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Eastern Kentucky University students Tiffany Freibert, Louisville, Madison Harris, Olive Hill, and Max Stone, Lexington, were among 95 students nationally to receive the prestigious President’s Innovation Award at the recent National Association of Music Merchants Conference. The award helped pay for travel and provided them with additional education and networking activities while at NAMM.

In all, seven members of the EKU Music Industry Organization and the Audio Engineering Society attended the conference, held in Anaheim, California, Jan. 24-28. Other students attending were Robert Howell, Hayley Leigeb, Alexander Sparks and Albert Oberst. Accompanying the students to NAMM were Dr. Joseph Carucci, director of music industry, and Dr. Shane Hoose, director of recording arts.

The NAMM conference featured 1,500 exhibitors from around the world, including debuts of innovative products. Influential professionals from the music industry also attended the conference. The opportunity provided students and faculty the chance to interact and make connections with retailers, distributors, manufacturers, performers and representatives.

The group traveled as part of the College Music Society’s Generation Next program, which provides education opportunities for college students, including in-depth panel discussion and guest speaker presentations about doing business in today’s competitive market. The conference offered an additional TEC track that featured more than 70 sessions and workshops specifically designed for pro audio, recording, live sound, DJ, lighting and entertainment technology professionals.

The trip was partially funded by the Eastern Kentucky University School of Music and the School of Business.