The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

63° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Breaking into the music business

Valentina Martinelli / Arizona Daily Wildcat

The members of Wildcat Records from left, Brett Lasnley, a guitar performance junior, Josh Cawthorne, an integrated studies sophomore, Alyssa Laganosky, an integrated studies freshman, and Brian Hicks, a saxophone performance junior.  Wildcat Records is a music business club that wants to be a resource for students interested in the industry side of music.
Valentina Martinelli
Valentina Martinelli / Arizona Daily Wildcat The members of Wildcat Records from left, Brett Lasnley, a guitar performance junior, Josh Cawthorne, an integrated studies sophomore, Alyssa Laganosky, an integrated studies freshman, and Brian Hicks, a saxophone performance junior. Wildcat Records is a music business club that wants to be a resource for students interested in the industry side of music.

For a majority of the 400 students in the College of Fine Arts School of Music, singing and playing an instrument is a primary focus. However, for some, like sophomore Joshua Cawthorne, the business aspect of music is more captivating.

“”I’ve been singing since I was 4 and playing guitar and violin for a while. I have also played in three bands around Tucson. In those bands, I’ve learned it’s hard going the way of the artist, and I really became more interested in the business of the industry,”” she said.

What started out as a class project for their Careers in Music class has brought Cawthorne, along with junior Brett Lashley and two other core members, together to create the nonprofit business and club, Wildcat Student Records.

“”We thought why not make this project accessible to everyone on campus rather than keep it inside the classroom,”” Cawthorne said.

Supported by music and careers instructor, Kelland Thomas, associate professor of music, the club hopes to be a resource for students and musicians on campus who want to learn how to be in the music business.

“”There are all sorts of talented musicians on campus, and this club could provide the potential for amateurs to build up their resumes and gain real word experience,”” Cawthorne said. “”I want this to be a step-up for those wanting to know more about the industry and for artists looking to make a name for themselves.””

As of now, the club has five members and meets once a week in the Manuel T. Pacheco Integrated Learning Center.

“”We are trying to put together a music festival that will take place on the (UA) Mall that will be a three or four day event with just local Tucson or university bands. We are also trying to get a scholarship and teaching program going for students,”” Cawthorne said.

Brett Lashley, the current treasurer of the club is hopeful for the clubs future as well.

“”Educational programs are of interest, and we want to expose current and incoming students to the actual nitty-gritty reality of recording music and playing concerts,”” Lashley said.

All students are welcome to experience any side of the industry that fits their intended field.

“”The club is essentially for anyone looking to be in the business. We are looking for graphic artists to help design flyers and album covers and aspiring agents to plan gigs and distribute CDs and such,”” Cawthorne said.

Students, like Justin Fanus, a freshman in the vocal studies program, said the club is a great way for hopeful musicians to gain exposure.

“”The club is something that definitely interests me and would interest other students I know. Tucson has such great local music and to showcase; it would be great,”” Fanus said.

With local recording studios charging upwards of $50 an hour for recording time, Wildcat Student Records hopes to make the club free for students.

“”Funding is definitely needed right now. I’ve found that of all the things artists want, as a startup is a place to record so they can get their music online and out there for people to listen to. We have been having (a) hard time finding a record deal because studios charge so much,”” Cawthorne said.

Fanus said he wouldn’t be turned off to the club even with the possibility of charging a student fee for membership in the club.

“”The music industry is something I want to be a part of, so if I had to pay a small amount to get something big — that is something I would do,”” Fanus added.

Initially, the club had plans to operate as a business. However, as a club, Hawthorne realized that they can receive funding through the Associated Students of the University of Arizona and other school affiliates.

“”The students involved have been showing a lot of initiative and entrepreneurial spirit that should be encouraged across campus,”” Thomas said.

With student members working essentially as employees, those involved stand to benefit from the promotion of their music and other art. As a business, Cawthorne said, there is less red tape that the club would have to work through when promoting their industry.

Thomas said he’s excited to see the club prosper and considers the venture, “”an exciting opportunity.””

More to Discover
Activate Search