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GRAMMY Career Day

GRAMMY logoMore than 300 Minneapolis/St. Paul area high school students recently gathered at McNally Smith College of Music to meet with top music industry professionals for a first-hand perspective on the realities of the music business and careers in music during GRAMMY Career Day, an initiative of the GRAMMY in the Schools® program. The free event, presented by the Gibson Foundation, featured a variety of workshops focusing on various fields in the music industry that were attended by students from numerous nearby schools including: St. Francis High School, Coon Rapids High School, Blaine High School, Anoka High School, Andover High School, S.T.E.P. (Secondary Technical Education Program) and South St. Paul High School.

“McNally Smith College of Music is proud to have hosted this year’s GRAMMY Career Day,” says André Fischer, executive director of the McNally Smith Non-Profit Foundation. “Serving as the venue for such a comprehensive musical event gives students a rare chance to meet with music industry leaders who are instrumental in helping today’s youth discover their musical interests and uncover the vast career paths that lie before them.”

Sarah Mudler, project manager, Recording Academy Chicago Chapter, says, “GRAMMY® Career Day is a national program that’s been going on for about 10 years as a means to educate high school students about different careers in the music industry. It runs under the banner of GRAMMY® in the Schools, which are programs that the GRAMMY® Foundation coordinate.”

Mudler adds, “The idea behind this program is that there is more to the music industry than just the person you see on the stage. It sheds awareness regarding all of the different careers within the music arena and how they can be found within your own community.”

According to Mudler, McNally Smith campus is the ideal location for this year’s event. “McNally Smith’s technology is superior and its facilities are outstanding and unparallel to any that we’ve used in the past. The biggest bonus is the college’s executive director of the McNally Smith Non-Profit Foundation, Andre Fisher, who’s been a cheerleader on our side and has done whatever was needed to make this event a success.”

Featured performers at this year’s event include: A Verse Unsung.  Panelists include: Larry Sturm – engineer/producer, Pressure Point Recording, Chicago; Michael Freeman – GRAMMY-nominated producer/engineer, Coachhouse Music; Steve Hodge – GRAMMY-winning producer; A Verse Unsung; Steve “Silk” Hurley – GRAMMY-nominated producer/remixer, Silk Entertainment; Alice Peacock – singer/songwriter/recording artist; Kevin Bowe – writer/producer, Jonny Lang/Etta James/Paul Westerberg; David Silbaugh – talent buyer, Summerfest; Gary D. Hines – music director/producer of GRAMMY-winning Sounds of Blackness; Heather Nelson-Beverly, Esq. – Law Office of Heather Nelson, P.C.; Peter J. Strand – senior counsel, Holland & Knight; Steve Smith – vice president of A&R/manager, Asquared/Aware Records; Lyndia Johnson – executive director/voice coaching specialist, Sterling Voice Coaching, Ltd; Sean Baptiste – community manager, Harmonix Music/Rockband.

Established in 1957, The Recording Academy is an organization of musicians, producers, engineers and recording professionals that is dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. Internationally known for the GRAMMY Awards — the preeminent peer-recognized award for musical excellence and the most credible brand in music — The Recording Academy is responsible for groundbreaking professional development, cultural enrichment, advocacy, education and human services programs. In its 50th year, The Academy continues to focus on its mission of recognizing musical excellence, advocating for the well-being of music makers and ensuring music remains an indelible part of our culture. For more information about The Academy, please visit

Gibson Foundation is the philanthropic division of Gibson Guitar Corp., the world’s premiere musical instrument manufacturer and leader in music technology. The mission of Gibson Foundation is to make the world a better place for children by creating, developing and implementing programs as well as through its support of other nonprofit organizations that advance education, music and the arts, the environment and health and welfare causes. For more information please visit

Founded in 1985, McNally Smith College of Music is devoted to excellence in music industry higher education and in developing music industry professionals.  An accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music, McNally Smith College of Music offers music degrees and programs in Recording Technology, Music Business, Music Performance and Composition. McNally Smith College of Music students get a personalized music education that combines cutting edge technology with musical artistry, great performance facilities and a stellar faculty armed with real world knowledge. McNally Smith alumni are working all over the world.

Photo 1: Highly acclaimed recording engineer, Steve Hodge, teaches “Indie Rock Production: From garage band to the next big thing” in Studio 2 at McNally Smith College of Music.

Photo 2: Michael Freeman, Grammy nominated producer/engineer, presents “Classic Recording Techniques” in one of the McNally Smith studios.