15, 2012EDITORIAL CONTACT: Gina Logue, 615-898-5081, firstname.lastname@example.org
MURFREESBORO — Students from MTSU’s College of Mass Communication will get an experience that few media professionals ever realize when they assume key production roles for Wednesday’s (Oct. 17) Capitol Street Party in Nashville.
As an estimated 14,000 fans on Lower Broadway enjoy the music of Capitol Records artists Luke Bryan, Jon Pardi and Kelleigh Bannen, 53 students will be modulating audio, staffing HD cameras, conducting interviews and recording the concerts for the label.
“Usually, colleges don’t get to do projects of this magnitude,” said MTSU’s Bob Gordon, an assistant professor in electronic media communication, who will oversee the student-led effort at the Capitol event.
The free music event, which is open to the public, will start at 7 p.m. Live performances literally will take to the street, as a stage will be set up on Broadway between 1st and 2nd Avenues.
Gordon will assume the role of assistant director when he takes a seat alongside director Zack Eagles, a senior radio/television major from Alvaton, Ky., in MTSU’s 40-foot, $1.7 million HD mobile production laboratory. Also known as “The Truck,” the lab is used by students to cover sports, concerts and events for local broadcast, cable stations and national cable networks.
Colby Graham, the senior radio/television major who will produce MTSU’s efforts at the Capitol Street Party, says his job is to make sure every member of the crew is on the same page and executes well. Graham has experience with short films, music videos, concerts and volleyball games, but that doesn’t necessarily drive away the jitters.
“I always get butterflies,” Graham said. “Even if it’s just a class news show, I want everything I do to be good. There are so many eyes on this, but I feel prepared.”
MTSU’s College of Mass Communication, the fifth-largest in the nation, includes three signature departments – Electronic Media Communication, Journalism and Recording Industry – and specialty centers devoted to Popular Music and Innovation in Media. This marks the second year that the university has partnered with Capitol at this event to provide real-world experience for students.
“Our university’s strategic master plan calls for us to build partnerships, like this one we enjoy with Capitol, that benefit our community and provide hands-on experience for our students,” said MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee.
“We value our close ties to Nashville’s Music Row and are glad our students will receive a meaningful and memorable experience as part of the Capitol team,” McPhee said.
Students will be working alongside Capitol executives and technicians to stage the show. And they will have uniquely valuable material for their individual portfolios when it’s over.
“Normally, big acts like we’re going to be seeing at this event like to maintain total control,” said Billy Pittard, chair of the MTSU Department of Electronic Media Communication.
In addition to augmenting their resume credits, students will post-produce three music videos, each one a specific song. They also will produce a promotional video for the department and a “sizzle reel,” which Capitol will use in social media and other marketing efforts.
Eagles says he wants to be involved with concerts and live events in his professional career. But Gordon points out that the skill sets acquired through MTSU can be put to use in athletics, news and other broadcast events.
“My philosophy is I’m trying to teach students professional skills — not the way it used to be or should be, but how it is,” said Gordon, a veteran producer/director on Music Row.
Gordon pointed to the three cable networks in Nashville as evidence that the Middle Tennessee market provides numerous opportunities for television and movie production personnel.
“There’s a large free-lance community in Nashville doing this stuff,” said Gordon.
Graham said everyone on the MTSU crew at the Capitol event will be putting in a long day — arriving early Wednesday and staying until well after the concert’s anticipated 11 p.m. close. Still, to gain an edge over other budding professionals in a highly competitive job market by making this live event part of his education is well worth the time and labor.
“To me, this is huge,” Graham said. “I’m striving for the best final
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