On music in universities


Dearest colleagues,

On this page is clip of Happy Chandler, the past governor of Kentucky, singing my school’s alma mater, “My Old Kentucky Home,” at halftime of a Kentucky basketball game.

That’s why I love university songs.

No matter how many times I watch that video, it takes me back.

To those four years in Lexington, Kentucky.  Four rich, important, beautiful years.  Where I grew up; where I was challenged, and hungry, and hurt, and inspired, and learned, and blossomed.

Where I had a level of stupid fun and freedom as no other time.  Where I discovered, and dreamed, and imagined who I dared to be.

I forget those days now.  A life that I am so blessed with, and my career, and my friends, and my town, are literally a thousand miles away from that place and those days.

But here’s what I know.

Whether I hear that song in a video at home here in California, or whether I’m on campus for a reunion with great old pals at a basketball game – that song is a muse, like no other, that pulls me deep, deep back into those days and feelings.

There are only a few things that can have songs.  Religions, countries, sports teams, and schools.  That’s about it.

How important is music to religions?  Pick one.  Imagine it without its music.  Look at countries.  If you dedicate four years of your life to a sport and proved to be the absolute best in the world at the Olympics, what’s the grand prize?  You get to stand on a box and bawl your eyes out hearing your country’s song.    Ask Liverpool Soccer fans what if feels like to belt out and weep “You’re Never Walk Alone” in a stadium with 80,000 other fans.

Hundreds of universities are all over this; using their songs to significantly impact fundraising, recruitment, university spirit, and their brand equity.  Notre Dame.  Michigan.  Texas.  Ohio State.  Navy.  Wisconsin.  Alabama.  So many have tapped into the unparalleled emotional power of music – their songs are an integral part of who they are.

What’s astounding is that so many universities don’t take advantage of this.  Small ones and big ones.

Lots of reasons.  Many have tired alma maters or fight songs that the students or alumni have long forgotten the words to.  Or just lousy, dated recordings.  Or a lack of great traditions to emotionally tee-up its songs.

That’s where we come in.

When it comes to music, everything that Notre Dame has, that Michigan has – any university can have.  There’s a real path to get there — three things; great songs, great recordings, great touchpoints.

We know how to deliver all three.

Lucky me to do something every day that I love and believe in.

I’d be honored to collaborate with you – and create something we can all be very proud of.


We make universities sing.

National Headquarters

15500 West Sunset Boulevard, Suite 103
Pacific Palisades, California 90272