Professor invents music management company

Samantha Villanueva
Staff writer

Jeffrey James, a fresh on the scene singer from Indiana, can now say he has a very connection to Murray State, courtesy of a new music management program.

The Wray Management Group, which is based here in the University, was started by David Wray and music management majors.

Wray, director for music business, said the music initiative started out with an offer from an unexpected source.

“Last year, one of the contestants from America’s Got Talent came to me to see if I would manage her and although I did not follow through with (the offer), it did get my gears going with it,” he said.

Wray, who has 17 years of managing country and pop groups, said the group came together with the help of students and faculty.

He said a few students from some of his classes came up to him and asked to do some sort of outside-of-class practice.

The students were hand selected by Wray and handle all the social media deals and booking. Currently, there are eight students working with James, promoting concerts and fan wear.

Wray said the interest aspect of the music program is high due to the benefits the students receive by taking part in the program.

“Although we do have a small group, I do often get applications to join the program,” he said. “Since we only have one client at the moment, though, the necessity to have a high number of participants is not really important.”

Wray said the students who are part of the program go through evaluations every semester in order to continue participating in the group.

“We do add new students to the program once the previous ones have graduated from the group or they feel overwhelmed,” he said. “This is a very hands-on-experience but it offers students a solidified taste of the music business.”

The group also offers the music management students a chance at an internship like atmosphere without doing the dirty work, Wary said.

He said on basic internships, they would be getting coffee or filing papers, whereas with the Wray Music Management Group, they have a more distinct preview of what their field of choice entails.

Jimmie Martin, who is in charge of booking venues for the group’s client, said the new music program offered him new chances to explore his major.

“It opened up new opportunities and employments I never thought I would have the chance to experience while being in school, which will help me prepare for my career outside of Murray State,” he said.

Martin, who recently arranged numerous promotion dates for Jeffrey James in the Murray area, said the management program was sure to be a stepping stone to other programs like it to sprout up.

He said the management group set an example of how to start such a program. He said its potential is yet to be seen, as the group is new..

The group was a good way to tell whether or not he chose the right major to go into, he said.