Los Angeles event underscores involvement by university in music’s biggest day
LOS ANGELES — MTSU teamed with Nashville-based Leadership Music on Sunday for a reception for Music City artists and recording executives just hours before the start of the Grammy Awards.
The event at Rock’N Fish Restaurant, outside Staples Center where the Grammys were to be televised later, capped two days of activities in the Los Angeles area by MTSU’s College of Mass Communication to underscore the national profile of its Recording Industry program.
In pre-telecast ceremonies, MTSU alumnus Torrance “Street Symphony” Esmond won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song as a co-writer on the song “Messengers” by Christian rapper Lecrae Moore, also a former MTSU student.
MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, along with Dean Ken Paulson and Recording Industry Chairwoman Beverly Keel of the College of Mass Communication, greeted Leadership Music alumni at the event, many of which were also former students of the university. The annual leadership program brings together established leaders within the music community to discuss issues currently affecting the music industry.
“Our partnership with Leadership Music is valuable in so many ways,” McPhee said. “It affords opportunities like this for our faculty and students to connect with Music City’s top executives and influencers.”
Paulson said the college’s presence in southern California sends a strong signal to those working in the music business.
“We deeply value our rich relationship with Leadership Music and its support for our students,” he said.
Leadership Music alumni come from all genres of music within both the creative and business segments of the industry, as well partners from the nonprofit, business, educational or legislative communities.
Its alumni now total more than 1,000 and include nearly four dozen current and former heads of record labels; executive directors of the nation’s top music associations; and executives from The Recording Academy. Paulson has served as a member of its board and executive committee while Keel is a graduate, former board member and former secretary of the program.
“MTSU is a valued partner and friend and we appreciate its help in staging this great event before the Grammy Awards,” said Diane Pearson, president of Leadership Music and an executive with City National Bank. “It means a great deal to have the university’s leadership here today.”
Meanwhile, inside Staples Center, MTSU alumnus Garry Hood was serving as head stage manager for the 57th annual Grammy ceremony.
Hood (B.S. ’77) has served as head stage manager for more than 1,000 hours of network television specials, including Olympic opening and closing ceremonies, presidential inaugurals, the Kennedy Center Honors, Super Bowl halftime shows as well as the most major entertainment awards ceremonies.
“We are proud of Garry and all of our alumni, faculty and friends who are connected to the music’s biggest event,” McPhee said.