Students bring country star to campus

by Chief Photographer Melanie Hodges

The Department of Entertainment Industry is, to many, one of the most unique majors our campus has to offer.

In just a few years, the department has grown from a minuscule, closet-like space, to an entire building perfectly suited to educate the next generation of performers, audio engineers and entertainment business professionals.

The Entertainment Industry building is not only right next door to Noise Block recording studio in downtown Florence, but it also has its own recording facilities, as well as its own venue where students can host their own shows.

While a part of the program, students have countless opportunities to get first-hand experience working in the entertainment industry. For example, senior Allison Lawrence recently completed a marketing internship with The Second City in Chicago. The Second City has a reputation for producing prominent entertainers, such as Steve Carell, Joan Rivers, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. The experience and knowledge gained through The Department of Entertainment Industry can lead to some of the most unique job opportunities.

While some travel across the country for opportunities, others are doing amazing things here in Florence.

Perhaps the most recent example of students going above and beyond in the Department of Entertainment Industry was the Jana Kramer concert. The concert, held Aug. 25 in Norton Auditorium, consisted of Kramer, as well as local artist Jarred Pierce opening the show.

Through months of hard work, students Shelby Stephens, Haley Webster and Ben McNeal planned, promoted and produced the entire show. These students did everything from plastering posters all across town to negotiating the contracts to bring the artist here. The trio also set up and produced the concert itself and even did smaller things like ensuring the right snacks were available in the green room. The concert showcased not only the performers, but the skill of those who put on the show as well.

The students who make up the Entertainment program are aiming for a life and career that many only dream of having.