The Rockin’ Resolutions Fundraiser was hosted Sunday night by USC's School of Music and the USC Music Industry Studies program, aiming to support the future careers of Music Industry Studies students with a night of music and philanthropy.
The Senate, a concert hall in Columbia, kicked off the night with Music Industry Studies students performing at 7 p.m. Afterwards, singer/songwriter Angie Aparo played with USC School of Music Dean Tayloe Harding as the headliner along with other band members, performing as Angie Aparo with The Dean and the Boys.
Attendees listened to Aparo's most popular songs and a variety of rock-and-roll classics throughout the night. Making a name for himself in the southeast, Aparo's songwriting credits have appeared on the albums of multiple popular artists like Miley Cyrus, Big & Rich and Tim McGraw.
Harding knows Aparo as not only an exceptional musician but also an old bandmate from high school. Being 20 years since their last collaboration, Harding said he was excited to play alongside him once again.
While there was an admission fee to attend, the money raised at the event went towards the Music Industry Studies Enrichment Fund, which helps students
prepare for their professional careers by providing support for hands-on learning in the music industry. Harding said the fundraising will help lower the costs of these experiences.
One of the goals of Jeremy Polley, coordinator and instructor of Music Industry Studies at USC, is ensuring little to no financial burden on students from the costs of experiential learning opportunities. Because these opportunities can cost hundreds of dollars, he said that a student's progress in the music industry can be greatly bolstered with financial support from the event.
Polley said the event was especially meaningful to his students since it gave them a deeper look into the music industry.
Music Industry Studies students played a large part in creating the fundraiser. From helping with the production and marketing to starting the night off with their own performances, the event itself was part of the important experimental learning process.
"It's going to allow for students to get the kind of critical experiences they need to determine their trajectory in their careers," Polley said. "Because it's one thing to read about a job in a textbook. It's totally different to do the job in the real world."
Polley said he encourages USC students to support future fundraisers because he believes his students will be running major shows in just a few years.
"You're gonna see the next generation of singer/songwriters on that stage," Polley said.
Craig Butterfield, a USC professor of double bass and jazz studies, played electric bass alongside Aparo and Harding. Butterfield said he hopes that the fundraiser raises awareness for USC's unique Music Industry Studies program.
The program is also meaningful, according to Butterfield, because the money it raises gives future musicians opportunities to pick different career paths.
"I'm a big believer in finding ways for musicians to succeed and excel in anything that they choose to do," Butterfield said. "A degree like Music Industry Studies prepares people to be recording engineers or write contracts for music business or become managers. There's different things that are much more applicable to today's musical landscape."
Along with the performances,
there was also a silent auction. Auctioned items included VIP passes to Danny Wimmer Presents festivals, which are primarily rock music performances, and items from local businesses, as well as a Zoom meeting with multi-platinum music producer and songwriter Sam Hollander.
The Music Industry Studies program will have events throughout the year that continue to support its students, including a recording engineer production event in March and an end-of-the-year concert in April that USC students can be on the lookout for.