MTSU faculty and alumni are once again in illustrious company for their roles in musical performances nominated for the 54th Grammy Awards, which will be announced on Sunday, Feb. 12.
Eight alumni and/or former recording-industry students are nominated for their work on musical releases ranging from country to contemporary Christian to bluegrass. Music by 14 current and former MTSU School of Music professors is included in the catalog that earned a classical Producer of the Year nomination for Blanton Alspaugh. “What makes this most satisfying is that we’re showing a level of consistency and expanding in these categories,” said Dr. Loren Mulraine, chair of MTSU’s Department of Recording Industry. “When you start expanding into other areas of the industry, it shows a depth and breadth in your program, and that’s most exciting for us. “Success breeds success, and we expect to see success on an ongoing basis.” The MTSU-trained student nominees and their categories include: Best Country Album: Hillary Scott (recording-industry major, 2004-06), member of Lady Antebellum, for “Own the Night”; Brandon Epps (RIM major, 1996-2001), engineer for “My Kinda Party” by Jason Aldean; Jason Hall (B.S. 2000), engineer for “Chief” by Eric Church; Clarke Schleicher (B.S. ’80 and 2011 winner), engineer for “Own the Night”; and Brandon Schexnayder (B.S. ’05), engineer for “Here for a Good Time” by George Strait;
· Best Country Song: Dave Barnes (B.S. ’00), writer of “God Gave Me You,” performed by Blake Shelton;Best Contemporary Christian Music Album: Brandon Heath (B.U.S. ’03), “Leaving Eden”;
· Best Contemporary Christian Music Song: Heath, performer and co-writer of “Your Love”;
· Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance: Heath for “Your Love”; andBest Engineered Non-Classical Album: Brandon Bell (B.S. ’04), co-engineer on "Follow Me Down" by Sarah Jarosz. Among his other credentials, classical nominee Alspaugh produced “Osterfield: Rocky Streams” by MTSU School of Music faculty members Paul Osterfield and Todd Waldecker. The CD also features performances by current music professors Don Aliquo, Michael Arndt, Sandra Arndt, Deanna R. Little, David Loucky, Tim Pearson, Dewayne Pigg, Stephen Smith and William Yelverton and former School of Music faculty members James Douglass, Caleb Harris and Maya Stone. "We’re very pleased to see that a recording by School of Music professor Paul Osterfield was included in producer Blanton Alspaugh’s Grammy nomination and that another 12 of our music faculty members helped the music come to life as performers," said Dr. George Riordan, director of MTSU's School of Music. "This international recognition of the artistry of our MTSU professors as composer and performers is another milestone in the development of the School of Music as a national player, and we congratulate all of those involved, our faculty members and producer Alspaugh."
The Grammy Awards ceremony will be broadcast live from Staples Center in Los Angeles on CBS on Feb. 12 beginning at 7 p.m. CST.