Check out some alumni stories from the past year.
After a tough year for many due to the global pandemic, a group of Belmont alumni found a unique way to garner support and financial assistance for struggling music venues in Nashville. Alumnus and musician James Hatem, with the help of his team of fellow Belmont alumni, broke the Guinness World Record for most shows performed in 24 hours on April 9.
The 80 venues he performed in across the city included four on Belmont’s campus: Massey Concert Hall, Harton Recital Hall, McAfee Concert Hall and the Curb Event Center arena. Other venues ranged from smaller stages such as The Basement and EXIT/In all the way up to larger venues like Ascend Amphitheater and Bridgestone Arena.
Hatem’s manager, 2017 entertainment industry studies alumnus Mitchell Curley, had the idea to pursue a world record and brought in fellow music business/entrepreneurship alum Gade Raftery (2020) who was connected to venues across town through his concert promotion company, Apogee Promotions. Raftery then brought in 2020 audio engineering technology alumni Nick Molloy and Ben McNamara to work on production. Other Belmont-connected team members included co-manager Matt Kimble (2020 music business), Danny Allebach (EIS, 2017), Becca Tremmel (songwriting, 2017), Timothy Mlynarski (commercial voice, 2016) and current creative entertainment industry major Lindsay Cashman.
Raftery said, “We really wanted to focus on the clubs and venues who have struggled this year. This is to raise awareness and money for the city of Nashville; that’s the whole point of this.”
The shows were livestreamed throughout the day, and the project complied with all CDC guidelines. To achieve the record, the group held to a precise schedule with each set lasting 10 minutes and an average travel time of four minutes between each performance stop. Money raised from the project will go directly to Music Venue Alliance Nashville and the U.S. Bartenders Guild to be dispersed among the venues. To make a donation or learn more about the project, visit BasementtoBridgestoneArena.com. To read more about this story, visit the Belmont News site.
After graduating from Belmont in 2016 with a degree in music business, Kristoff Hart worked in marketing and social media for the music industry before transitioning into full-time ministry. Serving as a communications director and online pastor, his skills in social media and content creation continued to serve him.
Recently, Hart was one of only 100 individuals accepted into TikTok’s new Incubator Program for Black Creatives among more than 5,000 applicants. The program connects creatives with large-scale brands and provides resources to advance their talents into a career.
Journalism alumna Laura Hostelley was recently promoted to vice president of marketing at Triple Tigers Records. As a student, Hostelley interned at Music Row Magazine, Sirius XM Radio, Country Aircheck and the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce. Triple Tigers President Norbert Nix said, “She is a keen observer, creative thinker and fearless when it comes to advancing the careers of the artists we work with.”
Philosophy alumna Erin Cline was recently named as the Paul J. and Chandler M. Tagliabue Distinguished Professor in Interfaith Studies and Dialogue at Georgetown University, where she teaches Chinese philosophy, Chinese religions, comparative philosophy and theology, and Ignatian spirituality. A published author, her latest book is “Little Sprouts and the Dao of Parenting: Ancient Chinese Philosophy and the Art of Raising Mindful, Resilient, and Compassionate Kids.”
Occupational Therapy alumna Whitney Joy was recently elected as vice president of the Tennessee Occupational Therapy Association (TNOTA). Joy is currently the owner of Aspire Therapies, a home-based pediatric occupational therapy practice. “I’m looking forward to working with others to advocate for the profession,” Joy shared.