|Students Present Self-run Business at Lebanon Valley College’s Inquiry 2014
Not many institutions offer the experiences that Lebanon Valley College extends to its students. One of these unique opportunities came to fruition just a few short years ago. With the student vision of creating a college record label, evolution took place changing the initial idea into something much greater than was initially anticipated. The end result is the currently operational Vale Music Group LLC.
Betty Ross (l) and Nikki Abbamont (r)
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“It really is awesome to think about how much work we put in every week for the record label, and it definitely shows in the finished products and how far the company has developed since its creation,” said current Vale Records president Brianna Steinitz ’15. “Vale is way more than just a class.”
Vale Music Group has flourished from an underground success to a forefront of college news and happenings. The business model consists of four subsidiaries, with the all-encompassing VMG title, known as the umbrella model. The sections include Vale Records, Vale Publishing, Vale Conference, and Vale Live. Each branch of the parent company handles a certain aspect of the business.
Vale Records is the student run record label of Lebanon Valley College. The label was the foundational idea that instigated the growth of VALE Music Group. The original proposal created by students called for a completely student run and governed business in the form of a class (IDS 199 -01). The label now has two artists signed, with a number of releases under their name.
Vale Publishing handles every aspect of publishing for the business as well as the artists under contract with the record label. This involves registering artists and bands with ASCAP or BMI as well as other artist representative organizations. The group also handles licensing and legal matters of the business.
“Working with the publishing team this year has been an eye opener. It serves as a great hands-on experience for my business degree,” adds senior TJ Brillhart ’14
Vale Conference tackles the mission of planning, coordinating, and holding the annual Music Industry Conference in the fall. The conference brings together students with professional from every aspect of the music industry. This allows for interaction, networking, and learning for the students in a way that cannot be achieved in the classroom.
Vale Live is the newest addition to VMG. Previously nicknamed Vale Booking, the subsection handles live entertainment and booking for local venues and artists signed to Vale Records. Many concert series and shows around campus are organized, executed, and engineered by the student staff of Vale Live.
Current members of the Vale Music Group team will present the progress of the business at Inquiry 2014, showing the transformation of the business in every facet from the very beginning discussions to what is happening today. TJ Brillhart Jr. ’14, former MISA president and Vale conference chair Betty Ross ’14, and Brianna Steinitz ’15 will be leading the presentations and manning the table to display the various works and progress on VMG.
“I have had the privilege of experiencing a lot with Vale Music Group,” Ross said. “Working with Professor [Jeff] Snyder when the record label was first being created, being a founding member, running the Vale Music Industry Conference for the past two years, and helping in whatever aspect I could, all of it has absolutely made me a better student, worker, and teacher.”
The group has made great strides since the idea was generated for a student run record label. From the infant stages of presenting the course syllabus and core business plan to the faculty, to now coordinating with legal council negotiating how various merchandise will be sold and where, Vale Music Group is an organization to keep eyes on.
Last year, Vale Records made their first release, “Scott Eggert: Volume 1,” which featured original compositions from the Lebanon Valley College professor. The record was officially released at this past fall’s music industry conference for all to see. This year, Vale has signed its first student band, Sheridan Ave. Through Vale, the group has recently released a single off their EP currently in production, and have played a number of shows through Vale Live.
For more information regarding Vale Music Group, its subsidiaries, and current events as well as news, visit their table at Inquiry 2014 on Thursday, Apr 10 at 6 p.m. in the Arnold Sports Center Gymnasium, or www.valemusicgroup.com