Kennesaw State University’s Music and Entertainment Business Certificate Program kicked off last week with an announcement that the class they will begin a student-run record label.
Prof. Bruce Birch invited Shannon Houchins, CEO of Average Joes Entertainment, to lecture his class about how a record label is started and run. During the lecture, Houchins explained to the class that they will be acting as a record label over the course of three semesters.
The process will begin with each student finding one local artist who is in need of management. After presentations of the chosen artists’ work, the class will choose two artists to represent until spring 2012. The class will work in groups to put the artists on college radio, book a tour and promote concerts.
The creation of a student-run record label is only one of many course assignments designed to help students get experience with the music business. KSU senior Jameel Bembry, a participant in the certification program, said, “I'm the most excited about the externships that are required.” Bembry added that, “the MEBUS program brings the music and entertainment business to [students].”
Ryan Smoak, a junior in the program, echoed Bembry’s sentiments, saying that, “the experiences that come along with [the program], and the people I meet while completing it will help me reach my career goals.”
A press release from KSU first officially announced the start of the new program June 28. The release announced that Joel A Katz, an Atlanta-based attorney, donated a large sum of money to begin a music business program at KSU similar to one at the University of Georgia.
The donation succeeded in luring Bruce Burch of the UGA program to Kennesaw to direct the program, which was announced in a subsequent press release July 6. The release also announced that Keith Perissi, also from the UGA program, would follow Burch to KSU as the associate director of the program. Both men have extensive backgrounds in the music industry.