CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A senior lecturer in Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Department of Radio, Television, and Digital Media is among 45 music industry professionals who will participate in an intense program in Nashville, Tenn., starting this fall.
Todd Herreman will be part of the 2014 Leadership Music Class, a non-profit educational organization that brings established music community leaders together to identify and explore issues affecting the music industry. The program, in its 25th year, meets one Friday each month for eight months from September through May, and each meeting will focus on a primary aspect of the music industry, such as record labels, radio promotion, touring, and artist management.
“This is an extremely competitive program, so Todd’s selection is significant,” Chancellor Rita Cheng said. “This is a great opportunity for him to learn and to network, and there will be many benefits for our students, the program, the college and the University.”
Herreman came to SIU Carbondale in 2004 after 20 years in the music industry, primarily in Los Angeles, Calif., where he worked as a songwriter, composer, engineer and session musician. Herreman teaches audio engineering, producing and music business at SIU Carbondale, including one class that focuses on the music industry in Nashville.
He’s excited about the opportunity, which came after a highly competitive application process.
“It is a very diverse group, comprised of some of the top leaders in their respective fields within the music industry, and in my case, education about the music industry. It is truly an honor to be included in such a group,” he said.
Herreman said he understands the program’s genesis is from a handful of music industry professionals who believed there was a need for the “leaders and decision makers” to become better informed about all aspects of the business. The possibility for greater collaboration and communication can serve everyone -- from artists, record label officials, publishers, managers, promoters, and others affiliated in the music industry.
This year’s class includes music industry agents, publicists, marketing professionals, record executives, producers, and university instructors. The program will also be an extraordinary networking opportunity, Herreman said.
“Being able to learn and gain insight from this entire group, as well as over 900 alumni, it is clear that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he said.
Herreman said part of his responsibility is preparing students who choose to get into the business, and that it is important as the music industry continues to shift to be able to “network and collaborate with these cutting-edge executive and entrepreneurs.” Noting that top music industry people from Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C., also apply for the program, Herreman said his goal is for his students to receive a benefit hearing these people speak to their classes, secure internships and earn employment opportunities.
Prior to teaching, Herreman’s client list in the music industry included Jeff Beck, Jodie Watley, Prince, Michael Jackson, Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys, and Adam Ant. One of his reasons for wanting to teach is what Herreman said he had to learn as he grew in the music business.
“Had I been better informed about how the business worked, I would have made some different decisions,” he said. “I don’t say that with any regret, but it gave me an opportunity to help young people who want to get into the business, by mentoring and advising them on some of the shifting scenarios, so they can make more informed decisions.”
Lori Badgett, vice president of entertainment at City National Bank, is the immediate past president of the board of directors and chaired the selection committee.
“The Leadership Music Class of 2014 is an impressive group of industry professionals with a wealth of experience and expertise from a diverse field of music businesses,” she said in a statement. “Choosing 45 applicants from among hundreds who applied is one of the most daunting tasks I’ve ever faced. The selection committee, composed of 20 alumni from every facet of the industry, deliberates over a five-week period, and makes every effort to choose the most balanced and diverse class possible. We all consider it a privilege to be charged with playing a role in the future of this organization.”
Herreman is also faculty adviser to Digital Dog Records, a registered student organization that runs its own record label, Musicians United Southern Illinois Carbondale (M.U.S.I.C.), and the Audio Engineering Society (AES). He earned his bachelor’s degree in music from Indiana University and a Master of Legal Studies from the SIU School of Law.