POV: You're a Bobcat at the Music Industry Summit

Educating the entertainment industry's future leaders.

May 6, 2024


Packed as it is with acclaimed artists and top-level industry professionals, the Ohio University Music Industry Summit appeals to anyone with even a passing interest in music. But you don’t have to look too closely to see that the true focus of the event is OHIO students.

Whether they’re camped out at Baker Center making industry contacts, taking notes at sessions and workshops, or producing the event-long livestream for a class, students find opportunity around every corner of the Music Industry Summit. Hear from two of those students below.

A group of students and a professor watch monitors and listen on headphones while livestreaming the Music Industry Summit

Walla and the students in her Multicamera Producing and Directing class monitor the livestream as other students run cameras inside sessions.

Mastering the art of production

A graduate student in Communication and Development Studies, Ann Natiom spent the event fine-tuning her producing and directing skills as part of the Multicamera Producing and Directing class taught by School of Media Arts and Studies assistant professor Andie Walla.

“She lets you explore creatively and she gives you the chance to make all the mistakes and then learn from them without feeling judged,” Natiom says of Walla and the class. “You're able to grow and develop your skills.”

They know the vocabulary, they know what needs to get done, and they can successfully execute any of the crew positions required for a livestream event.

Andie Walla, on students who complete her Multicamera Producing and Directing class

The 12 students enrolled in the class spent the semester learning how to record and produce livestreamed events in multiple formats. They applied what they learned throughout the semester at concerts, competitions, an awards dinner, and of course the two-day extravaganza that is the Music Industry Summit.

“I believe any student that successfully completed this course would be able to professionally livestream any event in a freelance capacity or working on another professional team,” Walla says. “They know the vocabulary, they know what needs to get done, and they can successfully execute any of the crew positions required for a livestream event.”

A group of people stand talking in a circle in a sunlit hallway

Students engaged with industry professionals (like artist manager Macy Gilbert, pictured speaking to a small group here) during mentoring sessions, presentations or as they made their way through Baker University Center.

Mixing beats and meeting minds

While the students in the livestreaming class are focusing on sound levels and video feeds, aspiring producers and artists spend their time at the Summit seizing every one of the many opportunities available to them. That might mean seeing a show, connecting with an industry professional in a mentoring session, or asking a professional musician (and fellow Bobcat) for advice on finding the best affordable synthesizer.

“You know, for college students, money is kind of tight,” explains junior Rylie Stopperich about the practical advice she received from acclaimed electronic musician and producer Brothertiger (John Jagos) during his session.

Rylie Stopperich poses, seated at a piano with her elbows resting on the top

A self-described "wearer of many hats," artist/producer/student-org-executive/Italian minor and music production and recording industry major Rylie Stopperich attended as many sessions as she could squeeze into the Music Industry Summit, plus the Monday night Bully/Craig Finn concert. "Just so cool" is how she describes her conversation with Brothertiger during his session.

Stopperich is a junior music production and recording industry major with minors in piano and Italian who volunteered at the summit in addition to catching eight sessions and the Bully/Craig Finn show.

“That was just so cool, to see someone so talented and so successful up there,” she says about the Brothertiger session. “He gave me really good recommendations because I want to start working with synths.”

Stopperich describes herself as a “wearer of many hats.” Those hats include musician and producer, as well as current vice president (and next year’s president) of the long-running student organization Women in the Music Industry (WIMI).

She makes the most of the opportunities in MDIA, having participated in the Music Production Master Class in Brooklyn with Joel Hamilton, which allowed her to see how attainable and desirable a career in music production really is.

Pictured from behind, two people sit in front of microphones

The Music Industry Summit welcomes media producers of all kinds.

A crowd is pictured from the back of a crowded auditorium and a student speaks into a mini-microphone in an aisle while being filmed

Students and professionals create content for the event itself or seize the opportunity to practice their skills.

Securing a career in music

The experiences Stopperich has had in the School of Media Arts and Studies so far have left her feeling “reassured and fully prepared” for what’s to come.

“[The younger version of myself] would point at me and be like, ‘That girl’s going to be famous,’” she says.

And when that happens, you know she’ll be coming back to sit on the other side of the mentoring session tables, along with the many other Bobcat alumni who do the same every year.