Contemporary Music Center program visits campus

Rutth Mercado

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

College students from around the country can go to Nashville for one semester of their undergraduate career to work on music for four months. Students may participate in one of three tracks- artist, business or technical- which prepare them for careers within the industry. The “Final Exam” consists of a week-long, multi-state tour which is planned, performed and technically executed entirely by the students. Contemporary Music Center students visited the Wichita Falls Museum of Art Pavilion on Tuesday April 5 at 7 p.m for a free concert. 

Mandie Lenar, press correspondent on the marketing and merchandise team, said, “We really just want a chance to share our music anywhere we can and we’re doing a tour of Texas right now. We’re going to be hitting four different schools, so we just want a chance to share our music with you guys.”

The four schools in this semesters’ CMC Nashville tour consist of Oral Roberts University (located in Oklahoma), Midwestern State University, Abeline Christian University, and Baylor University.

Warren Pettit, Director of the CMC out of Nashville Tennessee, said “We articulate it as study abroad, although we call it domestic.”

A total of 31 students put on the live show. Out of those 31, ten are on the business track, 16 are artists and the remaining five are on the technical track. 

Mario Ramirez, activities coordinator, said,“UPB has never done an event out here before at the pretty pavilion, so we were expecting people. I think close to 80 people were here in attendance. It was a great program. CMC is welcome to come back any time.”

Some of the students in the CMC are in marketing and their job is trying to find places to play. So they essentially called Midwestern to come and perform.

Pettit said, “We’re not an organization that you folks know about, so we’re unknown and it’s really hard to get people to come to an unknown, and so I really expected no one to show up. And we would’ve been fine, we just wanted to come out and play and have the experience of setting up and doing it, but the fact that 80 people showed up was shocking to me. I credit both the students and the program that did the marketing and also the good folks from Midwestern who helped our students get some folks out.”

Free t-shirts were given to the first 20 people in attendance.

Lenar said, “We just wanna get people excited and people in the door, and these t-shirts have a front pocket as you know. Having people represent us means that people will know who we are and if we come back in the future, or if people are interested in our program, then they’ll get a chance to know about it through that.”

The CMC performance usually lasts an hour.

Cole Bryant, marketing manager for the tour, said “We pretty much have our show down to a T, every once in a while, like tonight, it’s different, because we don’t normally play an acoustic set. So that was like, ‘oh we want it to be dark, so let’s add a few things in the front end.’ So we just tossed those in very very last minute, actually like two minutes before they went on. We were like let’s just play some acoustic songs.”

This is the 30th semester that this program has been going on.

Pettit said, “The students put together the light, sounds, backline and promotional materials. We literally create a poster for every show that we just put up in our building. Nobody sees it. The outside public doesn’t see it, but we go through the process of creating billing, and promotional materials.”

Then they perform in other places, like their Texas tour stops.

Pettit said “Interestingly, very few students in our program are music majors. You would think they were, but at most schools, the programs are traditional, like a conservatory program, and we’re clearly opposite of that, and that’s why we exist. So, we have students across all of the disciplines. Especially in the business track and the tech track.”

The semester-long program students can join allows you the opportunity to earn 16 credit hours.

Pettit said, “An undergraduate student takes 8 semesters, and essentially they’re taking one of those and they go somewhere else. They come to our program, they earn 16 credit hours and go back to the parent school. So it’s not like you have to do 8 semesters plus one.”

To find out more about this program, visit


Quote collection:

“We are the CMC, based out of Nashville Tennessee, that focuses on teaching students like myself about the production behind live music, like the show we had tonight. We have three tracks- business, tech and artist. I am part of the business track. We’re in charge of the behind the scene stuff, the marketing, the branding, the designing, the managing- all of that stuff. The tech people are the one’s that are on light and sound and monitors making us look good and sound good on stage. Then the artists are obviously the ones leading the songs, playing the instruments and all of that fun stuff. So that’s kind of the breakdown of who we are.” -Cole Bryant, marketing manager

“The artists have songs on the back burner because they’ve been writing songs all semester, so that’s why people were able to go out there and just plug it out.” -Mandie Lenar press correspondent on the marketing and merchandise team

“We are also a faith based school. All of the students here are professing Christians, faculty all are. Although you probably got a sense that it wasn’t an overtly religious show. It’s not that. All of these students express a faith in Christ- that’s their world view. But these songs, are like normal songs, except it’s who they are, it’s what they think, it’s their world view.” -Warren Pettit, director of the CMC out of Nashville Tennessee

“For the artists, they’ll upload some songs that they’ve written. The business folks have to demonstrate that they’ve been out doing what you’re doing, like marketing and promoting shows. And then the tech guys and gals, maybe they run sound at auditoriums or clubs, or IT, whatever.” -Warren Pettit, director of the CMC out of Nashville Tennessee

“When I started creating a program I had one question to answer and that was ‘what would I have wanted to learn when I was 20’? What did I need to learn? Don’t tell me the stupid stuff- what did I need to know? And that has always been the question. That’s what this is. The answer to that question has changed over 15 years, but it’s always the same question. What do these students need to experience these 15 weeks so that they can segway into the music industry and get an entry level position.”  -Warren Pettit, director of the CMC out of Nashville Tennessee

Print Friendly, PDF & Email