Students gain experiential education on ‘Happy Together Tour’
A class of Belmont University students have join their professor, legendary musician and The Turtles founding member Mark Volman, for an East Coast run of the “Happy Together Tour” for the third consecutive year. The tour’s “classroom” and schedule include one tour bus, a precious few hotel rooms, long hours and many stages—for two and a half weeks and a grade.
Under the guidance of Volman, assistant professor of entertainment industry studies, and staff adviser Lucas Boto, the students are working with touring artists and crew professionals in the areas of tour management, stage management, audio engineering, tour accounting and merchandise sales. These duties are in addition to their continued learning each day during the process of load-in, setup, tear-down and load-out. These hands-on educational avenues outside of the classroom provide networking opportunities with all of the supporting organizations while gaining an understanding of the revenue flow from music consumer to touring performer.
“Happy Together is a once in a lifetime opportunity where students get to learn first-hand what it’s like to be a touring professional. Not only are concepts taught, but they’re put into practice along the way,” Boto said. “I don’t know of any other university that partners with a professional tour to further the education of students in the realm of entertainment. The experiences gained are priceless and translate directly into potential job opportunities.”
Volman is excited to show students what he knows outside of the classroom, he said, and the students have added energy to the tour experience. The two previous classes have been so successful that Volman has hired two former students to work merchandise and as a photographer on the tour.
“I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to further explore my passions. Big thanks to Mark Volman for putting this together. It’s one thing to learn concepts in the classroom but having hands on experience takes it to another level,” said Erika Eenigenburg, a senior from Cedar Lake, Indiana studying music business.
The 30th anniversary Happy Together Tour 2014 is named for The Turtles’ 1967 chart-topping single. It unites several pop/rock artists of the ‘60s all together on stage, starring: The Turtles featuring Flo and Eddie, Chuck Negron (formerly of Three Dog Night), Mark Farner (formerly of Grand Funk Railroad), Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels and Gary Lewis & The Playboys. Students will work a dozen shows on the tour:
June 13 Ruth Eckerd Hall Clearwater, Florida
June 14 Barbara Mann Fort Myers, Florida
June 15 Peabody Auditorium Daytona Beach, Florida
June 20 Tarrytown Music Hall Tarrytown, New York
June 21 NYCB Theater at Westbury Westbury, New York
June 22 Bergen Performing Arts Center Englewood, New Jersey
June 23 Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
June 24 Keswick Theatre Glenside, Pennsylvania
June 26 Penn’s Peak Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania
June 27 Hampton Beach Casino Hampton Beach, New Hampshire
June 28 Count Basie Theatre Red Bank, New Jersey
June 29 American Music Theater Lancaster, Pennsylvania
July 1 Mayo Performing Arts Center Morristown, New Jersey
July 2 Innsbrook After Hours Richmond, Virginia
The touring classroom joins a long line of experiential learning opportunities offered to students in Belmont’s Curb College of Music Business and Entertainment. In addition to an ongoing annual showcase series that features student production and performances, for the last three years, Belmont University has sent students to class at SXSW (also known as “South by Southwest”), one of the world’s leading music industry events, to allow them to network with leading executives, learn about industry trends and discover emerging artists.
About the Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business
The Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business strives to combine academic experience with real world applications and seeks to achieve its mission by implementing innovative courses of study in the entertainment and music industries. A quiet world leader that has been featured in Time Magazine, Rolling Stone, Billboard, and Business Week, CEMB offers three degrees and four majors—a BBA in Music Business and a BA or BS in Audio Engineering Technology, Entertainment Industry Studies, and Songwriting—and provides invaluable experiential learning opportunities like the Belmont East (New York City) and Belmont West (Los Angeles) programs, through which students expand their cultural experiences and career opportunities as they reside, learn, work, and network in NYC or LA. Coupled with entertainment internship opportunities available on and around Music Row, these programs augment students’ chances for entrepreneurial endeavors and career advancement.