The Sessions Panel Advises SPC MIRA Students

The Sessions Panel

St. Petersburg College’s Music Industry Recording Arts program welcomed The Sessions panel to The Palladium on Tuesday, Feb. 27 to speak to students, staff and the community about what it takes –besides musical talent – to make it in the music business.

The Sessions at MIRA

The Sessions is an interactive presentation that sharpens the business skills of aspiring artists through discussion of topics such as contract negotiations, entertainment law, marketing, self-promotion, social media and artist relations.

The Sessions panel consisted of:

• Tampa-based entertainment attorney Paul Quin
• Saturday Night Live band vocalist and musicologist Christine Ohlman
• Rick Drumm, President of Traction Business Coaching
• Carlos Guzman, a production and tour manager
• Ray Luzier, drummer for Korn
• Bobby Rossi, Executive Vice President of Entertainment Ruth Eckerd Hall, Capitol Theatre & Ruth Eckerd on the Road
• Twenty-two-time Grammy winner, NEA Jazz Master and 2017 Downbeat Readers’ Poll Artist of the Year Chick Corea

Armando Roldan is a Jazz Performance and Music Education major at SPC. Roldan, a bass player, got the opportunity to jam onstage during the event.

“It was nice to support some of the high school musicians and play with instrumentalists of all levels,” he said.

Roldan said the event was beneficial to him on many levels.

“As a working musician, I sometimes get lost in the creativity and forget that I am my “production team” as well,” he said. With the added knowledge, I have already booked performances at venues I didn’t think I could.”

Roldan said seeing Corea perform with his wife, Gayle Moran, then actually meeting him, was incredible.

“After hearing his insider tricks, it was amazing to have the opportunity to speak with him backstage and see how humble he is as a person, even though his is one of the most influential living jazz artists.”

Blake Herrick, originally from Minneapolis, came to Mira after a stint in corporate America. He will finish the MIRA program in May, with an emphasis on Music Composition.

“When you have people from the industry speaking from experience, it’s so valuable. Any insight I can get from their journey is welcome knowledge,” he said.

Herrick is also a personal trainer, and he said the knowledge he has gained from the MIRA program is helpful even outside the music industry.

“All the skills I’ve learned in the MIRA program are applicable to entrepreneurship in any form.”

Derrell Parrot will finish the MIRA program in May with a focus in Music Production. She was looking for tips on how to get a job. She said she found The Sessions to be very informative.

“It was nice to get support and knowledge from industry experts,” Parrot said. “I liked hearing from Christine Olman, because I felt it was important for me to hear from a woman, especially being in a male-dominated field of Music Production.”

Parrot was grateful to learn about things that she found relevant to her own career, including social media, branding and how to set goals.

“I just want to say thank you to (event organizer) Rosaria Pipitone and SPC for allowing this kind of workshop for the students,” Parrot said.

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