Area of Study: Music
Current City: Philadelphia, PA
Graduation Date: Summer, 1982
Current Occupation: President, Be Jolly Music, Inc.
Why did you choose WCU and/or the School of Music?
I wanted to go to a great music school that was far enough away from home to be able to stay on campus but still close enough to home to be able to play weekend gigs with my band in Philadelphia. WCU was a perfect fit.
What training or education did the School of Music provide for you that relates to your current occupation?
I learned a lot about composition, performance, acoustics, vocal and instrumental writing and the history of music.
What is a typical day like for you?
I wake up every day about 4:30am. (Not the typical musician's resume' I know.) Lol. I walk for about 40 minutes every day and then I start my day. Every day is totally different for me and I love that because I never get bored. Some days I am composing music, other days I'm scoring a film or producing a recording session for an artist or group. I create music packages for TV and news and I produce commercials and jingles for radio. I also play live and function as the musical director/ arranger for various Awards shows, theatrical productions, TV specials and private affairs. I even supply choirs for well-known artists that come through town to perform. The genres of music I have to know, write and perform spans the entire gamut of the musical spectrum and keeping up with the latest technology always keeps me engaged, learning, growing and busy.
What advice would you give to someone who would like to enter your field?
Listen to everything and every style of music and never stop learning. It's almost better to be a Walmart in this current music industry than a Dunkin' Donuts. Producers and directors like myself get thrown a myriad of projects in many diverse situations and styles. I've contracted orchestras, choirs, session singers, touring bands, voiceover professionals and countless musicians. We tend to reach out to hire the people who are the most versatile with the greatest, most positive attitudes to work with. ALWAYS be on time and keep any personal bad habits or drama away from the music. Learn every song you can to get hired and always be prepared and open minded to any new opportunity that is thrown at you, even if it's last second. You have to get out and meet people, make friends, market yourself (sometimes for free or for less than you desire at times) and create a website of your work with your contact information. Learn everything you can about the business side which means putting down your instrument and reading books on business law and contracts sometimes. Make sure you have a computer and a means to record your own ideas at a moment's notice like, Logic, Pro Tools, etc. The more you can do on your own, the more control you will have over your own destiny in the music business.
What is your favorite memory of being a student at WCU and/or in the School of Music?
I loved dorm life. I miss the friends, the cold hallway walks to the shower, even the cafeteria. Lol. College taught me invaluable lessons about getting along with people of different backgrounds that I still use today.