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In Tune Monthly cites Catawba as one of nation’s best music schools for 2017

SALISBURY — Catawba College has been cited by In Tune Monthly magazine as one of the nation’s Best Music Schools for 2017. The accolade came in the publication’s October 2016 edition which includes a special report concerning the Best Music Schools for 2017.

Catawba Music Department Chair Dr. David Lee Fish was quoted in the special report titled, “The Vibe.” He recommends that prospective students trying to choose the best music school actually speak to the students enrolled in a particular school.

“I think that they have a fuller sense of the ethos, the lay of the land, of a music program across the board,” he says. “The faculty has a partial picture. The students are willing to give unvarnished views of an institution.”

Fish also noted the need for developing real world skills as an undergraduate.

“There are the hard skills – how you play your instrument, how you sing, the basics of songwriting, engineering, production, the industry – but these are only half of the equation,” Fish shared in the special report. “The soft skills like networking, teamwork, tenacity and perseverance need to be there, too. But they can only be developed after the hard skills – after the students have hit a certain level of age and maturity.”

Concerning the size and reputation of a college like Catawba, Fish was quoted as saying: “We’re a school that doesn’t have that much of a spotlight on us, and I’m happy about that. I think that too much attention can wind up being the proverbial tail wagging the dog – you do things as much for the media value as the education value.”

Two Catawba College alumni, both graduates of the Music Department, were also featured in In Tune Monthly’s Best Music Schools for 2017 edition. They are Emma Stoneberg, class of 2015, and Chris Williams, class of 2012.

After six interviews, Stoneberg landed a job in the music department of Creative Artists Agency (CAA) in Los Angeles, Calif., a leading entertainment and sports agency representing many of the most successful and innovative professionals working in film, television, music, video games, theater and digital content. She began her new job at CAA in early September and is working towards becoming a music agent.

Stoneberg has also been hired by In Tune to write a monthly blog-style article for the magazine about her post-graduation experiences on the West Coast in the music industry. The first installment of her column appears in the October 2016 edition. In that column, she credits In Tune Monthly with helping her find her right college, Catawba College, where she was able to “hone my skills, develop socially and explore my options.”

Williams, a recording artist and producer and a business specialist for Apple, Inc., was profiled in the October 2016 edition as a successful graduate from one of the colleges and universities cited in the Best Music Schools special report. In his profile, Williams cites Catawba College’s small size and “personal touch” for allowing him to excel as an undergraduate. He notes that managing the campus studio for the music department and establishing a legacy music group, Urb’N’Sol at Catawba taught him “great leadership and management skills.”

Williams’ advice to high school students researching potential music schools: “Never give up. Nothing is ever handed to you, and when times get hard and you want to give up, always look back at how far you’ve come.”

Catawba College’s January 2017 launch of Segue 61, a one-year program based in Nashville, Tenn., was also noted in the October 2016 edition of the magazine in a “What’s News on Campus” article. Segue 61 will pair students who have earned their undergraduate degrees with mentor faculty who are active music professionals. It will prepare these students to follow one of four tracks: spotlight performer, backing musician, engineer/producer and music business.

Catawba offers a bachelor’s degree in music with concentrations in music business, music education, music performance, popular music, sacred music and worship arts (contemporary Christian). It also offers a bachelor’s degree in musical theater.

In Tune is a classroom magazine for music students, grades seventh through 12th. It was founded in 2003 by veteran Billboard, Forbes and Business Week publishing executive Irwin Kornfeld, former Musician, EQ and Gig magazines publisher Angelo Biasi and Grammy-winning music producer Will Edwards.

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