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Crane School of Music Students Score Internships at 2018 NAMM Show

February 6, 2018

A group of 23 ambitious music business students from SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music recently traveled to Anaheim, Calif., to network and complete internships at the 2018 National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Show, the world’s leading trade event for music products.

A record number of Crane students were placed with acclaimed international music industry companies, including world-known brands such as D’Addario, Buffet Crampon, Samson Technologies, Sennheiser Electronic and Yamaha Corp. of America, during the annual NAMM Show, held from Jan. 25 to Jan. 28. The student interns proved vital for the exhibitors, as they helped set up their booths, familiarize trade visitors with the latest developments in technology, and answer complex questions on product details to some of the 115,000 NAMM attendees.

Joined by Crane School of Music faculty, the students were able to work directly with leading firms, thanks to a unique and much-envied internship program originally established by the Crane Institute for Music Business and Entrepreneurship in 2005. The partnership is the only ongoing program of its kind in the country.

The NAMM Show is the world’s leading trade event for the music products industry. The 2018 NAMM Show gathered 115,000 members of the music product industry from 120 countries around the world, to preview new products from 7,000 brands representing 2,000 companies across every category. While at the show, the SUNY Potsdam students completed the NAMM Foundation’s GenNext initiative—a professional development program to help jump-start students’ careers.

The new executive director of the Crane Institute for Music Business and Entrepreneurship, Assistant Professor Marc Ernesti, said: “The NAMM internships are a tremendous opportunity for our students and, at the same time, a testimony to their professionalism. They are a credit to the reputation the program has earned with the music business industry, under Professor Emerita Carol ‘Kickie’ Britt's distinguished leadership, and remind and challenge us daily that our training and education are relevant, of the highest quality, and deliver real value to students seeking a career in music.”

To cap off the experience, students who attended the show for the first time were awarded the NAMM President’s Innovation Award. The cash grants are awarded to exemplary undergraduate and graduate students who have expressed commitment and aptitude for business leadership and innovation in the music products industry.

The NAMM internship experience has proved truly life-changing for students, including Morgan Cluck ’18, a senior music business major and Presidential Scholar who returned to the show again this year to work with D’Addario & Co., the world’s largest manufacturer of musical instrument accessories.

“As a returning student at NAMM, my experience was yet again thrilling, fast-paced, wonderfully hectic and immersive. My company gave me heavy responsibilities and I was treated like a real working professional in the field – something that can’t necessarily be taught or shown in the classroom. I am grateful and honored to have attended NAMM 2018,” she said.

Joseph Randazzo ’18, also had a transformative experience during his internship with Sennheiser Electronic, which produces high fidelity products such as microphones, headsets and soundbars, agreed.

“Interning for the NAMM Show is an entirely unique opportunity for college students that is found nowhere else in the curriculum. The experience has taught me unforgettable lessons about working for a music products company and how the industry functions, which I look forward to applying in my future endeavors,” he said.

It goes beyond that. The networking opportunities and career prospects that students opened for themselves are a testimony to the experiential learning championed by the College. Results are tangible: Three recent alumni are now division managers for the woodwind musical instrument manufacturer Buffet Crampon, all of whom were recruited within a year of graduation – and all of whom had previously served as NAMM interns.

Recent alumni of the Crane Institute for Music Business and Entrepreneurship can also be found enjoying careers with top music organizations, including, D’Addario, Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Opera, Sennheiser and Yamaha.

About the Crane Institute for Music Business and Entrepreneurship:

The Crane Institute for Music Business and Entrepreneurship at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music has a widely recognized profile as a center of excellence for educating the next generation of music industry professionals. Initiated by a consortium of visionary companies from the music products industry, the institute has maintained particularly close links with this area, including its annual internship collaboration at the key annual industry event, the NAMM Show. The institute’s reputation has now grown to also attract students with an interest in arts administration and music technology. Building on a period of consolidation under the distinguished leadership of Professor Emerita Carol “Kickie” Britt, the institute recently recruited Assistant Professor Marc Ernesti, who leads a dual career in senior music management and academia, and is an Honorary Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in London and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. To learn more, visit

For more information about SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music, please visit

Founded in 1886, SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music has a long legacy of excellence in music education and performance. Life at Crane includes an incredible array of more than 300 recitals, lectures and concerts presented by faculty, students and guests each year. The Crane School of Music is the State University of New York’s only All-Steinway institution.

For Media Inquiries

Alexandra Jacobs Wilke, College Communications (315) 267-2114

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