NYC’s Stuyvesant High School hosts 2024 SHOF Master Session with diverse panel of music industry experts

A diverse panel of music industry experts including Wes Richardson (Specialist, A&R/Marketing at °1824/UMG), Michelle Locke (Manager, College Relations and Strategic Partnerships at °1824/UMG), Patrick Wimberly (songwriter at UMPG), and Tom Lee (VP, A&R at Arcade Songs) dropped in to a SHOF Master Session on March 9th. Hosted by Harold Stephan (producer, songwriter and Stuyvesant HS Music Educator / 2024 Grammy Music Educator Award quarterfinalist), the session was part of the All-City Modern Music Project – a program enabling students to write, record, and perform original and cover songs in popular musical genres, currently taking place on Saturday mornings at NYC's Stuyvesant High School.
The session began with a presentation from Michelle Locke and Wes Richardson. Locke emphasized the power of grassroots marketing and authentic fan engagement for emerging artists – and highlighted the need for a strong, personal connection with fans, established through live interactions such as university gigs and meet-and-greets, alongside a significant digital presence. Richardson discussed the modern A&R approach, focusing on the balance between artistic quality and market potential, using data analysis. His advice to artists underlined the importance of embracing a wide range of musical genres and adapting to the industry's evolution.
There was a second presentation about music publishing led by Tom Lee. Lee offered advice on the significance of collaboration and networking for songwriters and producers, advocating for continuous practice and exploring diverse techniques to refine their craft. Dylan Prince from UMPG added to this segment by discussing the evolving role of music publishing, stressing the importance of viewing songwriting as a collaborative effort, leveraging global opportunities, and understanding the business aspects of the industry to navigate its complexities effectively.
Two song workshop segments were led by Patrick Wimberly, best known as being one-half of the synth-pop duo Chairlift. Wimberly provided feedback on student songwriting, emphasizing the value of unique storytelling and emotional connection in music. The feedback provided by Patrick Wimberly and other panelists to student songwriters underscored a crucial message: the essence of music lies not just in technical proficiency but in the ability to convey emotions and stories that resonate with listeners.
A special thanks to Dylan Prince (Assistant, A&R Publishing at UMPG) for his assistance in coordinating the Master Session.

The SHOF Master Sessions at Stuyvesant program has hosted events for NYC public school students highlighting both the business and creative sides of the music industry since 2018, with past sessions featuring John Hampson, Paul Umbach, Alex Da Kid, Michael Uzowuru, Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins, Nija Charles, TBHits, Sam Ashworth, Denzel Baptiste & David Biral p/k/a Take A Daytrip, Khari “Needlz” Cain, Steven Van Zandt, Steve Greenberg, Mark Hudson, Samantha Cox, Leyla Blue, Maude Latour, Laundry Day, Pom Pom, Mike Campbell, Billy Mann, Gregg Wattenberg and Rich Christina.