Breaking into the music industry isn’t easy. But, having the right connections and understanding the landscape can help. That’s what the new music industry concentration in the College of Charleston Arts Management Program can provide.

Starting in fall 2014, arts management majors can select the music industry concentration, which includes five courses and a required internship. Courses include Introduction to the Music Industry, Legal Aspects of the Entertainment Industry, Music in the Marketplace, and more.

[Related: See Darius Rucker and Cary Ann Hearst ’01 talk about songwriting at an arts management event.]

“Our goal is to give students a real look at careers in the music industry,” explains Mark Bryan, advancement leader and instructor, and founding member of Hootie & the Blowfish. “Some of what they see and learn might discourage them, but sometimes it might inspire them.”

Bryan has been teaching Introduction to the Music Industry for the past five years, and even without the official concentration, students have gone on to amazing internships and jobs. Students have interned at Nashville’s McGhee Entertainment (they represent Darius Rucker); in New York at Viacom; and, an internship at All Media Music Group in Los Angeles turned into a licensing manager job for a recent alumnae.

[Related: See where arts management alumni are now.]

“This concentration is a step toward growing Charleston’s music industry,” adds Scott Shanklin-Peterson, director of the Arts Management Program. “The College’s School of the Arts is already a major contributor to the thriving arts community, and now arts management’s music industry students will be ready to graduate and launch their own businesses or contribute to one that already exists or launch their career as a musician who understands the industry.”

It’s typical for a concert promoter and booking agent to complete a deal right in front of a class, complete with the contract offer and negotiation over the guarantee, what will be made at the door, the band’s rider, etc. A studio engineer might come to class and literally mix a song in front of the students, talking about multi-tracking and creating a mix.

“There are still so many opportunities. We don’t have a live studio recording class yet, but I’d love to be able to add that, once we have a recording studio,” Bryan says. “The possibilities for this program are endless.”

A National Advisory Committee has been established to guide the development and implementation of the music industry concentration. Advisors will guest lecture in classes, participate in the “In the MIX” series, provide internships and support the program as it develops. Members include:

  • Jason Owen, founder of Sandbox Entertainment – (Shania Twain, Little Big Town, and more)
  • Jeff Grady, Entrepreneur
  • Luke Lewis, former CEO of Universal Music Nashville, founder of Lost Highway Records
  • Clay Boardman, CEO of Flywheel Projects
  • Virginia Davis, artist manager, G-Major Management (manages Jewel and more)
  • Akim Anastapoulo, attorney and TV producer
  • Jeffrey Zucker, commercial real estate developer
  • Dolph Ramseur, owner of Ramseur Records (manages the Avett Brothers and more)

For more information, contact Nandini McCauley at or 843.953.8228.