SAN LUIS OBISPO – The Music Department at Cal Poly presents a webinar titled Entrepreneurship in Music with guest experts discussing methods for starting and sustaining a music career, starting at 11:10 a.m. Thursday the 11th. February.

David Cutler, professor and director of music entrepreneurship at the University of South Carolina (UofSC), and Mark Tonelli, associate professor of guitar and entrepreneurship at Millikin University in Decatur, Ill.

David Cutler, professor and director of Entrepreneurship Music at the University of South Carolina.

The goal of the webinar is to inform and empower college musicians to think about their musical careers in an entrepreneurial way, said Arthur White, director of jazz studies at Cal Poly and moderator of the panel. With the decline of traditional career options, students must adapt with foresight, ingenuity, diversity and a well thought out plan of attack.

Cutler has had a varied career as a jazz and classical musician, composer, contributor, author, teacher and educator. Prior to his appointment at UofSC, he taught at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He has performed in music schools throughout the United States and abroad, and has collaborated with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Milan Classical Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Korean Chamber Ensemble, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Boston Brass Band, and the Air Force Big Band, and commissioned ensembles.

He has worked with singer Nancy Wilson, trumpeter Sean Jones, clarinetist David Krakauer, pianist duo Anderson & Roe and saxophonist Benny Golson. He is the author of Bold Musician, a reference work on art direction and musical entrepreneurship: Make a career, earn a living and make a difference.

Mark Tonelli, Assistant Professor of Guitar and Entrepreneurship at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois.

Tonelli is a faculty member of the Coleman Foundation for Entrepreneurship. Prior to his time with Millikin, he was a guitarist with the Army Jazz Knights at West Point for ten years. As the band’s lead singer, he has played with many world-renowned musicians, including Bob Mintzer, Randy Brecker, Adam Nussbaum, Boston Pop, and the New York Philharmonic Brass Quintet.

Tonelli an Entrepreneurship in Action: The Power of Student Enterprises designed and coauthored based on his experiences as head of the Millikin Arts Café. He has presented at major national music conferences, including the Jazz Education Network, the National Association for Music Education, and the College Music Education Society. Tonelli was a visiting clinician at Cal Poly in 2019.

Information about Mr. White, who began as Cal Poly’s jazz director in 2019, can be found on the music department’s website.

The roundtable is free and open to the public. The webinar will be available on the Music Ministry calendar website.

The presentation is sponsored by Cal Poly’s music department, the liberal arts college and the program of education-related activities. For more information, visit the Music Calendar Department website, email or call (805)756-2406.


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