Wednesday, March 29, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 121

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About the Cougar

Moores student first at UH to seek music business degree

Moores Music Notes

Jason Caesar Consolacion

UH sophomore John Knight is a pioneer of sorts for the Moores School of Music. He is the first student at UH to work towards a Music Business degree.

"The program is still under (development) right now," he said. "I'm really the first one to actually work towards it."

John Knight, a sophomore at UH, is a vocal performance major with a business minor, who hopes to see "Music Business" on his diploma when he graduates sometime in 2002.

Pete Medrano/Daily Cougar

The idea came from his love for the music business world and his desire to expand his horizons from a foundation of music he started when he was just 16 months old.

"I sang my first solo when I was 16 months old," he said. "It was at church. I sang ‘Yes, Jesus Loves Me.'"

In a discussion with one of his music directors, MSM's assistant director Betsy Weber, Knight received a nice piece of advice from his teacher.

"Dr. Weber told me exactly like this: ‘It's stupid to major in vocal performance because you really don't need a degree to perform,'" Knight said. "I thought to myself, ‘You know, she's absolutely right.' So that's when I decided to seek a music business degree."

Knight is currently majoring in vocal performance and will declare a minor in business upon embarking on his junior year.

"That's basically all we can do right now," he said. "I've talked to (MSM academic advisor) Bill Stewart and he's kind of guiding me through the process. He advised me to do what I'm doing while they work towards actually creating a music business degree."

For now, Knight takes the courses necessary to receive a vocal performance degree. He takes the music theory, the piano, music history and literature and vocal diction classes. Knight also participates in two ensembles: the Moores School Chorale and Coro. He takes private voice lessons from MSM's Débria Brown.

Knight also takes a special music course from Ron Ochoa, an affiliate artist of the Moores School of Music. The course is called MIDI Synthesizers and Sequencing. The class allows students to become familiar with sound boards and mixers similar to the equipment in professional recording studios.

"That is one of my dreams," Knight said, "to work in a studio. If I can't catch a big break right away, I'd work my way up, starting in the recording studio."

Knight will start taking business classes in the fall of 2000.

"They don't have any business classes geared towards the music business yet," he said. "Like I said, they're still working towards that. The whole thing is really underdeveloped right now."

With the lack of substance the music business program currently has, Knight continues to cross his fingers in hopes that the words "Music Business" will appear on his diploma.

"I'm hoping that they'll have something ready by then (graduation)," he said. "I'm not the only one interested in it. I've talked to a lot of other students that are also stuck on what to do with a vocal performance degree. So, the interest is there at the school. They just have to set something up to offer students."

Should the Moores School of Music and the College of Business Administration set up a music business degree, UH would be one of the few major universities to offer such a program.

Knight has been a lover of music all of his life. He has always wanted to perform. His father is a lawyer and Knight flirted with the possibility of being a law student.

"It's too much work, though," he said, laughing. "When my dad comes home, he's usually really stressed out and stuff. I don't want to have to work that hard. Besides, music is my first love."

After being a member of the Houston Boychoir at a very early age, Knight eventually attended Houston's High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA), majoring in music. He graduated in 1998.

After being accepted into the Moores School of Music, he started out as a vocal performance major; but when brainstorming on what one of his fall-backs would be, the idea to work in the world of music business became a serious one.

"A friend of mine, that also graduated from HSPVA, worked as an intern at Edmonds Entertainment (Babyface's production company)," Knight said. "He's graduating pretty soon and they already offered him a job. That's something that really appeals to me."

Knight is in the middle of finding an internship that will take him to New York in the summer of 2001.

"I don't know where I'm going to work yet," he said, "but I'm hoping that the same thing that happened to my friend will happen to me."

Knight would also like to form his own record label. In fact he already has a name for it.

"Knighttime Productions," he said with a confident grin. "And the thing I want to do with it is sign artists of all different genres. A lot of labels right now concentrate on one kind of musical genre. I want to appeal to all artists.

"I feel that since I'm a musician, artists will be able to relate to me," he said. "I've performed all types of music throughout my life, which is why I think I would be successful in running a label that records all types of music."

This Week in Music

Dafne, the first opera, is performed in Florence (March 29, 1597); twenty thousand attend Ludwig von Beethoven's burial in Vienna (March 29, 1827); the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, The King and I, based on Margaret Langdon's novel Anna and the King of Siam, opens at New York's St. James Theatre for 1,246 performances (March 29, 1951); one of the major works of American musical theater, Oklahoma! by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein the Second, opens on Broadway with Alfred Drake in the role of Curly and Joan Roberts as Laurey (March 31, 1943).

Birthdays: saxophonist Michael Brecker (today); jazz performer Remo Palmieri (today); composer of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," Albert Von Tilzer (today); jazz pianist John Eaton (Thursday); blues harmonica player John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson (Thursday); trumpeter Herp Alpert (Friday); Dutch organist Thijs van Leer (Friday); Austrian composer Franz "Josef" Haydn (Friday).

Deaths: trombonist Harry Joseph "Chick" Daugherty (March 29, 1966); bandleader Annunzio Paolo Mantovani (March 29, 1980); saxophonist Jimmie Jr. Noone (March 29, 1991); blues/jazz performer Joe Williams (March 29, 1999); bandleader Raymond Bloch (March 31, 1982).

Musical Term of the Week

chorale -- A chorale is a German Lutheran hymn-tune, a number of which were composed or arranged by Luther himself and adapted in later centuries to various harmonies, the most famous of all by Johann Sebastian Bach. The word is also used in America to signify a choir or chorus.

Definition taken from


Upcoming Events

AURA -- 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dudley Recital Hall. UH's contemporary music ensemble will present Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire. Isabelle Ganz, director.

Tickets for all concerts are $6 ($4 for students and seniors) and can be purchased at the door (unless otherwise noted). For more information, call the Moores School Box Office at (713) 743-3313 or log on to the Moores School of Music's Web site at www.uh.edu/music.

Also, to all music majors, don't forget to attend the Tuesday Recital (this is a requirement, remember?). Check the white markerboard by the stairs in the lobby of the Moores School of Music for more information. Tuesday recitals are held at 1 p.m. either in Dudley Recital Hall or the Moores Opera House.

If you would like your recital, master class or even your birthday (MSM students only, please) announced in Moores Music Notes, e-mail announcements to mooresmusicnotes@hotmail.com (if you are submitting your birthday, please include your major and classification).

All entries must be e-mailed by 3 p.m. Tuesday. They will appear in The Daily Cougar the following Wednesday.

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