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Music industry symposium illuminates paths of possibilities

Next week, Thursday, March 6 and Friday, March 7, Grinnell will host “Making Music Happen: Working in the Music Industry Post-Grinnell,” a symposium featuring Grinnell alumni who work in the music business. The events include a panel presentation, one-on-one meetings with the alumni and the opportunity to network with the alumni informally.

The event is co-sponsored by KDIC, the Office of Development and Alumni Relations and the Center for Careers, Life, and Service. KDIC Station Manager Daniel Kisslinger ’14 proposed the idea as a way for KDIC to expand its services outside of station programming and concerts.

“There’s no journalism major or music industry major or communications major here … so one of the roles that we could fulfill here would be to provide a central organization to bring some of the voices to campus and give advice that isn’t necessarily connected to any other department and wouldn’t be heard otherwise,” Kisslinger said.

Kisslinger plans to go into the music industry after he graduates in May, and hopes that the event will allow other students like him to gain insight into the industry and how to get started.

“It gives people an opportunity to understand some of the paths, if you’re interested in that coming out of here, and also to make some concrete connections,” Kisslinger said.

The Office of Development and Alumni Relations was excited to work with Kisslinger to make his vision of the symposium a reality. Director of Alumni Relations Jayn Chaney worked with Kisslinger to plan the event and locate the alumni attending the event.

“This event is designed to accomplish two things. … One, help connect students with alumni who are already working successfully in the music industry after Grinnell. Two, to help illuminate possibilities for students about what are different potential careers that can exist in the music industry,” Chaney said.

Chaney’s office encourages other students who have ideas for similar symposia or other ways to connect with alumni to reach out to her office or to the Student Alumni Council. This symposium is one of several that the office is putting on with the help of students.

The alumni attending the symposium have varying experience in the music industry, providing several different perspectives for students.

Students will be able to attend a Panel Presentation at 4:15 p.m. on Thursday, March 6 in JRC 101, schedule one-on-one appointments with the alumni on Thursday from 1 to 4 p.m. and Friday from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and attend a lunch with the alumni on Friday, March 7 from 12 to 2 p.m. Students may schedule up to two appointments with the alumni and can call the CLS at 641-269-4940 to book time slots.


Visiting Alumni:

Cameo Carlson ’93 is the head of digital business development at Borman Entertainment and has been a large part of the digital music revolution, working in mobile, online and digital sales, product development and marketing for big name artists including Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Amy Winehouse, Lil Wayne and Jack Johnson. She was also an editor at Spinner, an early online music magazine, an executive at iTunes and the former Executive Vice President of Universal Motown Republic Group.

John Chavez ’05, a former Concerts Committee Chair, now works as a booking agent for Ground Control Touring. He got his start in the music industry working for Washington-based record label Kill Rock Stars, where he first interned through funding from the CLS (then the Career Development Office).

Ken Braun ’77, a former international student from Ghana, is currently the head of the New York branch of Sterns Music, a British music company working with African Music. He previously worked in New York writing about music for Rolling Stone, The Beat, The New York Times and other publications.

Andrew Ettenhofer ’00 is currently in business development at Event Creative/Venue One. He previously worked at the Sears headquarters in corporate A/V set up, at Bloodshot Records and at Fig Media before joining Event Creative in the sales department.

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