Sony/ATV Nashville’s A&R Team Adds Four

Pictured (clockwise, from top left): Dane Schmidt, Katie Kerkhover, Stephen Denninger, Laura Castillo

Sony/ATV Nashville has added four new team members to its creative staff. Dane Schmidt joins Sony/ATV as Creative Director, Katie Kerkhover joins as Creative Manager, Stephen Denninger joins as Creative Coordinator, and Laura Castillo joins as A&R Assistant.

Schmidt comes to Sony/ATV from Tree Vibez Music, where he oversaw daily operations.

Kerkhover previously worked as an A&R consultant at CAM Creative. She also toured as a fiddle player for several artists, including Sara Evans and Billy Currington.

Denninger is a 2016 Belmont graduate and comes to Sony/ATV from Universal Music Publishing.

Castillo is a soon-to-be Belmont graduate and has interned with Sony/ATV for the past year, working in both the Administrative and Creative offices.

Dane, Katie, and Stephen join veteran A&R team members Josh Van Valkenburg, Terry Wakefield, Tom Luteran, and Hannah Williams. Their responsibilities will include pitching Sony/ATV’s vast catalog of songs, managing the day-to-day schedules of their writers, and signing new talent to Sony/ATV’s exceptional roster of writers and artists. Laura is responsible for assisting all members of the A&R team.

The four new additions will report to Senior Vice President Josh Van Valkenburg, who oversees the A&R team in Nashville.

Van Valkenburg says, “Dane, Katie, Stephen, and Laura bring another level of energy, excitement, and experience to our team. They are passionate about songwriters, and we are thrilled to have them join our family!”


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Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at

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