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Official News From the Office of Communications

Music Business Alumni Honored by Billboard Magazine

Three Belmont alumni—Jason L. Turner, John Zarling and Matt Burns—are honored in this week’s issue of Billboard magazine, listed in the publication’s annual “30 Under 30” special feature to highlight rising young music business executives. The article, which is unavailable on the publication’s Web site, appears in the issue dated Aug. 25 that is on newsstands now.


Turner, a 2001 Music Business Honors graduate, attended Stetson University College of Law in St. Petersburg, Fla. and has been a practicing attorney since 2004, specializing in entertainment law and various forms of corporate defense. He currently resides in Nashville and works at Lassiter Tidwell Davis Keller & Hogan. At Belmont, Turner participated in numerous showcases and was both manager and member of Chadasha. Turner notes, “Belmont provided a significant foundation for where I am today.”
Burns (’03) double-majored in Music Business and Management and interned in radio promotions at EMI Christian Music Group, at artist management firm Creative Trust and at CommonRock Entertainment before joining EMICMG’s digital sales and marketing division. While at Belmont, Burns was involved in the School of Music Business’ Media Relations Committee and served as a Freshman Small Group Leader and Christian Music Society Co-Chair. “Belmont’s Music Business program provided me with a well rounded academic understanding of the music industry, including everything from publishing to music marketing to entertainment law,” noted Burns. “The digital-music segment of our industry is still in its infancy and changing rapidly every day, and having a solid foundation of knowledge when working in this environment has been necessary and invaluable to me over the past few years.”
Music business major John Zarling (’01) served as editor of Muzz Buzz newspaper, producer of Best of the Best Showcases and Country Music Showcases, and president of student-run Acklen Records. Zarling, who is the current director of national promotion and new media for Big Machine Records, said, “Belmont was the perfect stepping stone to the music industry. With the perfect mix of curriculum, on-campus programs and internships, I walked away prepared for the business upon graduation.” Upon leaving Belmont, he helped launch the Big Machine label in 2005, and the company’s roster now includes Trisha Yearwood, Jimmy Wayne and Dusty Drake.