The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Creative directors create concert atmosphere

Whether it is for a good cause or simply for fun, live concerts and music festivals bring floods of people to one place with a unified emotional connection. Over the past year Starkville has seen a wide diversity of top-notch musicians play packed shows in venues all across town. 

In order for this to happen, a lot of work happens behind the scenes. Music Maker Productions is one of the main groups on campus working hard to bring the best live music to Mississippi State University. A peek into the minds of the executive board will show the passion and hard work that drives the organization. 

Hailing from Gulfport, Miss., Sarah Margaret Hewes, a senior history major, serves as student director of Music Maker Productions. Hewes’s laundry list of favorite artists ranges from The White Stripes to Frank Ocean to Manchester Orchestra. She said her appreciation for diversity translated into her goals for the past year with Music Makers. 

“One of my main goals was to be diverse when it came to booking bands, and I definitely think we hit that mark,” Hewes said. “This year we had a show in every single venue available to us, and I am really proud of that and think that says a lot about our dedication to bringing different size and genre shows to MSU.” 

Music Makers certainly delivered this year bringing in artists such as Fun., 2Chainz, The Neighbourhood and Sidewalk Prophets. Due to their hard work and dedication, the 2Chainz show was the first sold out show in the past six years of Music Makers’ concerts. Hewes said she was overjoyed by the success of the concert.

“The moment we sold out 2 Chainz was probably the proudest I have been in my entire life. Music Makers are the hardest bunch of people you are going to find, and it is because of this we were able to reach and surpass goals we had set as an organization this year,” Hewes said.

Hewes has a solid group of chairs who work with her and share a passion and drive. 

Olivia Munn, the Artist Relations Chair, comes from Gulfport. 

Munn, a junior majoring in business administration, said she focused her aim on an experience true to our state.

“One goal that I set for this year was to really make the hospitality experience the best it can be for the artists. For example, we tried to get every little thing for them that will make their experience better at MSU,” Munn said. “We’ve done things like providing the artists with special MSU items such as MSU ice cream and an MSU cheese ball.” 

Will West, a senior majoring in business management in finance, said his favorite bands include the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Led Zeppelin, Gary Clark Jr and The Kings of Leon. 

West, a Columbus native, headed up the marketing campaigns as Publicity Chairman for the past year. Through Facebook, Twitter, posters, word of mouth and other forms of advertisement, West focused on doing whatever it took to sell out a concert. He said it was a collaborative effort that led to the 2Chainz concert’s success.

 “Thanks to everyone in this organization and the students of MSU, we were able to sell out our 2 Chainz show, which was really rewarding,” West said. 

Margaret Bernheim, also a Gulfport native, rounds out the group and serves as Ticketing Chair. Bernheim, a junior majoring in psychology, said she aimed for efficiency in her department, but shared the same goal of bringing diversity.

“Aside from my exec position, I think our main goal as a whole this year was to bring diversity to Starkville,” Bernhiem said. “I think this was pretty well accomplished because we brought a Grammy-winning pop group, a rapper, a Christian artist and an up-and-coming alternative band.”

Bernheim said she also looks forward to training the next group of board members and helping them disprove the stereotypes that have been attached to Music Makers over the past few years. 

“I want people to see that we’re just normal, approachable students who all share the love of live music,” she said. 

Music Makers recently held an event called ‘Meet the Music Makers’ where students were encouraged to stop by the Dawg House and get to know the members of the organization. Other members of Music Makers include: Will Alexander, Jacob Bennett, Bonnie Brumley, Drew Carter, Alex Coats, Justin Cooper, Nadia Elalighe, Thomas Fitzner, Hunter Friday, Lauren Guisinger, Olivia Lunsford, Alissa McKinnon, Theresa Mensi, Clayton Waller, Morgan Wilson and Emily Wright.

This hardworking group of music buffs seek to continue bringing the best live music to MSU’s campus in the years to come. Students who are interested in joining Music Makers, applications can be found on their website. The process is not easy, but the experience will have lasting positive effects. Hewes, who will be getting her masters in music business at New York University, explained, “It is definitely tough, but well worth it.”

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Creative directors create concert atmosphere