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Round Two: Belmont’s Pipeline Project Aims for Innovation Impact in its Second Year

Student think tank seeks creative solutions for entertainment industry woes
Speakers at the recent Billboard Country Music Summit, which was held in Nashville June 4-5 and attended by top-level advisors from across the music industry, were surprised to see college students in the audience. These Belmont University students were gathering research as new members of an entertainment industry solutions think-tank: The Pipeline Project. Launched last year by Belmont’s Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business, the Pipeline Project has nine new members working for 10 weeks (June thru mid-August), and the team has already set high goals for innovation this summer.

Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “Belmont has a longstanding reputation for successful graduates both on the business and creative sides of the music industry. Pipeline exists to help identify those students early on and give them the access and environment to push their ideas forward. Let’s face it, the younger generations are shaping our industry—let’s intentionally put them in the driver’s seat.”

Pipeline member Erik Coveney, a sophomore, added, “We intend to do more than simply build on the work of last year’s Pipeline Project. In fact, we plan to come up with some truly groundbreaking ideas by the end of this summer. We believe the Pipeline Project team can use our creative capital and perspective as young adults who intimately understand new trends to innovate in revolutionary ways.”

According to its website, “The Pipeline Project is a think tank dedicated to illuminating the problems currently facing the music industry and charged with exploring possible solutions through research, collaboration, and innovation.” Ideas from last year’s team range from a specialized marketing strategy using blogs to hosting an event designed to decrease expenses to artists by combining a studio recording, video production and live show into one event. To follow what the think-tank does this year, visit www.pipelineproject.org.

This year’s Pipeline Project team was selected though a highly competitive application and interview process by project facilitators and Belmont University faculty members Sarah Cates and Sarita Stewart. Local entrepreneur Mark Montgomery will also be serving as a project facilitator. (See complete list of students below.) The team members will be working alongside industry veterans who will provide valuable insight from years of experience. These industry mentors include Jay Frank (DigSin), Barry Jeffrey (WME Nashville), Sloane Scott (FLO {Thinkery}), Tiffany Davis (IEBA/ Academy of Country Music),Wayne Leeloy (Topspin), David M. Ross (BossRoss Media/MusicRow Magazine), Mark Montgomery (Flo {Thinkery}), Joe Galante (Former chairman of Sony Music Nashville) and John Pisciotta (Loudlab, founder of MusicSynk).

Summer 2012 Pipeline Team

Erik Coveney is a sophomore Commercial Music Major from Plano, Texas with a Double Emphasis in Music Business and Music Technology. Through his endeavors as an active session bassist, Erik has gained an inside view of the problems plaguing artists and musicians. He is passionate about solving these issues though innovative thinking and business acumen. Erik hopes to collaborate with the Pipeline Project team to find forward-thinking solutions that maximize the connection consumers have with music while maintaining that all members of the music industry are fairly compensated.

Kendall Durkee is a junior Music Business major from Kennesaw, Georgia. In addition to working on the Pipeline Project, he is also a production intern at Musician’s Corner and currently working alongside Mary Leland Wehner with the development of Coco Paco, a new arts and entertainment company in Nashville. Kendall is a Dean’s List student whose goal is to work with start-up companies in the music industry. Outside of his professional ventures, he is a brother of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, plays trombone, likes building computers, and enjoys cooking.

Rachel Glidden is a junior Music Business major from Afton, Virginia. Rachel’s previous industry experience includes interning in the ticketing and marketing departments at Musictoday and as a ticketing intern at All Good Music Festival, which perfectly fit her greatest industry passion, live events. In her free time, Rachel loves attending all sorts of live shows, and hopes to one day go into music festival planning and promotion. She is scheduled to graduate in December 2013.

Phil Haddad is a senior with a double major in Entrepreneurship and Music Business from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Whether it is running Pocket Design, his own graphic design business, or managing local indie rockers Vinyl Thief, Phil is always looking to learn something new and put his diverse experiences and skills to the test. Phil sees himself eventually running his own company or working with others on their business endeavors. Through the Pipeline Project, Phil plans to learn everything he can and work with the team to develop innovative solutions for the rebirth of the music industry.

Théo Halls is a senior Music Business major within the Mike Curb College of Music Business and Entertainment. He is focused on meeting the needs of tomorrow’s music industry today. Théo likes coffee, blue ridge mountain scenes, and imagining solutions to age-old problems. He originally moved to Nashville from Austin, Texas to study opera style singing at Belmont University’s School of Music, but has since expanded into artist management and entrepreneurial endeavors.

Matt Maher is a junior marketing major from Chicago. His past experiences include an internship in film marketing and promotions with Terry Hines & Associates and, most recently, an internship with Paradigm Agency Nashville in the Comedy and Live Events Department. Matt serves as the Public Relations Coordinator for the Belmont University Service Corps. Matt is very interested in the industry as a whole, but ultimately hopes to move out to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a talent agent.

Ryan McAdoo is a senior music business major. He began writing music in middle school and also produced local artists in his hometown of Kansas City. Despite receiving scholarships to Berklee for composition and UMKC for piano, Ryan eventually found his home studying Music Business at Belmont. At school, Ryan keeps himself busy with his own musical projects as well as with doing production work for other artists. Ryan will graduate in December and plans on pursuing his entrepreneurial interests.

Danielle Meeker is a senior Music Business major who is originally from Las Vegas, Nevada. She has played double bass for 11 years, which first piqued her interest in the music business. That initial interest eventually led to a desire to go into artist management, but she is open to working in all aspects of the music industry. Her goal for the Pipeline Project is to use the new generation’s unique perspective to solve some of the problems currently facing the music industry.

Kelsie Saison is a sophomore Music Business major who comes from a family of musicians and music enthusiasts. Having grown up in several nations around the globe (Canada, New Zealand, the Philippines, and the United States), she has always found her true home to be in music. Through collaboration with the Pipeline Project Team, Kelsie hopes to improve the situation of musicians and artists so they can continue to connect to people, communicate ideas, and create music that enhances our culture.