Penn State Music Group Club Preparing Students For Music Industry Life
Last August, three Penn Staters got together during the first week of classes in an attempt to fill a void for students with dreams of working in the music industry. By the middle of the fall semester, the Penn State Music Group (PSMG) was formed.
Sophomore Hunter Badamo and freshmen Ben Swihart and Bryce Kipnes are the co-founders of PSMG. The trio met through its passion for music and dedicated much of its time in the fall to create a new club for others at University Park.
“I wasn’t seeing a Penn State music group where students could join, learn about the music industry, and present themselves to music industry representatives in a way that would land them a job,” Badamo said.
PSMG intends to bridge the gap between the music industry and the business world in Happy Valley so students can receive valuable experience ahead of graduation. After a LinkedIn post in mid-October announcing its creation, the group received over 50 responses on its first interest form.
Badamo is the president of the group and oversees everything involved on the music and business side. Swihart is the vice president of artist development, while Kipnes is the vice president of business development. Badamo, Swihart, and Kipnes lead the newly appointed executive board that includes eight additional directors.
PSMG’s goal is to help teach interested students about the music industry throughout a semester-long process. Students can join the mock record label or professional development branch within the club, and from there, the executive board teaches the necessary skills to succeed in the industry.
“They undergo our program where they actually dive deep in the industry, learn about music, recording, publishing, and royalties,” Badamo said. “And the other side is sort of much more straightforward. It’s the student-ran mock record label, where we actually sign and represent artists from State College and from Penn State University.”
Badamo and the executive board lined up speakers and other professionals in the music industry to talk to PSMG this semester, which is just one of the unique opportunities the club plans on providing its members.
“The moonshot vision is that, one day, representatives or recruiters from record labels and any music industry companies, anybody who’s hiring really… one day our vision is that they look at Penn State as a target school. Not just a school where they can recruit from, but one where they should recruit from,” Badamo said.
The short-term goal for PSMG is simple: it wants to create business leaders in the entertainment industry. Along the way, it hopes to assist members with internships and landing full-time careers to fill a need for prospective music industry personnel in college.
Last semester was the prelaunch phase for the club, and this spring, it plans to be an official organization recognized by the university. PSMG now has over 150 students on its interest list and has goals of only continuing to grow.
PSMG is seeking students in all majors from business to communications to graphic design. The only requirement is to have a passion for the music industry and a positive mindset to work alongside others who share that passion.
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