by Madison Mento ’21
The Music and Entertainment Student Association (MEISA) hosted their annual Music Industry Conference earlier this month. The event gives students who are interested in breaking into the music industry a chance to network with professionals and attend panel discussions on different aspects of the business.
For Kylee Schmoyer ’19, a music business major and president of MEISA, planning the conference was a labor of love. The organization helped her land her first internship freshman year. “I was an intern for a band in Brooklyn called Mixtape, a cover band for hipsters. It really gave me a lot of experience.” Since then Schmoyer has had internships with Milkboy Venues in Philadelphia, Mom + Pop Music, Columbia Records and Downtown Music Publishing. “MEISA has been very important to me,” she says.
The first panel, “The Rockstars Behind the Curtain,” on April 12, featured a group of managers, entertainment lawyers, business managers, and booking agents, who explained services they provide for their clients. The panel featured Terry Tompkins, director of Hofstra’s Music Business program; Ariel Hyatt, a marketing executive with a specialty in promoting independent bands; Dave Ungar, a promoter and expert in artist relations; Dave Stein, CEO (US) and General Counsel of The Century Label Group at Sony Music Entertainment; and Randy Nichols, CEO of Force Media Management. The professionals shared some of their favorite behind-the-scenes stories, and they offered advice to students for building successful careers in the music industry.
Directly following this opening panel was an alumni networking dinner, where a Hofstra graduate working as a music executive was placed at every table to meet students and answer questions.
The conference continued Saturday morning, April 13, with a meditation and wellness session led by Suzanne Paulinski from Rock/Star Advocate. A “Sync Panel” followed, featuring songwriter Mike Errico and Mark Frieser, founder and CEO of Disconic, a music licensing agency, and founder of SyncSummit for music professionals. Other panel topics included A&R, production, and a music festival Q&A.