National and international music business conventions take place every year around the country and around the globe. From Midem to Billboard Latin Music Conference to SXSW to Red Bull Music Academy and more, leaders in the industry convene at various times of the year to discuss important issues that face their respective corners of the music business. Tomorrow, April 26, the UTSA Music Department will host the first UTSA Music Biz Day in the Art Building beginning at 1 p.m., lasting until 6 p.m.
The expo and trade show will feature various local music businesses, some of which will participate in panel discussions. The event also acts as a segue into a live music event being produced by students called the UTSA Underground – where the underground service tunnel system will be converted into stages and multimedia presentations. I spoke with the primary organizer and coordinator of MBD Dr. Stan Renard, Professor of Music Marketing on campus last week about what this trade show/expo and panel discussions is all about.
“If I had wanted to meet with all the various businesses and get to know them and their products and services– it would take way to too long. And how can we expect students to go out there and find it all ?" said Dr. Stan Renard. Bringing it all together it provides a way for the students to see just how much opportunity there is here in San Antonio.
The timing of MBD couldn’t have been better orchestrated, and only an organization like UTSA could pull this together. With individuals like YOSA Conductor Troy Peters, entertainment attorney Joe Stallone, Stephen Ray from the Texas Music Office and many others, Renard and the students of UTSA's music business program have coordinated some of Texas' music heavy hitters.
The panelists were chosen by the students. Renard had students list various groups from around central Texas (from SA to Austin) in fields such as broadcasting or music retail, advocacy or blogging, and where there was overlap, the lists were narrowed down until categories began to emerge. The panels will be moderated by students and faculty and there will be time for audience questions as well as a social media wall for possible internet input.
"I tour a lot both musically and for conventions and what I see, I see the north east is its own unit, and then there's the east coast, but there's no interaction. Texas is its own unit. The midwest is all one big area," Renard noted. "This is my first attempt at trying to bring everyone together: schools, community colleges, nonprofits, the military band is coming, about 17 different vendors" from around the local music community.
The mission of UTSA's education and music program centers on a theme of unity and bringing the local music community together is important for the students' growth and education. "If I say to my students something, it doesn't have the same weight as if someone else does. Yes, they're all about it, but I think it will validate it more if a professional, someone who is successful in the business, tells them the same thing. Or maybe they tell them something different, or add to it. They have their own perspective."
"We also want the community to feel that we as a University are open to them. There's many great events and resources, and we've had a really good response from the community and we want to be a part of the conversation."
Music Biz Day is not only a great opportunity for students but also for the local music community. "I see all the big cities and there are so many musicians in them it drives down wages, and musicians should not be performing for no money. But here in San Antonio, there are gaps that can be filled. I've also been seeing students come this way, who would have normally went to UT Austin. I feel that there are more opportunities here and in the surrounding areas."