A career in the entertainment industry won’t be as difficult to come by thanks to a new program at Brenau University.
Bruce Burch, a successful Nashville, Tenn., songwriter and publisher, will be developing a new entertainment and events management curriculum at Brenau this fall.
Burch said he’ll begin teaching classes in January, but expects the program to be in full swing this
time next year.
Burch previously founded music business programs at the University of Georgia and Kennesaw State University. He has operated his own publishing companies of hit songs and worked for EMI, a major music publishing company in Nashville, and worked as an artist manager.
As a songwriter he co-wrote two No. 1 singles for Reba McEntire and several top hits for other artists.
“Bruce Burch is the real deal,” said Bill Lightfoot, dean of the College of Business and Mass Communication, in a media release. “Not only will (he) be able to deliver course content that will be relevant and practical for those considering a career in the entertainment industry, but also he will be able to help generate internships and other work opportunities for our students so they can gain much needed real-world experience while they complete their studies.”
The program will be located in the business department but will be available to students who major in music, broadcasting and communications, theater and dance.
The program will teach students to manage sports, entertainment and music.
Burch said the entertainment industry is changing, and sports, music, film and technology are intermingling more. A student who begins by studying music business may end up in film or sports management.
The students will learn to prepare for their careers by studying the different facets of managing a “human product” and event planning.
The program’s major practicum will take place at the annual John Jarrard Foundation concert, hosted by the university. This year, Burch selected dozens of students to help manage and set up the event.
“I think the key to getting a job in this industry is getting real-world, hands-on exposure to the business. You can’t teach this in a classroom, you’ve got to get out there and get involved,” Burch said.
By getting involved, students will be able to make important contacts within the entertainment industry, another key component of a successful career in entertainment.
Burch will bring plenty of guest speakers to the campus to talk to students and share their paths to success.
“There is no one road you go down that you can say this is how you do it. There are many ways of achieving success in this industry,” Burch said.
Students may be surprised to learn about the number of opportunities in the entertainment business, Burch said.
“Every town almost now is an entertainment center in some way,” he said. “Every town has their museums, their arts councils, they’re doing concerts in small towns and other events. This will help someone who wants to go into nonprofits because so much of that is fundraising, which is events, which is entertainment.”