MusicDish e-Journal - February 21, 2018
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KSU Hires Music Industry Veterans To Head New Music And Entertainment Business Program
Kennesaw State University has hired some of Georgia's most renowned music industry veterans
By Mi2N
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Kennesaw State University has hired some of Georgia's most renowned music industry veterans to launch its new certificate program in music and entertainment business.

Bruce Burch, a successful songwriter and publisher who founded the music business program at the University of Georgia, has been named director of KSU's new Music and Entertainment Business (MEBUS) Certificate Program. Keith Perissi has been named the program's associate director. Heather Malcom has been named as director of development. All were formerly with the UGA music business program.

"We are excited to have Bruce, Keith and Heather on board to launch and manage our new music and entertainment business program," said Joseph Meeks, dean of KSU's College of the Arts. "Atlanta's increasing prominence as a music and entertainment center affords our students the opportunity to access and learn the nuts and bolts of this growing industry, and to be well prepared to succeed."

KSU officials announced the new certificate program on June 28, and acknowledged a major gift from prominent Atlanta entertainment attorney Joel A. Katz of Greenberg Traurig LLP to launch the program. The multidisciplinary program –– a joint effort between KSU's College of the Arts and the university's Coles College of Business –– will allow business, music and other majors to become proficient in areas such as financial accounting and music theory, as well as the fundamentals and emerging trends in the music and entertainment business. KSU's College of the Arts is one of only three fully accredited arts colleges in the state and the Coles College is one of the top business schools in the Southeast.

KSU students will have access to top faculty in the field. Burch is a 30-year music industry veteran who served as creative director at EMI Music Publishing in Nashville for almost a decade, working with songwriters such as Kris Kristofferson, Tony Joe White, Dolly Parton and others. As president of his own music publishing company, Burch wrote or co-wrote two No. 1 songs, "Rumor Has It" and "It's Your Call," both recorded by Reba McEntire, and other songs recorded by top artists such as Faith Hill, George Jones, Wayne Newton, Barbara Mandrell and the Oak Ridge Boys.

Perissi is a professional musician who has produced concerts, collaborated in the creation of five albums and performed with a popular touring band. Malcom is a development veteran who worked at UGA for almost a decade.

"KSU is a particularly good fit for the new music and entertainment program given its location in metro Atlanta, one of the top music and entertainment centers in the country and among the fastest growing," Burch said. In addition, KSU has exceptional concert venues, such as the new, state-of-the-art, 624-seat Dr. Bobbie Bailey & Family Performance Center –– which hosts more than 100 performances a year –– and the brand-new KSU Soccer Stadium, which can accommodate up to 15,000 people for concerts.

Burch said he is excited about coming to KSU, where he will have the chance to work closely with Katz and longtime KSU trustee and benefactor Bobbie Bailey.

"I am honored to have the opportunity to work with Joel Katz and Bobbie Bailey, two of the architects of the Atlanta music and entertainment scene," he said. "It means so much to be a part of a university with a visionary like President Daniel Papp at the helm, coupled with the enthusiasm his team brings to the table."

Unlike other music and entertainment business programs in the state, KSU's certificate program will focus not only on the music industry but also will include studies in the film, TV and video game businesses, Burch said. Program participants will not be required to play an instrument.

A key component of KSU's new certificate program is that students will get real-world, hands-on training in the music and entertainment industry. Program faculty and staff will be highly focused on providing "externships" for the students, securing valuable job placements for them with Atlanta-area businesses that will expand their learning opportunities outside of the classroom.

"The most important thing about being located in close proximity to Atlanta, and in the state of Georgia, is that there are so many opportunities for our students to learn from, and work with, some of the top professionals in the industry. We are looking forward to KSU becoming a part of this thriving, creative entertainment center," Burch said.

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