Athens, Ga. — David Barbe, who was named interim director of the University of Georgia’s Music Business Certificate Program last summer, has been appointed the program’s director on a permanent basis.
“David has directed the program since August 2010,” said Robert T. Sumichrast, dean of the Terry College of Business, where the Music Business Program is housed. “During that time, his enthusiasm for teaching, knowledge of the field, and the many contacts he has within the music industry have continued the program’s improvement.”
Sumichrast said Barbe’s appointment culminates a national search for a permanent director that included bringing three candidates, in addition to Barbe, to campus for interviews.
“The thing that excites me the most is having an opportunity to continue to work with students as they enter an industry that is changing so rapidly,” Barbe said. “They bring an undeniable energy to their creative and intellectual pursuits. They have the tremendous advantage of not being steeped in the disappearing old ways of the music industry and are poised to lead the business as it evolves. It is my honor to serve in helping to facilitate that evolution.”
In the eight months that Barbe has been directing the program, he hired recording engineer Tom Lewis as the program’s associate director and brought in Cracker lead singer David Lowery to teach the Fundamental Concepts in Music Business course this spring and continuing next fall.
About 100 students currently are enrolled in the certificate program, and another 75 students are taking the Introduction to Music Business course this spring. More than 150 students have graduated with Music Business Certificates since the program was started in 2006, and approximately 60 more are on pace to complete their certificate requirements this May.
Barbe has lived in Athens since 1981, when he came to UGA as a journalism student and played in several bands. 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. 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.
The Music Business Certificate Program prepares students for careers in the music industry. 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. In addition to guest lectures from prominent figures in the music business, students gain real–world music industry experience through internships with record labels, promoters, studios and other companies.