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Rock on!  Loyola New Orleans Makes Billboard’s Top Music Business Schools

By Loyola University on Wed, 10/12/2022 - 10:47

(New Orleans – October 8, 2022) Rock on! For the second time running, Loyola University New Orleans’ acclaimed College of Music and Media is named among Billboard magazine’s Top Music Business Schools” in 2022. The news appears this week in the Oct. 8 issue of the magazine and is available online to members of Billboard Pro.

The elite list places Loyola New Orleans in excellent company, alongside music education greats including Boston’s Berklee College of Music, Belmont University’s Mike Curb College of Entertainment, and the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music. These universities are training the next generation of music industry leaders.

“We are training students as creative entrepreneurs, leaders in the New Orleans and American cultural economy,” said Kern D. Maass, dean of the College of Music and Media. “Through our college of professional degrees embedded in the framework of a Jesuit liberal arts education, our faculty – who all continue to work in their disciplines – create the next generation of leaders who will disrupt and change for the better the industries they choose to enter.” 

With more than 100 years of cultural and creative educational leadership in New Orleans, Loyola University New Orleans’ College of Music and Media serves as the educational anchor for New Orleans’ vibrant cultural economy. Within the College is the newly renamed School of Music and Theatre Professions, which draws students from around the nation to study all aspects of the music industry, from performance to production.

At Loyola, professional instrumentalists, vocalists, industry executives, recording engineers and producers are trained in a rich academic environment where students learn from industry professionals, Grammy Award winners and internationally renowned musicians.

“It is an honor for Loyola's Music Industry programs to be included in this list once again,” said Kate Duncan, associate director of the School of Music and Theatre Professions and assistant professor of Popular and Commercial Music. “Consistency is among the many lessons we teach our students and our program and faculty aim to model that ideal as well, by continuing to develop an innovative curriculum that matches the future landscape of our evolving industry and allows students to build a life around their passions.”

In a city known for live performance, students help to run stage management and production and have opportunities to perform at Buku, Freret Festival, Voodoo Festival, French Quarter Fest, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival or any of New Orleans live venues, including Tipitina’s and the House of Blues – work that is supported through the School’s required curriculum. Loyola regularly - through faculty, staff, students and alumni - represents more than 50 acts at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival each year. 

Students have the opportunity to serve as recording engineers in our state-of-the art studios, which have hosted the likes of Lil Wayne, Tank and the Bangas, Soul Rebels and many others. All students are required to complete an internship related to their professional degree. In recent years, students have held internships at Capitol Records, DEFJAM, AEG, C3, Tipitina’s and Google.

The faculty in the College of Music and Media together have received more than 50 Grammy nominations, six Grammy awards, several Emmy awards and nominations and one Sundance award. 
Key majors include a Bachelor of Arts in Music Industry Studies, a Bachelor of Science in Popular and Commercial Music, which is more focused on the performance side of the industry, and the nation’s first undergraduate degree in Hip-Hop. 

While PopComm and HipHop are more performance-focused, Loyola’s Bachelor of Arts in Music Industry Studies allows students to focus on the business side of the music industry with core coursework in legal issues, management, marketing, contracts and compensation, entrepreneurship, and music technology. The variety of electives gives students the opportunity to explore additional aspects of the music business, musical creativity and other fields. Applied music courses are available, but not required, further widening student opportunities. All courses are designed to address the evolving needs of the music industry.

Popular courses in Music Industry Studies include Festival Production and Venue Management courses taught by Mike Twillman and Artist Management taught by Billy O'Connell. The School’s curriculum on the industry side touches on everything from booking festivals to securing financing and managing festival operation. On the talent management side, it addresses all aspects of artist relations and talent management, from managing contracts to marketing. While students are at Loyola, they work some of the city’s 87 festivals. 

New this fall is an exciting course in Music Supervision/Music for Visual Media taught by Guild of Music Supervisor co-founder Jonathan McHugh, who joins Loyola as the College’s new Hilton-Baldridge Eminent Scholar and Chair of Music Industry Studies. The course is designed to educate music industry students on the power of sync revenue and the exposure it brings. 

“I believe it’s imperative for professionals to guide and mentor our next generation of industry leaders and music stars,” McHugh said. “Education has been an important part of my world for many years and I’m so excited to help try to build on Loyola University's stellar program, based in New Orleans … the greatest music city in the world. Being the new Chair of Music Industry studies at Loyola is a dream come true.” 

Loyola alumni hold jobs in festival management, artist relations, sound production and engineering, and transport. Many of them go on to become industry leaders, working for companies and festivals such as Sony, Coachella and Buku.
Recent alumni include world-renowned hip-hop artist Gerald “G-Eazy” Gillum, ‘11, renowned hip-hop producer Christoph Andersson ‘14, and Carter Lang, ‘14, who produced Post-Malone’s twice-Grammy nominated Sunflower, which in 2019 was named the No. 1 downloaded song in the world by Global Spotify and spent 33 weeks on Billboard’s Hot 100, tying for the record of most time spent in Hot 100’s Top 10. Lang is most known for his production work on SZA’s critically-acclaimed Ctrl.

Other alumni who have established themselves as leaders in the music industry include: Rosa Asciolla, ‘14, Vice President, Global Artists and Community for Utopia; artist Joe Boston (Shallou), ‘15; Kendall Cousin, ‘15, director of International Marketing at Warner Records; and Julia Maples, ‘15, senior manager of mechanical licensing at Universal Music Publishing Group.

In 2018, four alumni were simultaneously named to Billboard’s “40-Under-40” List: G-Eazy; his manager, music executive Matt Bauerschmidt, ‘11; Rosa Asciolla, ‘14, then head of Artist & Label Marketing in North America for Spotify; and executive producer Jamil "Big Juice" Davis. In 2017, G-Eazy, who has also been named to Fortune’s 40-Under-40 list, and renowned hip hop producer Christoph Andersson, ‘14 also made Forbes “30-Under-30” list.

Core members of the Revivalists, Andrew Campanelli, ‘09, George Gekas, ‘09 and Michael Girardot, ‘08, are also recent Loyola music business grads. In 2017, their song “Wish I Knew You” spent more than 40 weeks on the Billboard Adult Alternative chart and crossed over to alternative radio and eventually spent nine weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, breaking the Billboard chart for most-single week spins ever in Alternative radio. In 2018, their song “All My Friends” peaked at No. 7, and in 2019 “Change” peaked at No. 14.