Top of the beat returns to Terra State with musical artists and clinics

FREMONT — For two years, there has been an empty spot on Terra State Community College’s April schedule as COVID-19 concerns forced the college to cancel the Midwest Rhythm Summit.

On Friday, the summit picked up where it left off in 2019, with a full day of clinics and evening concerts featuring a diverse group of nationally and locally acclaimed performers and clinicians from all walks of life. music industry.

Summit co-founder Tom Bowlus said he was thrilled with the quality of clinics and concerts at this year’s Midwest Rhythm Summit, which runs through Saturday night at Terra State.

Organizers cut the summit from three days to two

Bowlus said organizers condensed the summit from three days to two and worked hard to bring in people from diverse backgrounds.

The Midwest Rhythm Summit kicked off Friday morning at Terra State Community College's Recital Hall.  A full schedule of evening clinics and concerts was planned for the summit, which returned to the Terra State campus for the first time since 2019.

“We tried to get high-quality clinics and sessions and keep everything on track,” Bowlus said ahead of Friday’s premiere clinic, “Jobs in the Music Industry.”

Friday’s summit schedule included a full slate of clinics followed by scheduled evening concerts with The Together Band and My World.

Tom Lees, electrical engineer and guitarist in a country band, is a registered patent attorney and a member of the Ohio State Bar Association.

Lees appeared on the Jobs in the Music Industry panel and spoke about his “parallel turmoil” as an intellectual property rights attorney who works with musicians, recording studios, instrument makers and music companies. other entities.

He told the crowd in the Terra State recital hall that they never knew who they would meet or reunite with in the music industry.

“Everything will come back”

“Treat everyone kindly, treat everyone well because it’s all going to come back,” Lees said.

Fremont native Sunni Brandon, professional songwriter Allen Salmon and bassist John Montalbano joined Lees as speakers at the summit’s first clinic.

Michael Czeczele, director of music arts and technology at Terra State and co-founder of the summit, asked Brandon to tell high school and college students at Friday’s clinic how she got into the music business and how Terra State helped prepare.

Sunni Brandon, a Fremont native and 2020 Terra State Community College graduate, was one of four speakers at the Midwest Rhythm Summit's

Brandon, a sales engineer at Fort Wayne, Indiana-based Sweetwater Music Instruments and Pro Audio, said his father applied to Sweetwater 20 years ago but had never worked for the company.

She said he encouraged her to consider Sweetwater and that she applied to the company while attending Terra State.

The next day, a member of Sweetwater’s human resources department contacted her, and the rest was history.

Brandon ‘succeeded’ thanks to his Terra State background

“I succeeded because of the things I learned here,” Brandon said.

Brandon said her experience in bands, including Terra State’s Fusion Ensemble, has also helped her in her current job, where bands contact Sweetwater and ask about musical equipment.

Salmon told clinic visitors that there are always plenty of music publishing jobs available, even during a recession.

He told the crowd that building relationships and not burning bridges was key to the industry.

The summit continues Saturday with a full day of clinics, followed by concerts beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Terra State Student Activity Center.

Fremont’s Stranger than Fiction, which features band members Czeczele and Bowlus, is set to open for Los Angeles Band Dig Infinity, with headliner Crystal Bowersox to cap off the night.

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