AU music business students who dream of “making it” in the music industry will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the reality of the recording industry. By the beginning of the 2002-03 academic year this fall, Anderson University will have its own record label. The label, entitled Launch Records, will represent a chance for music business students to gain hands-on operational experience and provide an outlet to deliver their creative projects to the masses. The Anderson University music business major includes 50 students and is the second largest major in the Department of Music.
Funding for Launch Records was made possible through a $25,000 campus grant established by Dr. Glenn Falls, professor emeritus of Business and Economics, which annually awards a departmental initiative designed to make a specific program more distinctive.
Anderson University students studying through the Department of Music and other disciplines across the campus---such as art and communications—will have an opportunity to influence every aspect of the new record label. Although Launch Records will give students the experience of working with an actual record label, the process will nonetheless be viewed as an academically structured class. Students will receive two credit hours per semester, and will be required to attend regular staff meetings as well as carry out assigned functions in the company.
“All of the music will be written by students and performed by students,” said Dr. Rebecca Chappell, AU professor of Music. “The final projects will then be produced and engineered by students—basically, AU students will be involved in every step. Our goal is to promote one of the singles from the album on a national level and hopefully make the charts.”
“The development of this new label will provide ample opportunity for students to discover the realities of the music business—through performance, management, marketing, legal aspects, publishing, booking and marketing,” said Mark Pay, also an AU music business professor, has been appointed president of Launch Records. “While the students will run this program, industry professionals will provide additional assistance.”
The announcement of Launch Records follows on the heels of recent news that AU music business students received two major songwriting awards at the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association conference in Nashville, Tenn.
“This was our first year to attend the conference, and our students created quite a buzz among the other schools,” added Chappell. “Everyone wanted to know how a small school like Anderson University had such an incredible music business program with so many good songwriters. I had several music industry professionals asking me for CD’s of the students’ songs.”
Several of the judges were impressed with the quality of the songs written by the AU students. Rick Cua, one of the judges and vice president of EMI Christian Music Group, announced that “the songs written by Anderson University students were several notches above” what he usually experiences.
"I don't sign songwriters for a living," said Jim Elliott, assistant professor of Songwriting at Belmont University. "But if I did, I'd be making a trip to Anderson University." Elliot is a writer for popular Christian artists such as Steven Curtis Chapman and also served as one of the judges in the songwriting competition.
Anderson University is a private, four-year, liberal arts institution of approximately 2,400 undergraduate and graduate students. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, the university offers more than 60 undergraduate majors and graduate programs of study in business, education, and theology.