Sunday, June 23rd, 2024

Students Working Behind the Scenes of Local Music Events

Involvement in Festi-Ville and LAUNCH Music Conference allows Millersville music students hands-on experience within their industry.

Ever wonder what happens behind the scenes at music events? Millersville music students are finding out firsthand through the upcoming LAUNCH Music Festival and Festi-Ville.

Involvement in local music events, Festi-Ville and LAUNCH Music Conference, is allowing Millersville music students hands-on experience within their industry. Festi-Ville will be held on April 28 from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Phantom Power. Tickets are available here. The LAUNCH Music Conference will be held at the Lancaster Convention Center on April 25-28, with the first performance at 5:15 p.m. on Thursday and the last at 11 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are available here.

In previous years, Festi-Ville has been hosted and run by the student group Marauder Music, but this year, Phantom Power is taking the reigns for the event. Students in music business technology associate professor Dr. Dain Estes’ Artist Management course have had a hand in the planning by consulting. “We’ve consulted about choosing artists that are going to get students out for this event,” says Estes. This has allowed students the opportunity to experience the ups and downs of booking talent for shows. “Phantom Power was excited about our initial list, but some bands couldn’t do the show,” says Estes. “We came up with a secondary list.” Lists were created with the intention of building a bill full of artists that complement one another.

Students are also completing a contract drafting assignment based on the event. “The contract is going to be the biggest benefit for students,” says Estes. It gives them a chance to see, ‘Could I be a concert promoter?’” This experience with behind-the-scenes work allows students to make an informed decision about whether or not a career path in that area is the right fit for them.

Student involvement with the LAUNCH Music Conference leans more toward the technical side of the event. “Students are helping to run sound, stage management, loading bands in and out and general needs that may arise during the conference,” says Dr. Jennifer Jester, assistant professor of music business technology. Students are also working on the event in areas like social media and video documentation. “LAUNCH has been a huge vehicle for students to ‘launch’ their careers in the music industry,” says Jester.

Millersville University is serving as a sponsor of the event and will have a branded stage. This allows students the ability to have badges for the event and access to work the stage. “This provides an opportunity to have a ‘home’ at the event where we work together and can be proud of,” says Jester.

Millersville students have a long history of involvement in various areas with the LAUNCH Music Conference, whether it be performing at or working at the event. Millersville grad Maria Arroyo is performing at LAUNCH this year after having the opportunity to work at the conference during her senior year. “They were looking for people to help with registration and organization,” says Arroyo. “I did registration for each day, which left my day open to go enjoy the conference.”

This year is Arroyo’s third time performing at the event. “LAUNCH has a special place in my heart because it was the first place that I ever performed my original music as an official set,” says Arroyo. “LAUNCH really gives everybody a good starting point to get their music out there and do so in a very friendly and inviting environment, which is really important.”

Arroyo attributes her success and confidence as a singer/songwriter musician to her time at Millersville. “Millersville gave me a lot of opportunities that I don’t think I would have had otherwise,” says Arroyo. “I went in there with essentially a dream, just hoping that someone would help me along the way.”

Arroyo’s performance will be at 9:15 p.m. on Saturday, April 27. To keep up with her musical endeavors, visit

For more information about LAUNCH Music Conference, visit

For more information about Festi-Ville, visit



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