University’s second-annual outreach to Southern California alums
as part of The Recording Academy’s awards celebration
LOS ANGELES — MTSU honored Alicia Warwick, executive director of The Recording Academy’s Nashville chapter, at an event Saturday (Feb. 7) in downtown Los Angeles as part of the university’s second-annual outreach during the Grammy Awards.
About 50 recording industry executives, artists and university alumni, students and supporters attended a brunch on the rooftop of The Standard hotel to recognize Warwick, a 1999 graduate of MTSU’s Recording Industry program. She was named to the chapter’s top job last year.
Among those in attendance were MTSU alums Pete Fisher, general manager of the Grand Old Opry, and Torrance “Street Symphony” Esmond, who is nominated for a Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song Grammy as a co-writer on a song by popular Christian rapper Lecrae Moore, who also attended MTSU for a time.
Ken Paulson, dean of the College of Mass Communication, said Warwick’s colleagues from The Recording Academy who attended the brunch all sang her praises.
“I’ve talked to her colleagues here and they all said from the moment that they met her, they all recognized her leadership, her passion and commitment,” Paulson said.
“We (at MTSU) have loved watching her career blossom,” he said. “We are so proud and we are delighted to honor her today.”
Warwick said she was moved by the tribute from her alma mater on the eve of the industry’s biggest night, the 57th annual Grammy Awards.
“I transferred to MTSU my junior year and it changed my life,” she said. “The friendships I made, the relationships and internships. Some of my favorite mentors are here (at the brunch) today.
“(MTSU) is such a blessing and such an amazing university. It’s so exciting (that) I kind of have to pinch myself.”
The Warwick brunch was among several activities that MTSU put forward as part of the Grammy week of festivities.
On Thursday and Friday, six Recording Industry students volunteered in various capacities during the 17th annual Grammy Foundation Legacy Concert.
Later Saturday evening, MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee held a meet-and-greet session with Southern California alums. On Sunday, MTSU will co-sponsor a pre-Grammys event with Leadership Music, a training program for industry executives.
The students here for the Grammys — seniors James Belt, Eryn Green, Quentin Lee, April Manuel, Taylor Thompson and Keagan Scribner — were under the direction of assistant professor Stacy Merida. They attended Saturday’s brunch and mixed and mingled with industry pros.
Belt called the week “a monumental revelation,” adding it was an “honor to meet and work with individuals in the industry.”
Warwick said the hands-on experiences offered through the leadership of Recording Industry chairwoman Beverly Keel underscores the relevance of MTSU’s program.
“I’m so excited for you guys,” Warwick told the students. “You are in good hands.”