On Wednesday, April 22nd, over 300 high school juniors and seniors and college students from across the city and greater metropolitan area attended the fourth annual City of Music Career Day at Seattle Center. A Seattle Music Commission initiative, Career Day is an annual, one-day, free educational program that provides future leaders of Seattle’s creative community with direct access to music industry professionals through networking, experiential learning, engaging workshops, and performance. This year’s event was the largest to date and also marked the first City of Music Career Day event produced collaboratively by the Office of Film + Music, Office of Arts & Culture, EMP Museum, and One Reel.
Mayor Murray set an inspiring tone for the day with his opening comments on how Seattle’s rich musical legacy set the framework for its current climate of musical exploration, creativity, and innovation. Office of Film + Music Director Kate Becker and Office of Arts & Culture Director Randy Engstrom also addressed the crowd and set the stage for keynote speakers Ryan Lewis (producer/musician) and Zach Quillan (manager, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis) to talk with KEXP’s John Richards about living and working in the music industry in Seattle.
Students engaged with a wide variety of industry experts, learning about music career opportunities in performance, management, concert production, arts organizations, record label operations, retail, licensing, journalism, and broadcasting, through targeted breakout sessions. Sessions featured working musicians Hollis Wong-Wear, Tomo Nakayama, Erik Blood, and Vitamin D along with industry professionals from Rhapsody, DigiPen, AEG Live, Amazon, and others.
Following the breakout sessions, students met one-on-one with mentors and talked with representatives from organizations including KEXP, The Recording Academy, Barsuk Records, Brown Paper Tickets, Sub Pop Records, Rain City Rock Camp for Girls, Votiv, Fremont Abbey Arts Center, and many more.
The jam-packed day concluded with performances from Shaprece and Tomo Nakayama and, for the first time, an “After Party” where students networked with their peers, sharing their experience of the day and swapping stories. EMP Youth Advisory Board member Marco Schurgurensky DJ’d the After Party which featured City of Music Career Day cupcakes from Trophy Cupcakes. Feedback from the student attendees has been fantastic, and plans are already in the works to make City of Music Career Day 2016 even bigger and better.