By Ben Eisenstein
Insider’s guide to the lifestyle of music entertainment industry majors
For the 25 students selected for the Bandier Program for Music and the Entertainment Industries each year, music is more than background noise when doing homework. It’s a lifestyle.
The Bandier program began three years ago, supported by a donation from Martin Bandier, Chairman and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, SU Trustee, and alum of 1962. Martin Bandier, professors of music, and management, and other SU grads designed the program. The program gives students with an interest in the music industry a balanced education that prepares them for a job in the highly competitive music entertainment industry.
Victoria Pilar Nava, a freshman Bandier student, didn’t realize how special the Bandier program was until she got accepted.
I didn’t want just a music degree; I knew it had to be music business,” Nava said. “Then I learned just how prestigious and special it was and I loved how it balanced everything so it really all worked out.”
Max Gredinger, also a freshman in the Bandier program, says there is no other program offered at a four-year university that compares to the one at Syracuse.
“Martin Bandier really is all music publishing,” Gredinger said. “Right now the program may not have the recognition that Newhouse or Maxwell have, but then again, there aren’t as many Bandier kids out there. Not a lot of kids grow up saying they want to work in the music business. It’s a lot easier to say they want to do communications. Bandier kids know what they want.”
Gredinger says the rigorous curriculum can be daunting at times, as he and his fellow students have to fill requirements in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Martin J. Whitman School of Management, College of Arts and Sciences, and their home college of Visual and Performing Arts.
Nava already sees the payoff of the Bandier program.
“All my life I wanted to go to South by Southwest (SXSW),” Nava said, referring to the entertainment festival and conference that takes place in Texas every year. “Now I’ll be going because the Bandier program was able to get me a pass that will let me network, meet people in the industry, talk to bands, and let me see all the shows I could ever want. And this is only my first year.”
The program grants a bachelor’s of science, and has students focusing on networking and internships in order to get a job after graduation. Martin Bandier’s company, EMI Music Publishing, also made a donation to the program to set up the EMI Center for Internship, Mentoring, and Career Development to help students gain real-world experience.
“They [professors] really emphasize to you that finding work and making connections now is going to really pay off after college and I’m pretty sure we all got the message,” said Gredinger.
Bonds formed between students in the Bandier program help create future possible contacts in the program as well. Since the program accepts such a small group of students every year, everyone knows each other and gets along for the most part, according to Gredinger.
“We’re incredibly tight-knit. Everyone is just really cool and we’re super close,” said Gredinger. “We’re like a family. We are a family.”
After college, Gredinger hopes the Bandier degree and an experience-filled resume will open doors that would have otherwise remained closed.
“I hope to go into artist management,” Gredinger said. “But there is really no telling where the industry will be in four years. Either way, what I learn here will help me out with whatever I do.”
Here’s to you, Ms. Moore
This May, Kaitlyn Moore will be the first to graduate from the Bandier Program. Moore, a dual major in recording and allied entertainment industries and television, radio and film will graduate a year earlier than her 2011 classmates.
“I’m not going to lie. It’s pretty cool,” Moore said. In order to graduate a year early, she had to take many 19-credit semesters. Despite intense semesters, Moore will now graduate with 156 credits, she said, 36 more than the 120 requirement.
Moore says graduating first in the program can be a daunting thought at times. “There are no alumni of the program out in the industry yet to help out with the job search,” she said. “Also, there’s the pressure to find a good job as the first graduate of the program.”
After graduation Moore would like to move to Nashville, Tenn. to work in digital content or management in the country music industry. Although she doesn’t have a job yet, she believes the connections and experience she gained in the Bandier program will help.
“I want to help future Bandier students get down there since Nashville is pretty uncharted territory for the school,” she said.
Moore says the Bandier program offers students a special opportunity by allowing them to get ahead in their future careers.
“Soak in everything you’re learning in class and put it to use,” she says. “You can gain so much experience while still in school.”