Ferris music industry management (MIM) students escaped the restraints of Big Rapids, and attend the 2017 NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA.
The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) was founded in 1901, and since has transformed into an international association comprised of over 10,000 commercial companies, distributors and manufacturers. The NAMM Show is the music industry’s largest trade-only event for music products and merchandise. The show is a combination of business, education, introduction of new technology and exclusive live performances. Over 100,000 attendees representing 120 countries gathered at the Anaheim Convention Center from Jan. 19-22 for this musical equipment extravaganza.
Attendance to the show is restricted to owners, suppliers, endorsed artists and guests of NAMM Show companies. The Ferris MIM program is endorsed and sponsored by NAMM. This year, 21 students represented Ferris State at the show. Twelve of those students were awarded the NAMM Foundation- President’s Innovation Award, a scholarship to assist with travel, lodging and registration costs.
The association’s mission is to strengthen the music products industry and promote the pleasures and benefits of making music,” said Joe Lamond, NAMM President and CEO since 2001.
The show offers students professional networking opportunities, an expansion of their knowledge of the music industry, meet famous artists and try out an endless list of instruments, recording equipment, sound gear, software, synthesizers, etc. The experiences at the NAMM Show cannot be represented in a classroom like they are at the convention.
Ferris music industry management senior Zachary Kidder attended the show for his second time.
“In the first year I gathered a lot of information through these sessions and I left with a bigger head than I came in with,” Kidder said. He added, “This year I came in thinking I new something and realizing how vast the knowledge base really is, and felt like I knew nothing.”
Kidder utilized his time on the trip to speak with distributors of bass and synthesizer products, equipment that specifically interests him.
Ferris music industry management senior Megan Polisuk-Balfour had the opportunity to meet one of her music idols: Mary Wilson of The Supremes.
“I got there early so I was in line first and she’s super nice. We talked about being from Detroit and realized we both had a lot in common!” said Balfour.
Other famous guest artists and performers of the weekend included, but not limited to Stevie Wonder, Richie Ramone, Bob Weir, Bernie Williams, Pierce The Veil, Walk The Moon and members of Rancid, Mastodon, Testament, Black Label Society and Lamb of God.
While on the show room floor, Balfour experienced a virtual reality-recording studio exhibit.
“I went into a virtual reality recording studio at the Audio Fusion exhibit. I put on goggles and entered a 3D recording studio, so it felt like I was in a real recording studio, but I actually wasn’t,” said Balfour.
Ferris music industry management sophomore Carla Hendershot gained a greater understanding on the complexity of producing electric music.
“I definitely have a new appreciation for artists, particularly DJs and EDM artists. There is so much technology that goes into recording music, specifically electronic music, such as synthesizers, harmonizers, programming and software,” said Hendershot.
Hendershot stated current and future MIM students should use their opportunity to attend next year’s NAMM show, regardless of career path.
“Even if you’re not thinking of a career in music products you never know what opportunities await you there,” said Hendershot.