Four college students pursuing music industry careers have been awarded $10,000 each in scholarships, through the Live Nation/House of Blues Music Forward Foundation 2019 Scholarship Program.
This year’s group of scholarship recipients were selected based on academic performance, leadership skills, and a commitment to the live entertainment experience. The awardees include an audio production major who was born while his mother was incarcerated; a fearless Latinx feminist from Bogota, Colombia, who produces singles at her school’s student-run record label; a Berklee College of Music student who serves as a house manager at the Boston Lyric Opera; and a student who leads the marketing for Georgia State University’s annual spring concert.
“Live Nation is distinctively positioned to offer the next generation of music industry leaders professional and educational support through these scholarship programs,” said Mark Campana, chief operating officer, Live Nation U.S. Concerts. “We are committed to promoting diversity and inclusivity within the music industry and proudly support these dedicated and talented students as they pursue their career goals.”
“We are thrilled to acknowledge these outstanding students with our 2019 scholarship awards,” said Nurit Siegel Smith, executive director of the House of Blues Music Forward Foundation.
The 2019 scholarship recipients:
Christian King – David E. Ballard Scholarship
Christian King, a 27-year-old from Inglewood, California, is the first-ever recipient of the David E. Ballard Scholarship funded by the Living Legacy Foundation. This scholarship supports youth who have experienced homelessness and/or been part of the foster care system and are interested in pursuing a career in live entertainment. King was born while his mother was incarcerated and was in foster care for much of his life. During his tumultuous childhood, King says, “Music was my escape, my outlet, my form of communication, my passion and my truth.”
He maintains a 4.0 GPA at the Los Angeles Film School while working toward a Bachelor of Arts in audio production and is also a recording artist and music producer. King, a father of two, stands out—according to his professors—for his dedication to the field of music, leadership skills, and innovative artistic work.
“This scholarship is a blessing,” said King. “It has been very hard being a full-time student trying to make ends meet. It gives me hope that if I continue to work hard, good things are coming.”
Juliana Castrillon – Tiffany Green Operator Scholarship
According to a recent study conducted by USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, just 2% of music producers in the U.S. are women, the Tiffany Green Operator Scholarship was established by Live Nation to support women pursuing careers in live entertainment. This year’s recipient is 20-year-old Juliana Castrillon, who hails from Bogota, Colombia, and is a student at The College of Saint Rose working toward a Bachelor of Science with a music industry concentration.
Castrillon is a talented recording engineer, music producer, live event manager, visionary thinker and leader among her peers, according to her professors. She is on the executive board of her college’s student-run Rose Record Label and a member of the BOLD Women’s Leadership Network, a program that cultivates courageous leadership in young women during college years and beyond.
“This scholarship strives to support women in an industry that is mostly male-dominated,” said Castrillon. “That is why I am extremely honored and eager to utilize this support toward my education in order to help both my own career as well as other women pursuing careers in the music industry.”
Nico Ruggieri – Steven J. Finkel Service Excellence Scholarship
Nico Ruggieri, 21, a student at Berklee College of Music majoring in music business and management, from Boardman, Ohio, is this year’s recipient of the Steven J. Finkel Service Excellence Scholarship. The scholarship was established to support the ever-growing customer service expectations of fans, artists and employees within the live entertainment industry.
Already brimming with new ideas on how to enhance customer experience, Ruggieri has impressed his professors with his passion for music, interpersonal and leadership skills, talent as an emcee, business savvy, and strong desire to make positive change for students and audiences alike. Ruggieri is a student ambassador and recruiter in the Office of Admissions at Berklee College and has served as a house manager at the Berklee Performance Center and the Boston Lyric Opera.
“Receiving this scholarship while entering my senior year at Berklee serves as the pinnacle of my achievements,” said Ruggieri. “I plan to continue my diligent work by being one of the first students to complete all three major paths in music business—management, marketing and entrepreneurship—by May 2020.”
Tamesha Harvey – U.S. Concerts Scholarship
Tamesha Harvey, 21, a student at Georgia State University pursuing a Bachelor of Science with a concentration in music management, from Dothan, Alabama, is the recipient of the 2019 Live Nation U.S. Concerts Scholarship. This scholarship supports students pursuing careers in the five core areas of Live Nation’s business: concert and venue promotion, sponsorship and advertising, ticketing, e-commerce, and artist management.
In addition to her studies at GSU, Harvey is a venue operations intern for a local concert promoter, an ambassador for a startup record label, and marketing leader for her college’s annual spring concert. As part of two campus organizations focused on live entertainment and business administration, she has managed student body events and aided in talent acquisition.
“My long-term goals in the entertainment industry are to manage artists for events and on tour,” said Harvey. “I have learned that it takes time, dedication and perseverance to see results in one’s work; and for that, I, as a first-generation college student, know that I must continue to set myself up for success. Learning and applying my education in music business has allowed me to take on paradigms outside of my world and view different perspectives through a new lens so that I can precisely interpret and execute clients’ visions.”