With the music and sights of Nashville serving as the backdrop in an iconic music venue, Troy University announced its newest academic program, the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Music Industry, and celebrated the launch of the Master of Business Administration in Music Industry degree.
It is the first music industry-related undergraduate business program in the country to be AACSB accredited and is a collaboration between the Sorrell College of Business and the John M. Long School of Music. The MBA in Music Industry shares AACSB accreditation as well.
“Our goal at TROY is to offer outstanding programs both in-class and online and we’re proud of the collaboration between the Sorrell College of Business and the College of Communication and Fine Arts to produce such a unique undergraduate program. Sorrell College has a tradition of excellence, and our School of Music has a tradition of producing outstanding musicians and music educators,” said. Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor.
The bachelor’s program will enroll its first students for Fall 2023.
“It was Nashville’s famous native Wilma Rudolph, who overcame polio to win three Olympic gold medals, who said: ‘Never underestimate the power of dreams’,” Hawkins said. “We’re dreaming big at Troy University. I believe we have the best students, the best faculty, and the most beautiful campus in the country, but the best is still yet to be.”
His announcement came as the centerpiece of the night’s celebration at Nashville’s famed 3rd and Lindsley in the heart of the Music Row District.
Guests were seated by Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Chris Vrenna and witnessed the worldwide premiere of a new song by international recording artist Ksenia.
POPulus, the John M. Long School of Music’s American popular music band, provided an electrifying concert that displayed the performance, production, and management capabilities of TROY students.
“This is about showcasing our program, our students and their creativity, and really shining the light on what Troy University’s Music Industry MBA can do for those music and entertainment professionals at all levels of their career,” said Music Industry Director Robert W. Smith. “Our program is unlike anything else offered anywhere in the country.”
Russian-born singer Ksenia Buzina, of Moscow’s“Chicago” tribute band “Leonid and Friends,” introduced her new single “Go,” recorded, mixed and backed at Troy University by music students and POPulus. She performed several songs with POPulus, including a duet with Brandon Barnes, a Gadsden, Ala., native and songwriter with strong ties to TROY.
Vrenna was a founding member of the metal band “Nine Inch Nails” and has worked as a producer, remixer or engineer with bands including U2. A Grammy Award winner, today he’s a professor at Calhoun State Community College, and is a student in TROY’s MBA-Music Industry Program.
The real stars of the event, however, were none other than Troy University students – the members of POPulus.
Ava Symone, a Bahamian native who completed her undergraduate Music Industries studies at TROY, and who has backed up hip-hop superstar Flo Rida, featured a couple of her original songs. Symone works at a Nashville publicity firm and has worked with Grammy-nominated music producer Kyduh Beats (Spiderman Multiverse soundtrack), among others. Her EP “Where Angels Go To Cry” is available on all listening platforms.
Vocalists Madison Windham, Jo Snider, Damian Bowden, Hannah Brown, Tahj Jordan, Maggie Hammonds, Frank Studinka and Grice Davis kept the house rocking all night.
“This is what sells Troy University to the world,” said Sorrell College Dean Dr. Judson Edwards. “Our students showcasing their phenomenal talent. That’s what makes the difference.”
The idea for the event can be traced back to a meeting in Edwards’ office last summer, as the first cohort of the MBA in Music Industry was being solidified.
It was Edwards’ comment that “we ought to have a concert” that eventually congealed into the premier “BPM Session” – “Business, Production, Management,” as Smith, who was the night’s master of ceremonies, explained to the crowd at 3rd and Lindsley.
“What better way to explain our program than through music,” Edwards had asked a small gathering inside his office.
Smith and his students went to work. The event became an entirely student-produced and managed production – from engineering to venue management to performance.
And, on one Saturday night in Nashville, the stars shined on TROY, Alabama’s International University.
Listen to Madison Windham and Chris Vrenna talk about TROY’s program here, and view more photos from the event here. The entire show is available on TROY’s YouTube page.