Hostos Community College Will Hold Next Note Music Conference Music Professionals and Insiders To Discuss the Future of the Music Industry with Students

The Next Note Music Conference, a forum which will allow college and high school students to meet and engage with music professionals to consider the future of the industry, is coming to Hostos Community College’s Repertory Theater on Friday, April 27, 2012.

Unlike traditional “top down” conferences where professionals dictate to aspiring artists what it takes to be successful, “Next Note” will engage students by empowering them to rethink and redesign the industry’s prospects.

The conference will feature a series of discussions on music performance, production, marketing and consumption. Artists, producers, record executives and critics will have a round table discussion about their career paths, current projects and their visions for the future. Students in music programs will then have a chance to lend their voices to the discussion about how they foresee the shape of the music industry.

Rees Shad, Hostos assistant professor of visual and performing arts, is the conference brainchild and organizer. Shad, who teaches audio production, said for years he has been mystified by the disconnect when he meets students who want to become audio engineers and record producers while expressing disdain for purchasing music.

“The irony of wanting to be involved in ‘the business’ while not finding it necessary to invest in it struck me as a uniquely 21st century quandary,” Shad said. “But as I have researched the history of the medium, I began to see that the future has always seemed bleak in the recording arts – from the earliest Edison phonographs threatening to put professional musicians out of work, to the danger of radio being the end of purchased music, on to the sharing of digital recordings making the music industry feel like a house of cards. Yet the music business has always had its visionaries who have repurposed the form and re-established enterprise.”

The conference will feature the following music industry professionals:

• Layla Angulo, a saxophonist, singer and band director whose music genres include funk, jazz, pop and salsa, and has written and recorded albums, which she has toured the world performing. Her first album, “Live at the Triple Door,” featured Angulo directing her 13-piece orchestra and performing the album’s hit single, “Que Te Vaya Bien.” She spent a year on tour with Reggaeton Superstar Don Omar and has also toured with Tito Puente Jr., The Sugarhorns (Beyonce’s horn players) and played with many other Grammy award-winning artists. She is currently working on her second CD of salsa, merengue and bachata to be released in June.

• John Arrucci is an acclaimed artist who has performed, composed and instructed for more than 25 years. His percussion work is featured on more than 70 recordings and on scores for films and television. He has performed and/or recorded with artists such as David Byrne, Livingston Taylor, Mariah Carey, The Brooklyn Philharmonic, Philip Glass Ensemble and Eddie Henderson. He recently completed his first solo album, “Metaphors.”

• Robert Baird, senior music editor for Stereophile magazine, has been writing in about the music industry for nearly 30 years. His interviews with some of the greatest minds in pop, classical and jazz have been relished by a huge audience and undoubtedly given insight into the creative process to thousands of readers. He has been first-hand to witness the sweeping changes in the industry in terms of production, marketing and distribution.

• Joseph Barnes is an award-winning percussionist who has shared the stage with the Fifth Dimension, Aretha Franklin, Santana and the Isley Brothers. He has worked with successful producers such as Lou Madell, Lamont Dozier, Gene Page and Warrin McRaye. Barnes founded the Bambara Drum and Dance Ensemble and recently began the music production company, Fullee Loaded Productions.

• Douglas Ford has been involved in many different roles in the music industry during the past 30 years. He is a talented musician, audio engineer and record producer. Ford has also been at the forefront of online media production and marketing since the 1990s. A founding partner in Promosquad/Hit Predictor, he played a major role in the early development of the social networking/media interconnection. Currently president of North America, he continues to discover the depths of online interaction and media.

• Rich McKeown is the founder and president of KoolKidz Television & Publishing LLC. Founded in 2005, KoolKidz has garnered more than 80 Film Festival selections and awards around the world. He is also a talented musician and composer who has scored sound tracks for other filmmakers. He is currently producing the first KoolKidz music documentary, American Beatboxer, shot in Brooklyn NY, chronicling Hip Hop history in filming the first ever American Beatboxing Championship.

• Duncan Stanbury, a mastering engineer and composer, has made an indelible imprint on popular music, working on many major albums including JayZ’s breakout multi-platinum recording, “Reasonable Doubt” and Shirley Horn’s 1998 Grammy winning recording, “I Remember Miles.” Stanbury received gold recorded for mastering recordings for Lil Jon and the Eastside Boyz, Big L and Peter Gunz & Lord Tariq.

“The most impressive and successful men and women that I know defined their destinies early in life – deciding that they would dedicate themselves not to becoming a part of an industry, but to redefining it and playing according to a new set of rules that made more sense to them.” Shad said in explaining why he decided to organize this conference. “I find that they were inspired to approach problems this way by being empowered by mentors and families who put the oars in their hands at an early age.”

Shad said the Next Note Music Conference seeks to introduce students to the conversation of what the future can be in a way which engages the students in beginning the conversation and seeds that conversation with supportive insights along the way. He added that the conference would introduce an audience of music students to a group of professionals making changes in the way they do business – rethinking the enterprise of music – but then discuss where these methods can go next.

The Next Note Music Conference is sponsored by The Hostos Digital Programs, which introduces students to the world of professional media design by offering AAS degrees in digital design animation, music production, audio engineering and game design; The Hostos Audio Engineer Society, The Hostos Radio Club and The Ravenfox Fund.

Conference tickets can be purchased in advance for $10 at the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture website: or at the Repertory Theater box office, 450 Grand Concourse. Tickets will also be sold for $12 at the box office on the day of the event.

About Hostos Community College

Eugenio María de Hostos Community College, part of The City University of New York (CUNY) system, was founded in 1968.  In addition to associate degree programs that facilitate easy transfer to CUNY’s four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions, Hostos also has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies that offers courses for professional development and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. In four decades, Hostos has grown from a class of 623 in the fall of 1970 to the spring 2012 enrollment of over 7,000 students.  The college also serves an additional 10,000 students through its Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies. For more news and stories about Hostos Community College, visit

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