The Indianapolis Star (excerpt reprinted with permission)---With the voice of a pop star, the heart of a minister and the soul of a jazz pianist, Anderson University sophomore Jon McLaughlin seems poised to put his 10-song CD on the charts. It's a solo album -- but hardly a solitary effort. Instead, it is the premiere product of a new and unusual classroom project: a record company run by students for college credit. Academic and music industry experts are singing the praises of the enterprise. Recording professionals and musicians who've heard the debut effort, McLaughlin's CD, "Up Until Now," say it could eventually ring cash-register bells around the country. So far, the recording -- a mix of original jazz, rock and ballad-style songs with a subtle Christian theme -- is only available through AU's music department, Family Christian Store in Anderson and McLaughlin's Web site. But that could change soon.
The students' professor, recording veteran Mark Pay, is working on a national distribution deal. Students in the senior seminar for music business operate every aspect of the company, from auditioning artists and performing as background musicians to promoting and booking appearances. The Church-of-God-affiliated college's record label -- Pay is still looking for a suitable name -- is among only a few in the nation, said several experts in music education and retailing.