Middle Tennessee State University’s Department of Recording Industry honored alumni and LANCO members Chandler Baldwin, Jared Hampton and Eric Steedly for their outstanding accomplishments and excellence in artistic expression on Wednesday, April 17, at BMI in Nashville. MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee presented certificates honoring Baldwin, (Class of 2014), Hampton, (Class of 2014), and Steedly, (Class of 2013).
“I can honestly say I can attribute a lot of what has happened to me and us to being at MTSU. I am forever thankful for that,” Steedly told the crowd.
Added Hampton, “We call it the incubator. It is where everyone grows, meets and can network. That is what MTSU was for us, so I am forever thankful.”
The three met while in college and joined LANCO before graduating, and would go on to win the ACM for New Vocal Group of the Year in 2019.
“This is extra special to MTSU because Pete Fisher, who is the CEO of the Academy of Country Music, is also one of our graduates. So we have an outstanding alum honoring other outstanding alums,” said Beverly Keel, chair of the Department of Recording Industry.
“I am really thankful for the audio production program at MTSU,” Baldwin said. “It was great to learn practical ways to advance in the music industry that we have legitimately used. When we are having some band discussions or meetings, we will bring up some things we have learned, like, ‘We should do it this way.’ I am thankful to MTSU for giving me that foundation.”
Keel said the three are serving as wonderful role models for MTSU students.“They recently released the single ‘Rival,’ which is the first song from their upcoming second album,” she said. “The song is about grit and dedication, which captures the spirit of so many of our students, who are scrappy, hard working and driven by their passion for music. The song’s message is, no matter who you are and where you are from, be proud of that. Be yourself and take pride in creating your own path.
“Like Chandler, Jared and Eric, our students aren’t going to let anything stop them from pursuing their dreams of having a career in music. They are changing lives with their music, inspiring our students, and serving as great role models and ambassadors for MTSU,” Keel concluded.
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