MTSU faculty and administrators greeted Music City artists and recording executives attending the Grammys Monday at a Leadership Music event near from Staples Center, the site of the 58th annual awards ceremony.
The reception at Rock'N Fish Restaurant, which also attracted Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, was held just before the Grammys telecast. It marked the third year the university has partnered with the Nashville-based organization.
Also, it capped three days of activities in the Los Angeles area by MTSU's College of Media and Entertainment to underscore the national profile of its Recording Industry program.
"MTSU's increasing presence at the Grammys has been noticed and appreciated, not only by our alumni but others in the recording industry," said President Sidney A. McPhee. "We've planted the True Blue flag in a very visible location."
McPhee, along with Media and Entertainment Dean Ken Paulson and Recording Industry Chairwoman Beverly Keel, greeted Leadership Music alumni at Monday's event, some of who were also former MTSU students. The annual leadership program brings together established leaders within the music community to discuss issues currently affecting the industry.
"Our partnership with Leadership Music affords opportunities for us to connect with some of Music City's top influencers," McPhee said. "This is a perfect way to finish MTSU's third trip to the Grammys."
Paulson, a former executive board member for Leadership Music, said the college's now-annual presence in Southern California sends a strong signal to those working in the music business.
"It's our ongoing relationship with Leadership Music and other industry professionals that allows us to give our students a vibrant, hands-on education," Paulson said.
Leadership Music alumni come from all genres of music within both the creative and business segments of the industry, as well as partners from the nonprofit, business, educational and legislative communities.
Its alumni now total about 1,000 and include nearly four-dozen current and former heads of record labels; executive directors of the nation's top music associations; and executives from The Recording Academy. Among them is Keel, a graduate, former board member and former secretary of the program.
MTSU joined Sound Exchange and City National Bank as sponsors of Monday's event.
"We appreciate MTSU's sponsorship for this great alumni event before the Grammy Awards," said Leadership Music Executive Director Debbie Schwartz Linn. "It's also wonderful that President McPhee, along with Ken (Paulson) and Beverly (Keel), have made our event part of MTSU's annual trip to Southern California."
Meanwhile, as the Leadership Music event was starting to wind down, MTSU alumnus Garry Hood's day was getting very busy. He again was the head stage manager for the Grammy ceremony.
Hood, a member of the Class of 1977, has served as head stage manager for more than 1,000 hours of network television specials, including Olympic opening and closing ceremonies, presidential inaugurals, the Kennedy Center Honors, Super Bowl halftime shows as well as the most major entertainment awards ceremonies.
"We are so proud of Garry's continued, excellent leadership work at these important events," McPhee said.