The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday January 28th

Interning in Nashville: Priceless

Student gives credit to music industry.

But UNC sophomore David Krusch has a MasterCard advertisement to thank for what he describes as the experience of a lifetime.

After seeing a commercial advertising a summer music program sponsored by MasterCard, Krusch decided on a whim to submit an application essay online.

"I wrote a 250-word essay about the music industry at 4 a.m. one morning last year," he said.

"I was really surprised when I got picked."

The essay challenged applicants to submit a business idea for the music industry.

In his essay, Krusch proposed an online radio station that would buy national airtime to play music by new artists.

"I think the Web site would be a good idea," he said. "It's a way to get music heard."

Krusch was chosen from about 17,000 applicants to be one of 50 participants in the MasterCard Priceless Edge Program -- an all-expense-paid five-week summer music experience in Nashville, Tenn.

The program and airfare were included, and participants received $1,000 in spending money.

"They treated us like royalty for five weeks," Krusch said.

"It was like a dream."

The program, run in conjunction with the MTV show "Music in High Places," gave students the chance to learn about the music business through classes taught by music professors and industry professionals.

"It was like six hours each day of intensive music training," Krusch said.

"We got to learn pretty much anything you could ever want to know."

Krusch said the classes, which were held at Belmont College, focused on all aspects of the music industry -- from how to produce a compact disc to understanding copyright law.

The program also incorporated a variety of out-of-class experiences where students had the opportunity to learn about the music business first hand.

On one such trip, music artist Alanis Morissette's manager invited the program participants to a music festival in Atlanta where Krusch had the opportunity to meet the singer.

But Krusch said the highlight of the summer was performing in a famous Nashville recording studio.

"We got to play drums in the same room where U2 and Johnny Cash recorded," he said.

Though the program focused only the business side of music, Krusch is also interested in performing.

He has been an avid musician for 10 years and plays snare drum in the UNC Marching Tar Heels.

Matt Savage, director of marching percussion and hand drum specialist at UNC, said he was not surprised Krusch was selected for the program.

"I knew that (Krusch) was one of many people to be chosen for this, and it really didn't surprise me," Savage said.

"It sounds like it was a successful summer."

Savage said that Krusch has greatly improved during his two years in marching band and displays a strong commitment to music.

For Krusch, music is an integral part of life, and he said he hopes to someday work in the music industry.

In the meantime, he said he will continue playing in the marching band and is also trying to start his own funk band.

"I've always played drums in some way, even if it was just banging on the floor," he said.

"(Music) is the only thing that keeps me grounded."

Krusch said he thinks the summer was an invaluable opportunity and will continue to pursue a career in music.

"I want my music to make me happy and maybe touch somebody else," he said.

"There's no other thing I'd rather do."

To nominate someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the University community to be a Star Heel, e-mail features@unc.edu.

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