By Shaina Sieh
College is about opportunities and what students can do to succeed. Here at Minnesota State University, Mankato, the campus concert manager is Music Industry student Brittany McDowell of Burnsville Minn.
"I'm the head honcho of concerts," McDowell said to explain her position. McDowell, junior, came to Minnesota State, Mankato in 2008 for pre-med. Spring semester of her sophomore year she switched to Music Industry (MI).
"I really love music," McDowell said. "I switched to MI for that part. To get a degree like that is different. There is so much you could do with it: marketing, recording, producing, songwriting and more."
"The program has you learning about the industry, technology, recording, business, but you're physically involved in doing stuff, not just taking tests and writing papers. You take a class called Activities that requires you to get involved with something," McDowell said.
"Spring 2010, some IMPACT people came to our class to talk to us. They partnered with MI to help us get our Activities credits. At the end of semester the concert committee chair graduated and I applied for the position and got it," McDowell stated.
The concert committee chair is responsible for all campus concerts for the students. IMPACT puts on one concert a month and that responsibility is primarily on McDowell.
"There is the concert committee that works with me. When I get an idea, I discuss it with the committee, run it by the board and if they like it, we do it," McDowell explained. "It's a lot of work but I love it because it's hands-on and I get to call up artists, hire people and get decorations. I get to see an empty room and see it transformed on concert night."
"It's not all easy because it's hard to find bands that appeal to everyone. If it was just about what I like, fine. But I can't just pick what I like and I ask everyone what they like," McDowell said.
McDowell dreams of putting on a show for Prince someday or working with a big music production company. She said realistically though, she would be happy working in a big city at a music lounge or club as a booking agent.
"As long as I'm putting on music for someone, I guess I'll be okay." McDowell said. "And if I can't put on a show for Prince, I'll be okay working with other artists." "I chose MI because I don't like marketing and public relations is way over my head. It's hard for me to do the PR stuff for the concerts here. MI is a good fit for me," McDowell said.
McDowell takes private lessons, plays percussion in the Symphonic Band and sings in the University Chorale in addition to classes and her IMPACT responsibilities.
McDowell has some advice for students considering a degree in Music Industry. "If you want to succeed, I suggest you be prepared for the music part," McDowell said. "It's not all industry. The program makes you perform and be in ensembles. You have to take music theory, ear training and fundamentals. I'd tell people to be prepared for that. It really makes you well rounded in what you're doing."