Brevard Launches Annual Conference on Music Entrepreneurship

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Conference helps turn musicians into entrepreneurs; addresses urgent need for alternative career tracks in music.

Brevard Music Center, a leading summer institute and festival, announced today the establishment of the first conference to help turn musicians into entrepreneurs. The Brevard Conference on Music Entrepreneurship (BCOME) to be held July 14-16, 2006, at the Brevard Music Center, Brevard, NC, will help U.S. musicians and students, many of whom struggle to support themselves, learn how to survive in the music business. “Establishing a career in music is second only in competitiveness to professional sports,” according to Michael Drapkin, executive director of BCOME. “In the United States alone,” said Drapkin, “14,000 music students graduate each year, but only 5% find work as musicians.”

“The current reality of the music business is that most performers now training will not be able to find work or support themselves,” said Drapkin. “The conference will provide performers with the tools they need to help earn a living doing what they love – whether it be establishing their own ensemble, organization or program.”

BCOME explores career tracks beyond the traditional job pathways. Thought provoking and innovative, the three-day conference offers workshops, lectures and instruction on how to envision and establish one’s own career as a music entrepreneur, with unique tracks specifically tailored for performers, college faculty and industry professionals.

BE Noteworthy

BCOME is open to anyone interested in learning how to become a music entrepreneur.

Guest speakers include some of the country’s finest musicians, teachers and entrepreneurs,

more including Dr. Robert Freeman (Dean of the College of Fine Arts at University of Texas at Austin), Gerd Leonhard (co-author of The Future of Music: Manifesto for the Digital Music Revolution) and David Effron (chair of the conducting department at Indiana University). A complete list of speakers is below. Conference members will learn how to market themselves, and the conference will address such topics as:

•The ins and outs of networking

•Market research

•Use of electronic media for self-promotion

•Business plan writing

•Funding partners

•Business legalities

•Models of entrepreneurship

In addition, the conference will help participants be more creative through self-discovery and shaped note singing exercises, round-table discussions and a traditional square dance. They will have access to the Brevard Music Center’s picturesque 140-acre campus, as well as tickets to a variety of performances.

“We are pleased to host the Brevard Conference on Music Entrepreneurship,” said BMC President John Candler. “Each summer, the Brevard Music Center nurtures the talent of 400 of America’s most promising young musicians. Many of our students go on to establish professional careers, yet the realities of finding a job in the current market are limited. In addition to training young musicians to be excellent performers, Brevard Music Center is also interested in providing them with further career skills to ensure a successful future.”

BCOME is funded by a grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Registration is open to 75 participants, and the fee is $300. Scholarships are available.

About the Brevard Music Center

The Brevard Music Center (BMC), a summer institute and festival located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, provides the perfect backdrop for BCOME. For 70 years, BMC has provided gifted students the opportunity to better understand and prepare themselves for the professional world of music. More than 80 performances presented each season showcase the talented students who come to Brevard each summer to study. The intense summer – living, working and performing alongside professional musicians – is often a life-changing experience for its young people.

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Emma Candelier

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