MTSU a huge presence at Americana Festival

Dean Ken Paulson with Buffy Saint-Marie and Steppenwolf's John Kay at the Americana Music Association awards on Sept 16. 2015

Dean Ken Paulson with Buffy Saint-Marie and Steppenwolf’s John Kay at the Americana Music Association awards on Sept 16. 2015

Students and faculty from MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment contributed in a number of ways to the success of the 16th annual Americana Music Festival and Conference in Nashville.

With conference headquarters located at the Hutton Hotel and with artist showcases and concerts at various sites downtown and beyond, Americana Fest continues to grow in both attendance and exposure. Festival programming featured more than 225 official events and showcases and attracted an aggregate 30,000 attendance during the weeklong celebration from Sept. 14-20.
Rolling Stone magazine wrote, “Americana further cements itself as one of the country’s pre-eminent festivals.”
Joining the media fray, students from the MTSU Seigenthaler News Service contributed five advance features that appeared both in the digital version of Nashville’s daily, The Tennessean, as well as the MTSU student newspaper Sidelines. Two of the stories also were picked up in the print version of The Tennessean, including Dylan Aycock’s feature advance of Nashville-based photographer David McClister’s Americana exhibit opening at The Bluebird Cafe. Click here to read the story.
“Many thanks to The Tennessean’s music writers and editors Juli Thanki and Dave Paulson, himself a proud MTSU graduate, for their help during Americana week,” said Pat Embry, director of MTSU’s John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies, who directed the students. “Our experience and expertise spreading the word about the Americana Festival continues to grow year by year.”
Besides contributing feature stories during the week, students Aycock, John Connor Coulston, Evan Brown and Rhiannon Gilbert joined Embry to watch the sold-out Honors & Awards Show at the famed Ryman Auditorium.
At the awards show, Ken Paulson, dean of the College of Media and Entertainment at MTSU, joined rock great John Kay of Steppenwolf to present singer Buffy Saint-Marie with the annual Spirit of Americana/Free Speech in Music Award co-presented by the Americana Music Association and the First Amendment Center.
Later in the week, Saint-Marie visited the MTSU campus to speak to students as well as a question-and-answer session led by Gregory Reish, director of the Center for Popular Music. Coulston covered the event for American songwriter magazine. Click here to read that story.
Throughout Americana week, Matthew O’Brien, associate professor in the Department of Recording Industry, led an MTSU informational booth at the conference as well as supervising 30 students in a variety of volunteer roles.
Student tasks included distributing promotional flyers and taking photographs at some of the nightclub showcases.
Joining O’Brien in the informational booth as well as participating in mentoring sessions were Recording Industry faculty members Jim Piekarski, Jeffrey Izzo, Tammy Donham and Gloria Green.
“The event definitely raised the profile of our college,” O’Brien said. “Our faculty and students were everywhere. The repeated impressions had to have an impact on the attendees.”
Matthew O’Brien, associate professor in the Department of Recording Industry, helps a passerby at MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment informational booth at the 16th annual Americana Music Festival and Conference at the Hutton Hotel and throughout downtown Nashville.

Matthew O’Brien, associate professor in the Department of Recording Industry, helps a passerby at MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment informational booth at the 16th annual Americana Music Festival and Conference at the Hutton Hotel and throughout downtown Nashville.

 

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Categories: Faculty, News, Partnerships, Students

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