Guest speakers extend their music industry expertise by offering valuable knowledge and advice to interested students. At SUNY Fredonia, speakers interact with students to provide them with realistic perspectives on the music industry including its successes, downfalls, and potential careers.
Listed below are some of the guest speakers that the SUNY Fredonia Music Industry Program has hosted:
Chris O'Dell (Coming October 2013)
The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, and Earth, Wind, and Fire…. What do all these groups have in common? Chris O'Dell. Miss O'Dell worked with The Beatles in the height of Beatle-mania. She joined the backing chorus on the song "Hey Jude"; she was on the Apple rooftop in January 1969 when the Beatles played live for the last time. When Bob Dylan needed a harmonica in his comeback performance at the Isle of Wright, Chris O'Dell was there to give him a harmonica. After Paul McCartney left The Beatles, O'Dell moved on to work with The Rolling Stones, as well as Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Chris O'Dell has long been considered an insider in the music industry, but recently published her tell-all novel entitled, Miss O'Dell: My Hard Days And Long Nights With The Beatles, The Stones, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton And The Women They Loved., in which she spills all the details of her "affairs" with the rock legends she spent time with. Miss O'Dell will be speaking on the SUNY Fredonia on October 29th. This lecture is open to the public.
Jon and Linda Weiss (2012)
The New Buffalo Shirt Factory was founded in 1940 by Sam and Belle Weiss and was later handed down to their grandson Jon Weiss in 1987. Jon revolutionized the t-shirt industry when he started manual silk screen printing. With the help of a M&R printing machine the company expanded to new heights. NBSF became one of the leading shirt designers and manufacturers in the world working with musicians like The Rolling Stones, KISS, and Madonna as well as winning numerous awards and accolades.
As the Owner of Watchmen Studios and guitarist in local indie/rock band, Makaras Pen, Doug White is experienced in recording all styles of music, producing over 4,000 albums over the past decade. He opened Watchmen Studios in 1995 and has developed an extensive list of clients, including Gym Class Heroes and Cute Is What We Aim For. Doug's presentation included advice on becoming a successful studio operator.
Anita West and Bruce Moster (2012)
After college he began his career working as a distributor for a record company. Moser began his presentation by talking about how much has changed. When he started, record companies gave bands "tour support", meaning that they would pay them to do shows and get them to play on radio stations.
As a Pioneer to women within the radio industry, West started her current job at 97 Rock in 1988. She got involved in her college radio station and went into radio right after graduation. She quickly realized that she wanted to be a radio personality, which was much more popular at the time.
As CEO and co-founder of video game development company Vicarious Visions, Karthik Bala has designed numerous commercially successful games including the Guitar Hero series. Vicarious Visions was originally formed as a product of a university incubator, similar to SUNY Fredonia's Technology Incubator, at Bala's Alma Mater.
Bala's presentation focused on the patience and determination required in achieving goals and becoming successful.
Award-winning bass guitarist for the heavy metal band Manowar, Joey DeMaio founded the entertainment group Magic Circle Music. DeMaio lectured about the importance of merchandising, the relevance of large festivals in today's music industry, and his work with Magic Circle Music.
Victor DeLorenzo, former drummer of the Violent Femmes, currently plays with the jazz trio A Free Society and owns Joe's Real Recording Studio.
DeLorenzo shared his musical experiences as a member of the Violent Femmes, including the lifestyle of a professional musician and his present work as a producer.
Manager of the international hit band moe., Jon Topper began his involvement with the group as a college student. Topper also heads The Live Music Summit, an annual music conference in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
Topper lectured about the importance of networking and seizing opportunities as they are presented, two factors that played a pivotal role in moe.'s management.
A significant player in the early twenty-first century's post-hardcore scene, Thursday formed in 1997 and has released six full-length albums to date.
Thursday spoke about their experiences as an independent band and discussed the prevalent business practices in today's music industry.
Formerly a concert promoter for Clear Channel, Artie Kwitchoff now owns and operates The Town Ballroom, a prominent concert venue in Buffalo, New York. The Town Ballroom has hosted many national touring acts such as Yellowcard, New Found Glory, and Anthrax, to name a few.
Kwitchoff lectured about his career in booking and promoting musical acts for a privately owned venue.
Michael Ivins is a founding member and bassist for the rock band The Flaming Lips.
Ivins discussed the transformation of the Flaming Lips from a small independent band in the 1980's to a famed, major-label group.
Keyboard player and founding member of the Ten Thousand Maniacs, Dennis Drew is currently the general manager of WRFA: Radio for the Arts, a low-power radio station based in Jamestown, New York.
Drew spoke about his career in a multi-platinum selling band and his interaction with industry professionals throughout the band's lifetime.
Andy Karp (2001)
Andy Karp is the former Vice President of A&R at Lava/Atlantic in New York. The acts he has worked with include KidRock (his first major success with Lava) and Uncle Kracker.
Karp lectured on the politics of major record label contracts and the future of the music industry.
Bass guitarist, songwriter, and vocalist for the Goo Goo Dolls, Robbie Takac currently chairs the non-profit organization Music is Art and owns Good Charamel Records.
Takac spoke with students about his use of his celebrity-level status in launching and benefiting charity organizations.