David Barbe, a fixture of the Athens music scene and respected producer and engineer, has accepted an offer from the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business to become the interim director of the Music Business Certificate Program, effective immediately.
Barbe succeeds Bruce Burch, the program’s founding co-director who resigned in July to start a similar music management program at Kennesaw State University. Barbe will teach the two foundational courses of the certificate program, called Music Business I and II, offered in the fall and spring semesters, and he will administer the program, including hiring an assistant director, overseeing a very active internship program, and promoting the music business program to students, alumni, donors and music industry professionals.
"David came strongly recommended as someone who could step into this role immediately," said Robert T. Sumichrast, dean of the Terry College. "He is highly respected locally and nationally as a musician, engineer and studio owner. We are pleased that we were able to recruit someone with David’s reputation in the industry in such a short amount of time.
"Bruce put a strong foundation in place for what was a start-up program just four years ago," Sumichrast added. "The Terry College of Business, the Hodgson School of Music and the rest of the University of Georgia have supported this program. It’s a natural fit for this campus and this community, and we want to see it continue its rise to prominence."
In announcing Barbe’s interim appointment, Sumichrast said a full-fledged national search for a permanent director will be conducted on a less hurried schedule in the coming year and left open the possibility that Barbe could emerge as the best candidate out of a wider search.
Barbe has called Athens home since 1981 when he came to UGA as a journalism student and played in several bands, Mercyland and Buzz Hungry being the most notable. He began recording local bands while still a telecommunications major, which led to a job at John Keane Studios. Barbe assisted Keane on a number of projects by artists such as R.E.M. and Widespread Panic and began engineering his own roster of bands, including Harvey Milk, Jack-O-Nuts and the Rock-A-Teens.
Barbe became a touring musician again in the early 1990s when he joined Bob Mould of Husker Du fame to form Sugar, which recorded four albums between 1992 and 1995. Barbe continued freelance engineering while on the road. By 1997, he teamed up with Andy LeMaster and Andy Baker to open a new Athens studio, which continues to operate today as Chase Park Transduction. Barbe is co-owner, president and chief engineer of the full-service music recording studios.
Since opening Chase Park, Barbe has worked as a producer, engineer, writer and musician on hundreds of recording projects with even more artists, including Drive-By Truckers, Deerhunter, the Glands, Jerry Joseph, Amy Ray, k.d. lang, and R.E.M.
Barbe also serves on the board of Nuci’s Space, a non-profit resource center for musicians in Athens. He and his wife, Amy, have three children, and for the past 10 years he has volunteered as a Little League baseball coach in Athens, serving as the league’s president from 2006-08.
Founded in 2006, UGA’s Music Business Certificate Program is a privately funded academic program housed within the Terry College of Business. Students can earn an interdisciplinary certificate in music business by receiving a hands-on education about subjects like music and business fundamentals, copyright issues, creative content, artist management and production and technology. About 100 students were enrolled this past year in the certificate program, and another 75 students took the new Introduction to Music Business course last fall.