Belmont University faculty and alumni, as well as many Nashville music industry luminaries, welcomed Belmont alumnus Doug Howard as the new dean of the Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business during a reception held at Music Row’s historic Columbia Studio A on Wednesday, Jan. 21.
Belmont president Bob Fisher first addressed the audience, reminding them of Howard’s academic and music industry achievements. Howard earned his undergraduate degree from Belmont in 1979, and went on to earn his JD from George Washington University School of Law, and his MBA at Vanderbilt. Early on, Howard served as a song plugger and studio manager for Welk Music Group. Following law school, he served as VP/GM at Polygram, and later as Sr. VP of A&R at Lyric Street Records/Walt Disney Company. He recently founded Vandermont Music Group.
Howard fills a position held for nearly 10 years by Wes Bulla. Among those in attendance were Bulla, Belmont trustee and alumnus Mark Wright, the first dean of the Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business Jim Van Hook, as well as Ricky Skaggs, Don Cusic, Harry Chapman, Sarah Cates, and James Elliott.
Howard mentioned the growth projections for the Curb College of Music Business & Entertainment department, including plans to reach into every aspect of entertainment, including film.
“This is really full-circle for me,” said Howard. “I was fortunate to meet some great mentors when I attended Belmont, including Robert Mulloy.”
It was noted that the department has seen incredible enrollment growth, from 600 students when the major first began, 2200 majors this year. He was also realistic about the current stage of the music industry and hopeful for its future. “The industry is struggling, but it is changing and our students will be helping to lead the charge,” said Howard.
Howard has maintained his Belmont ties through the years, serving as the chair of the Advisory Board of the Curb College and as a member of the William G. Hall Scholarship Committee. Additionally, he serves on the Advisory Council for the Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University, the Board of the Tennessee Shakespeare Festival and the Nashville Board of Governors of the Recording Academy.
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