Tyler Boone admits to using his iPhone during class to manage his music career.
The way he sees it, he’s only doing what his education at the College of Charleston helped prepare him to do: become a rock star.
The 24-year-old arts management major plays guitar, writes songs, sings, manages a recording studio, and promotes concerts. He plays regular gigs around Charleston and throughout South Carolina and has opened for major acts such as Hootie & the Blowfish and Edwin McCain.
He designs his own concert flyers and maintains his own website. He volunteers at a charity that gets school children interested in music. There’s also band practice and his new job as a server at a downtown restaurant.
Lately he’s been extra busy organizing a benefit concert. The show is sponsored by the Arts Management Program in the School of the Arts. It will feature Boone and several other musicians with ties to the College. The concert takes place at the Music Farm on January 25, 2014, at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $10.
Boone is just two classes shy of a degree. Graduation will be particularly sweet. Around the time he dons a white tux and walks across the Cistern in May his second studio album is set to be released.
His first album, Changing Pace, was released by record label King City in 2012. The title track was featured on Spotify’s “What’s New” section after its release, and other tracks have received radio play throughout the Carolinas and Georgia.
Mark Bryan, founding member and lead guitarist for Hootie & the Blowfish, is one of Boone’s instructors in the Arts Management Program.
The two hit it off after Boone took Bryan’s music industry course. Mark has become a friend and mentor to Boone, even contributing some vocals and mandolin sections on Boone’s forthcoming album called Familiar Faces.
“Tyler has that intangible hunger and passion for the world of music that is something you can’t teach,” Bryan says. “He is also a master at marketing.”
Boone says the career guidance that Bryan has provided is a reflection of the networking opportunities available to students in the program.
In fact, the music industry courses have been so popular that Bryan is trying to develop a music industry concentration. “The feedback has been tremendous, and with the help of some amazing guest speakers, we’ve been able to give students a realistic view of what it takes to pursue a career in this field that is unlike any other.”
The upcoming show at the Music Farm is not Boone’s first foray into concert promoting. He’s been organizing benefit shows since high school. As a student at Stratford High School in Goose Creek, Boone staged a benefit concert to raise money for a classmate whose lower body was left paralyzed after a car accident.
In January 2012, he put together a benefit concert at the Music Farm to provide school supplies to students in Africa. About 300 people came. When he did it again the following year, almost 600 people showed up. He’d love to hit 1,000 this time.
This year’s beneficiary is Carolina Studios, a Charleston-based charity that teaches children about music recording and media arts. Proceeds from the concert will help support the organization’s Mobile Studio, a converted school bus outfitted with computers and music recording equipment. Boone has volunteered on the bus. He says children go nuts when the bus rolls up to their school and they get to climb onboard.
Bryan, chairman of the board of directors for Carolina Studios, says the program – through its mobile studio as well as the Shaw Community Center on Charleston’s Eastside – is now reaching more children than at any time in its 13-year history.
“Staffing those sites, and keeping the equipment in working form can be expensive, and donations obviously help keep us rolling, literally,” says Bryan.
For Boone, raising money for good causes is reward enough, but he admits that playing benefit concerts can also be a great way for a young musician to gain performing experience and build a fan base.
“If you are unknown, no one will book you. But if you do a benefit concert, you can get into a better venue,” says Boone. “Some bands won’t do benefit concerts because they aren’t getting paid. I’m like, dude, you are playing in front of a thousand people. You are supporting a good cause, and you’re having fun.”