The Charger Blog

Music Industry Experts Inspire Next Generation of Professionals

A recent virtual panel discussion brought together dozens of music industry students and four respected and experienced leaders in the field, enabling students to learn the ins and outs of the music industry.

May 14, 2020

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

Image of Music Industry Panel
Music industry experts shared their stories with students via Zoom during a recent panel discussion.

Duncan Lindsay '20 believes opportunities to meet and interact with industry professionals are crucial for him and his fellow music industry students. That’s why he was excited to attend a recent virtual panel discussion that enabled students to do just that.

"I was especially interested in learning about how COVID-19 has impacted the state of the music industry, as I expect the fallout of the pandemic to affect how people gather socially for some time to come," he said. "The panelists certainly shared some inspiring stories about the merits of affability, industriousness, and technical skill."

Moderated by Jim Corona, who has experience as a sound engineer, road manager, stage hand, backline tech, sound designer, and venue production coordinator, the special panel discussion conducted via Zoom enabled the experts to share their stories with students. Corona, who has more than 30 years of industry experience, has worked with artists such as Paul Simon, Sting, and Andrew Lloyd Webber. He offered his advice to students who are planning to work in the industry, discussing the importance of networking with others.

"The panelists certainly shared some inspiring stories about the merits of affability, industriousness, and technical skill."Duncan Lindsay '20

"It's a crucial part of the job that helps facilitate getting more jobs," said Corona, who visited the University this past fall. "Come to work rested and prepared. Speak to new people. Say please and thank you. This helps you advance in the music business."

The panel included Elizabeth Freund, Michael Connor, and Jesse Lautner, who have all worked with Corona. They discussed what they learned when they were beginning their careers, what has worked well for them, and how the industry has changed.

Erica Haskell, Ph.D., chair of the University's music department who helped organize the discussion, led a question-and-answer session with students.

Freund, the president and CEO of Beautiful Day Media who has more than three decades of industry experience, discussed the importance of working together.

"There’s room for everybody in the industry," said Freund, who has worked as a publicist, producer, and manager. "Don’t worry about competing. See if you can help each other instead. Avoid people-pleasing and be who you are."

The discussion was an opportunity for students to learn what they can expect as they begin to pursue careers in the industry.

Lindsay, the music industry major who has had internships in the field in both Nashville and New York City, says he's grateful he and his classmates had the opportunity to learn from experts.

"Although the industry continues to change a lot, the lessons the panelists have shared are very important," he said. "It was great to learn from those who are making hiring decisions in the industry."