Six Chadron State College students attended the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) show in Anaheim, Calif., in late January. The students were Patrick Cassidy of Scottsbluff, Joe Cline of Morrill, Leslie Hopton of Sundance, Wyo., Gabe Ramos and Alex Rawlings of Chadron and Jake Voorhis of Fort Valley, Va. Music Assistant Professor Dr. McKay Tebbs accompanied the group.
Cassiday and Rawlings each earned $600 one-time cash scholarships to support their travel needs and expenses to the show. The criteria included a grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale and current enrollment in a music program.
The CSC students participated in professional development networking and toured the exhibit hall with more than 2,000 vendors, dozens of concerts and other special events.
Cline, a senior who hopes to attend graduate school at the University of Northern Colorado, said NAMM reinforces the importance of professional networking.
“In my opinion, going to NAMM is the most important thing we do. Being personable and being able to network is just as important as performing,” said Cline, who has attended NAMM four times.
Rawlings said he made a point to be productive at NAMM this time, after being overwhelmed and excited his first year. He introduced himself, in person, to a music professional he conducted a Skype interview with last year as follow-up assignment for Tebbs’ class. He met a wood manager with a degree in sculpture who works for Bedell Guitars and other music industry professionals.
“NAMM is an excellent environment to hone your networking skills,” Rawlings said.
Cassidy said he enjoyed the opportunity to play guitars and getting to know the people who made them.
“You’re surrounded by people who love what they do. It’s priceless,” he said.