Boston Music Conference is teaming up with the Chelsea Record to give local youths a unique opportunity

September 12, 2009

Are you a local kid who wants to build a career in the music industry? If so, you’ve probably heard from parents, friends and teachers that such a career is extremely hard to come by and that you are probably better off studying something more practical, like engineering or business.

They may have a point, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make a career out of your love of music. Like anything else, it takes talent, hard work, determination and, yes, a little bit of luck.

No one can promise you that your goal will be achieved, but this month you may have a unique opportunity to learn what it takes to actively pursue it. That is because the second annual Boston Music Conference will be held on September 24 and 25. The BMC is a workshop and talent showcase for aspiring artists in the Boston area and beyond, and it will draw representatives from some of the biggest record labels in the world to the hub.

The tickets to the event are $99 and $150 at the door, but BMC co-organizer Jody Mendoza announced this week that the Conference will be giving away five scholarship spots to young Chelsea residents (ages 16-26) who have a desire to build a career in music and would like to attend the conference. Mendoza has asked the Chelsea Record to help select who will be the lucky youths who get to attend the conference, free of charge.

So, here is how it will work: if you are interested in going to the BMC for free, send me an email at explaining, in brief (500 words or less), why you think you should be awarded one of the five scholarship spots to the event. I will personally review each response and narrow them down to 10-15 finalists and forward those to BMC organizers, who will then select the five winners. Runners up who are not selected will be eligible for 40 percent off the price of admission.

The finalists I select will be those who show the deepest commitment to a specific career that involves making music or connecting artists with fans, venues and distributors. This is not a contest for those looking for a fast track to fame and fortune. If your response talks about how badly you want to be the next Shakira or Kanye West, I can almost promise that it will not make it past the first round of cuts.

Remember, a career in music is not strictly limited to musicians and performers. For every song you hear on the radio or in concert, there are countless writers, producers, audio engineers, concert promoters, marketers, photographers, disc jockeys, publicists, lawyers, booking agents and executives that did their jobs to bring you that song. The Boston Music Conference will include workshops, panel discussions and networking events that will help you learn how to pursue all of those careers and more.

The responses that have the best chance of winning the scholarship spots will be those that display the clearest idea of what you are trying to learn by attending the BMC, and those that most convincingly demonstrate your commitment to achieving your goal. You don’t have to be a child prodigy, but talk about any musical experience that you have. Make sure that you provide some way for us to verify that what you say in this regard is true (for example, a link to a website that has your music or music-related art or writing, or the name and number of a teacher who taught you music lessons, or your old boss at a radio station or record store you worked at etc.).

I will be selecting the finalists no later than Thursday, September 17. That’s only a week away (or less, depending on when you are reading this), so hurry up and get writing! Make sure to include en email address, mailing address or phone number so that we can contact you if you are selected as a winner. Remember, the BMC takes place on the 24th and 25th, so keep in mind that winners will receive the good news just a few days before the conference.

The overarching theme of this year’s BMC is the impact of digital technology on the music industry. Some of the subcategories to be covered include how new digital distribution platforms are creating opportunities, new channels of digital revenue and some of the innovations that are fueling growth. Top music industry and executives from major labels including Sony, EMI, Universal and Motown will be present to share their experiences and advice with attendees, view the talent Boston has to offer during the showcases and talk one-on-one with attendees.

Artists who would like to participate in the showcase performances are encouraged to submit samples of their music through or via email at Attendees are encouraged to bring their bio and promotional kit to the event because this is a rare opportunity to meet top music industry executives.

Workshops for the event will be held Thursday September 24, from 11 to 5:30 at Mojitos at 48 Winter Street in Downtown Crossing, followed by Showcase Performances from 6 to 11 at Mojitos at Pearl in the Roxy Complex located at 279 Tremont Street.  The conference will be held at the Roxy Tremont Ballroom at 279 Tremont Street in the Theatre District, Friday September 25 from 11 to 6.

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