Starting June 14, 10 Belmont University students joined professor and legendary musician Mark Volman (a founding member of the band The Turtles) on the road for an East Coast run of the “Happy Together Tour.” The tour’s “classroom” and schedule looks something like this: one tour bus, a precious few hotel rooms, long hours and many stages—for two and a half weeks and a grade.
Mt. Juliet native Katie Boyd, a 21-year-old audio engineering technology major and music business minor, is excited to be a part of this unique adventure. “I I think this class will be one of the most important classes that I take at Belmont because it will involve some serious hands-on experience, and in the music industry, I believe that having opportunities like these are invaluable to our education and future career path. Working in a situation where we are expected to learn the responsibilities of various roles on a tour production team will also provide some unique insight and a broad knowledge of how a tour like this is structured. I can’t wait to meet all the people that will be a part of this tour and to face the challenges of life on the road.”
Under the guidance of faculty advisor Mark Volman and staff advisor Lucas Boto, students will work with touring artists and crew professionals in the areas of tour management, stage management, audio engineering, tour accounting and merchandise sales. These duties will be in addition to their continued learning each day during the process of load-in, setup, tear-down and load-out. These hands-on educational avenues outside of the classroom provide networking opportunities with all of the supporting organizations while gaining an understanding of the revenue flow from music consumer to touring performer. Click here to view a recap of student tour experience from Summer 2012.
“Only at Belmont do students get such a unique opportunity to experience the world of tour management, live production and what life on the road looks like before embarking on their career paths. I’m excited to teach them what I know outside a normal classroom space and to see what I’ll learn from them. Inevitably, their energy will add to the tour experience for the performers as well,” says Turtles founding member and Curb College Assistant Professor of Entertainment Industry Studies Mark Volman.
The “Happy Together Tour” unites several pop/rock artists of the ‘60s all together on stage, starring: The Turtles featuring Flo and Eddie, Chuck Negron (formerly of Three Dog Night), Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, Gary Lewis & The Playboys and Mark Lindsay (former lead singer of Paul Revere & the Raiders). Students will work a dozen shows on the tour:
June 14: Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, Fla.
June 15: Seminole Casino, Coconut Creek, Fla.
June 16: James K. Polk Theater, Nashville
June 18: Lebanon Opera House, Lebanon, NH
June 19: Keswick Theater Glenside, Penn.
June 20: New Jersey State Theatre, New Brunswick, NJ
June 21: NYCB Theatre at Westbury, Westbury, NY
June 22: The Tarrytown Music Hall, Tarrytown, NY
June 23: Wolf Trap Filene Center, Vienna, VA
June 25: The Hanover Theatre Worcester, Mass.
June 26: Cain Park – Evans Amphitheater Cleveland Heights, OH
June 27: Penn’s Peak, Jim Thorpe, Penn.
June 28: Hampton Beach Casino Hampton Beach, NH
June 29: North Shore Music Theater Beverly, Mass.
June 30: American Music Theater Lancaster, Penn.
The touring classroom joins a long line of experiential learning opportunities offered to students in Belmont’s Curb College of Music Business and Entertainment. In addition to an ongoing annual showcase series that features student production and performances, for the last two years, the Curb College has sent students to class at SXSW (also known as “South by Southwest”), one of the world’s leading music industry events, to allow them to network with leading executives, learn about industry trends and discover emerging artists. This summer also marks the third year for the University to host the Pipeline project, a student think tank dedicated to entertainment industry solutions.