Author: Keith Perissi
Contact: Bruce Burch


Athens, Ga. - Widespread Panic's Sunny Ortiz and Dr. Arvin Scott will be speaking to UGA's Music Business Program students for the first class of fall semester on Aug 16th at the Melting Point. Ortiz and Scott's lecture and performance will be held from 3:30 pm - 4:45 pm. At 6:00 pm Ortiz and Scott will be performing their interactive community drumming show "BEAT THE DRUM" - in which the audience is encouraged to drum along side Sunny and Dr. Scott. Door prizes are provided by Dr. Scott from Latin Percussion, Sabian Cymbals and Vic Firth. All proceeds after expenses benefit Drumming for Success youth program.

In a world of instant anything and disposable everything, Widespread Panic stands apart. The notion of a band surviving for more than two decades, continually thriving and creating vital music, is almost unheard of in this age of digital sound bites, corporate radio, and pretty video faces. One thing about Panic, they do things on their own terms. The music these six men make has earned them accolades in nearly every major music magazine, but it's their revolutionary business model that's led to features in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Variety, CNN, Billboard Magazine, CNBC and Fortune Magazine.

There's no way John Bell could have predicted this life when he began playing guitar with band namesake, Michael "Panic" Houser, back in 1981; and he probably never thought this far down the line when they started the band in 1986 at the University of Georgia with bassist Dave Schools and drummer Todd Nance, eventually joining up with percussionist Domingo "Sunny" Ortiz and keyboardist Jojo Hermann.

Dr. Arvin Scott is an award-wining, multi-instrumentalist, composer, motivational, youth program founder/director, and university professor with a track record that spans nearly 40 years. He draws from his wealth of experience in classic RandB, jazz, African, Caribbean, and Brazilian genres and more, in the production of his unique, and infectious World Beat. He has recording credits on Widespread Panic at the Classic Center CD. Other selected highlights include featured performing artist/instructor at multi Grammy-Award winner, Roy aka "Futureman" Wooten's (of Bela Fleck and the Fleck Tones) World Music Camp at Camp Garner, as well as many other prestigious credits.

Dr. Scott was on the faculty at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston before he moved to his present home in Athens, GA where he has taught at the University of Georgia's Hugh Hodgson School of Music since 1991. Dr. Scott currently balances full-time teaching at the University of Georgia with concert performances, his Drumming for Success youth program, his private teaching studio, clinics, master classes and workshops at public schools, universities, and community agencies including the Boys and Girls Clubs and Head Start programs. He is presently producing and recording his most ambitious project, "Dr. Scott's World Beat Orchestra" and will be available The album has a projected release date of Fall 2007.

UGA's Music Business Program began in January 2006 as an interdisciplinary certificate program organized and operated by the University's Terry College of Business and the Hugh Hodgson School of Music in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. Students take seven classes, a mix of basic business and music courses, including the music business I and II courses designed by co-directors Steve Dancz and Bruce Burch.

In addition to guest lectures from prominent figures in the music industry, students gain realworld music industry experience through externships with record labels, promoters, studios and other entertainment companies. Students are also asked to find local artists with potential and promote them through their student-run record labels.