Catawba College Named One of Nation's Best Music Schools for 2009
For the second year in a row, Catawba College has been named one of the nation's best music schools by "In Tune Monthly." Catawba was one of only 38 institutions included in the magazine's listing of The Best Music Schools of 2009.
The magazine cited Catawba for its focus on music and business and "its emphasis on contemporary music." Noting that Catawba College had "one of the fastest growing music programs in the country," the magazine pointed to the College's development of the Young Guns Teen National Online Battle of the Bands and Songwriting Contest, which "In Tune Monthly" also sponsors.
Catawba College's Music Department offers a bachelor of arts degree in Music Performance, Sacred Music, Music Education and Music Business.
Catawba's Fall 2009 semester will bring with it several new music business and popular music courses:
- Music Management: From Dream to Deal - Dolphus Ramseur, President of Ramseur Records and manager of the Avett Brothers will lead this seminar on one of the most vital aspects of the music industry. Under Dolph's management, the Avetts have developed into one of the top 100 live acts in the country and have recorded a debut album for Columbia (to be released Summer 2009) produced by the legendary Rick Rubin.
- Web Creation for Music - No successful musical act is without a robust web presence. The course gives music business students a foundational knowledge of and hands-on expereince with HTML, PHP, Flash, and other key components of web design and creation in support of music.
- Blues Appreciation - Blues is America's most seminal music. Not only is it a remarkable artistic expression in its own right, it has been a taproot for a number of other popular styles — including jazz and rock and roll. The course takes students on a blues journey from then until now, exploring all of its major forms enroute. It includes an opional trip to the Memphis and the Mississippi Delta to visit historic sites like Sun Records and all three Robert Johnson's graves(!) and to hear blues live in its birthplace.
All Catawba music business students must complete a professional internship, typically in the summer between their junior and senior year. Past students have interned at Def Jam, Aware Records (best known as the label John Mayer records for), Muzak, and other important organizations within the music industry. Two current music business students, Katie Bragg and Christine Shuster, continue this tradition of securing great internships for themselves.
Christine will be interning with Press Here Publicity in NYC, whose clients include Alanis Morissette, the Artic Monkeys, Bloc Party, Franz Ferdinand, the Killers, Lenny Kravitz, Maroon 5, and the White Stripes. We need say more? Christine landed the internship with a resume that highlights her experience as student manager of the Vernaculars and project manager for Young Guns 2009 Battle of the Bands. As they say, there's no substitute for experience.
Katie will intern with echo, a Nashville company that creates and manages web sites and fan organizations for hundreds of major artists. How major? How about Kanye West, Keith Urban, and Alicia Keys? The echo representative who interviewed Katie for the internship praised her intelligence and enthusiasm. No surprise to us. They also like her music! Again, no surprise.
Katie is applying what we call the "Fall Forward" principle. Many of our popular music students come to Catawba with the idea of also studying music business as "something to fall back on." We prefer that they think of it as "falling forward." Rather than waiting tables or working in a retail store while you try to "make it" in music, it's much better to work within the industry where you can network and gain an inside perspective.
Vernaculars to Perform Back to Jack Concert
It's Back to Jack for the Catawba College Vernaculars when they present their first concert of the new school year. The outdoor event will feature eleven songs made famous by Michael Jackson done up in the Vernaculars' own way — heavy on the rock, hold the disco.
Katie Bragg CD Release Party
Singer/songwriter Katie Bragg, a Catawba College junior from Snow Hill, Md., says she "became bolder in college," and the recent release of her first self-titled CD, containing four original songs, is a testament to that.
Bragg describes her new release, produced at Hit Music in Spencer, as "empowering."
Some have described her style as similar to that of Alanis Morissette, she says, but she describes her songs as "rock with pop influence." Of her music, Bragg explains, "I'm sure that it is a product of my past experiences, but it's also a part of growing up and growing into yourself. As my music has gotten closer to the sound that I want, everything else has become clearer too. I've more defined who I want to be as a person and as a musician."
Vernaculars Perform "I Love the '90s" Concert
Catawba's FBC Theatre was visited by the ghosts of music past on Saturday evening November 8th as the Vernaculars performed songs made famous during the 1990s. "I Love the '90s featured "Mother, Mother" by Tracy Bonham, "Spiderwebs" by No Doubt, "Give Me One Reason" by Tracey Chapman, "Name" by the Goo Goo Dolls, "Always on the Run" by Lenny Kravitz (video below), "The Freshmen" by The Verve Pipe, "Say It Ain't So" by Weezer, "Everlong" by the Foo Fighters, "Semi-Charmed Life" by Third Eye Blind, and more.
To hear more selections from this and other Vernaculars performances, search "Vernaculars" on YouTube.
Catawba College Cheen Lectures Bridge Classroom and Music Industry
Salisbury, NC -- April 10, 2008 – More than ever, today's music industry is a fast-paced, hard-scrapple race for success. That is the critical message music business majors at Catawba College (Salisbury, NC) have been learning from industry veteran Jeffrey Cheen during the Spring 2008 semester.
In just a few short years, Catawba has emerged as a leading school for the study of music business. The success comes in large part from Catawba's full support for students of popular music. The distinction helped the college earn recent recognition from In Tune Monthly as one of the "Best Music Schools for 2008." It has also attracted talented student performers and songwriters from across the country, a number of who have already distinguished themselves beyond the Catawba campus. They include recent graduate Dennis Reed, recipient of the 2006 BMI John Lennon Songwriting Scholarship, and senior Derek Daisey, who placed second in the 2007 Lennon competition.
Jeffrey Cheen began his music career working with such well-known acts as Deep Purple, Joan Rivers, and Tiny Tim as National Promotion Director for Bill Cosby's Tetragrammaton Records. He then went on to serve as Vice-President for A&R at Capitol Records and manager for War, Ronnie Laws, Funkadelic, and Rick James. Cheen is currently president of Succession Records in Charlotte, NC and co-founder of the Charlotte Music Awards.
According to Dr. David Lee Fish, Director of Music Business and Popular Music at Catawba, "We're extremely fortunate to have an individual of Jeff's experience living in the area. The real-world perspective he provides our students through his lectures serves as an essential bridge between their classroom studies and the realities of working in the industry."
Catawba College Professor and Two Students Participate in Muzak's Summer Noise! Camp in Los Angeles
Dr. David Lee Fish, an associate professor of music at Catawba College, and two Catawba music business majors participated in Muzak's Summer Noise! Camp in Los Angeles in July. Noise! is sponsored by the Muzak's Heart & Soul Foundation and brings teens from across the country together for two weeks each summer for an up-close view of the music industry.
Fish spoke to 31 high school students attending Noise! at California State University Northridge on July 23rd about the competitive advantages of pursuing a college education. Fish coordinates CATAWBA ROCKS!, one of the few college degree programs designed specifically for performers and songwriters of popular music.
Catawba College Music Business Majors, April Hafner of Wausau, Wis., and Nicholas O'Kelley of Asheboro, N.C., were selected to serve as counselors for Noise! and received all expenses paid, including their flights, as well as a stipend for their services.
Noise! campers are exposed to music professionals, managers, lawyers, agents in the music industry through on-site presentations and field trips. For more details about Noise! Visit their website at www.noise.muzak.com.