Cutting edge class works with Peter Wolf Crier, Night Moves, Astronautalis, Fort Wilson Riot, and fellow classmates to rally community involvement with day long blow-out party, March 17th.
St Paul, MN - Bringing a group of students on any field trip is dangerous. What could be more troublesome is taking a group of aspiring music student on a freewheeling tour of SXSW, dubbed the spring break of the music industry. McNally Smith College of Music, increasingly interested in pursuing hands-on opportunities, is taking a leap of faith this March and bringing 10 students to Austin, Texas to take part in the massive and bustling conference.
Says Steve Cole, Chair of the Music Business Department, "Curricularly engaged, hands-on learning is simply no longer a luxury, and it is a priority for all of our programing in the Music Business Division at McNally Smith. We are committed to providing these types of opportunities for experiential learning to strengthen students' skills, and build their portfolios. SXSW is a perfect example of this."
"It's kind of overwhelming," says student Rob Frost. "Though this is what I came to school for, I never thought it would be this intense. Out of all the classes I've taken at McNally Smith this one is the most fulfilling. Not only am I going to experience the event in full, I will get to be a part of the team that powers it."
SXSW is many things to many people. Class lead and music business faculty Scott LeGere expounds, "SXSW is hard to imagine at a distance. The conference has really grown in importance over the past five to ten years. I think our students will be in for some cultural whiplash when they get on the ground, but they'll be plenty busy attending panels, interviewing key decision makers and promoting the college's first ever day party."
To ready the students for said whiplash, weekly meetings are held on campus grounds. Discussions include topics such as social media, writing press releases, group planning, music sales and social trends, business ethics, and modern marketing tactics. In addition to these lectures students are given weekly assignments to put these discussions to practice. Sending out emails, tweeting, and posting well thought-out blog posts to their personalized Wordpress accounts are among some of these assignments.
In wanting to ensure some sense of meaning and focus the college decided it was important to partner with someone with a non-profit mission, an organization that could give a lens of advocacy to the class. To that end the students aligned with St. Paul-based Rock the Cause (www.irockthecause.org
) to create a cause driven, student-organized daylong concert promoting Minnesota musicians making the trek. Music non-profit Sweet Relief will also be on hand partnering with Rock the Cause to develop a midwest presence.
"As if taking a group of college kids to Austin wasn't enough, we thought why not throw a massive party with a ton of area talent at a dusty bar," jokes Cole. "That being said, this is a chance to let them actually take part in a massive conversation about the future, to stake claim as to what values they want to see put forth as they define their community and this industry moving forward."
"Plus," adds LeGere, "it'll be fun."
The outdoor event takes place rain or shine March 17, 2012 from 12 p.m to 8 p.m. at Liberty Bar (http://www.thelibertyaustin.com
) in East Austin TX. A coalition of some of the best Minnesota-based buzz artists will make a live music call to action including Astronautalis, Night Moves, Peter Wolf Crier, Me And My Arrow, Zoo Animal, Fort Wilson Riot, The Honeydogs, Pink Mink, Toki Wright, and McNally Smith College of Music students Danami, Kara Laudon, and David Sutton.
What: McNally Smith College of Music Presents Rock The Cause in association with 89.3 The Current, MPLS.TV, and MFR
Where: Liberty Bar, 1618 E 6th St, East Austin, TX
When: March 17, 2012 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., 21+, Free Food / Drink
Who: Astronautalis, Night Moves, Peter Wolf Crier, Me And My Arrow, Zoo Animal, Fort Wilson Riot, The Honeydogs, Pink Mink, Toki Wright and McNally Smith College of Music students Danami, Kara Laudon, and David Sutton.
About McNally Smith College of Music: McNally Smith College of Music is a premier institution of higher learning for contemporary music. Established in 1985, McNally Smith prepares students for a life in music with dedicated faculty, advanced technical facilities, and uniquely personalized instruction. The college focuses on a student’s technical and creative abilities through a unique contemporary curriculum, combining the liberal arts and musical arts. Located in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, McNally Smith offers a variety of degrees in music performance, technology, business, composition and songwriting. Faculty nurture creative expression and provide experiential learning to cultivate entrepreneurial thinkers and innovators. A McNally Smith College of Music education prepares students to engage, adapt, and thrive as leaders of change in music and society.
About Rock the Cause: Not only is Rock the Cause is an award-winning 501c3 non-profit organization, we are also a movement of young people, business leaders, educators, and musicians who build communities through the power of music, new media, and cause-driven advocacy.