MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WTVF) — Middle Tennessee State University faculty, students and alumni met in Las Vegas to celebrate and host events for the 64th annual Grammy Awards ceremony, which airs on Sunday.
The university had a seven-year streak of involvement with the ceremony, which it is now resuming after interruptions due to COVID-19 concerns. The Grammys were also rescheduled and relocated because of COVID.
“I’m pleased that our annual recognition of our alumni Grammy nominees and this amazing student learning experience is back on track,” said MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee. “It underscores our standing as a premier and accomplished music business institution.”
At least nine alumni of the university were nominated for Grammys this year, across genres including country, pop, bluegrass, Latin music and gospel.
The MGM Grand Conference Center also hosted the 31st annual MusiCares Person of the Year benefit gala, this year honoring legendary performer Joni Mitchell.
MTSU students Cole Arn, Kevon Cole, Breanna Beahler, Jolie Harper and Sam Long worked to prepare the room for a reception and silent auction to raise money for the charity arm of The Recording Academy. The evening also featured a dinner and tribute concert to Mitchell's impact on the music industry and the inspiration she has provided to artists over the years.
“Getting to go on this trip is the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Harper, a senior majoring in music business from Nashville, Tennessee. “I’m so thankful that MTSU has provided me with the chance to meet industry professionals, see Las Vegas and have an amazing experience with my peers — all at the same time.”
In 2019, national news outlets began recognizing MTSU for its more than 125 Grammy nominations and 37 wins by alumni, students and staff in the last two decades. It has been called a "Grammy-winner factory," and routinely lands among Billboard's list of top music business schools.
The university's opportunities for involvement in the 2022 ceremonies were secured through the industry connections of Media and Entertainment Dean Beverly Keel, Recording Industry Chair John Merchant and professor Matthew O'Brian.
“Experiences like these help our students better understand the inner workings of major entertainment events,” Keel said. “We show them how many of the elements for the industry’s biggest event come together and how things get done.”