The world’s second GRAMMY Museum® officially opened its doors on March 5th, and we couldn’t be more excited. We’re thrilled that we could be a part of the grand opening, and excited to see what GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi (GMM) will bring to Cleveland.
Several DMI students had the opportunity to volunteer for the Grand Opening festivities, beginning Thursday, March 3rd. A few manned the check-in table at the first-ever program at GMM: The Recording Academy’s Thursday night event, “Art of the Craft: Songwriting,” featuring GRAMMY-winning songwriters Kristian Bush (of the country duo, Sugarland) and Liz Rose (“Girl Crush”), as well as rising star Mickey Guyton. The next day, DMI students were invited to attend an “Off the Record” and luncheon event in Studio A with Mickey Guyton and members of her Borman Entertainment management team, Erik Perterson and Lucia Kaminsky. The subjects of the panel discussion, moderated by Reid Wick, the Memphis Chapter’s Sr. Membership and Project Manager, ranged from songwriting and performance to promotion and brand partnering.
A group of about ten students were recruited for the entire weekend to demonstrate three exhibits—the dance floor, where pop artist Ne-Yo teaches visitors a few dance moves; interactive recording and production pods in which to write a song with bluesman Keb Mo; and the Roland Live room, which houses easy-to-play instruments equipped with headphones where guests can rock out (and only hear themselves).
Other students were able to help with load-in and load-out for the concerts on the grounds, as well as with live sound and video.
The Grand Opening Gala (for donors and dignitaries) featured music by the B.B. King Allstar Band, Steve Azar, Dorothy Moore, and Mac McAnally. This concert, along with the music for Saturday and Sunday, was partly overseen by junior Entertainment Industry Studies major Brennan Barham.
As assistant production manager, Brennan had a few different jobs prior to Grand Opening weekend and during the events. She assisted Charly Abraham, DMI instructor and GMM show producer, in keeping track of emails from artists and their representatives, which included details about stage plots and riders. “For the cocktail party and the concerts on Saturday and Sunday at the museum, I was in charge of getting the artists and their bands to the stage and making them feel comfortable and ready to perform,” explained Brennan. These artists included Eden Brent, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Shannon McNally, Vasti Jackson, Steadman Brothers, Electrifying Crown Seekers, University of Mississippi Gospel Choir, Southern Komfort Brass Band, and Charlie Worsham.
“The experience as a whole was unbelievable. I was so hands-on that it felt like I’d been doing it for a while,” said Brennan about her production manager position. “I really thank Charly for the opportunity to make connections and really get a taste of this insane, yet so rewarding industry.”
The weather was beautiful for the weekend, and especially perfect for the outdoor concerts. A large crowd showed up for the ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, and the museum enjoyed a steady flow of visitors throughout the weekend.
Already, GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi is providing occasions for our students and others to gain real-world experience in the music and tourism industries. We look forward to future opportunities and partnerships with the museum…and we’re so excited that it’s finally here and open for business!