The NAMM Show returns June 3-5 in Anaheim, California, and will provide new and exciting opportunities for emerging industry professionals and veterans alike to connect, learn, and grow their businesses.
Between the return of some of NAMM’s beloved professional development programs and the premier of never-before-seen experiences, The NAMM Show is the destination for professionals in all stages of their careers. In addition, the President’s Innovation Award (PIA) is also returning to offer students seeking a career in the music products industry an opportunity to attend.
The scholarship award “honors college students who demonstrate excellence in the field of music,” with winners having “proven dedication to pursuing a career in music to include the areas of music performance, music education, media, sound engineering/audio, event technology, production, administration, management and/or marketing along with product creation and innovation.”
The selected awardees must be enrolled in a college or university music or music business program and receive a one-time cash award to support the travel needs and expenses of attending The NAMM Show.
Once in Anaheim, awardees will participate in some of the many professional development opportunities at the show and will have unique access to music products, pro audio, entertainment technology exhibits, concerts, special events, and networking sessions.
NAMM and The NAMM Foundation are proud to announce the 46 award winners this year. Also congratulations to Ashton Gentry (Berklee College of Music), Jamieon Jamison-Gilmore (South Carolina State University, Orangeburg), Eric Hitt (University of North Texas), Autumn Mallard (Stephen F. Austin State University), Daniel Messersmith (Capital University), Senaida Ng (New York University), Aiyanna Evelyn Riley (Stephen F. Austin State University), and Kevin Edward Spence (University of Colorado Denver).
We sat down with Senaida Ng of New York University to discuss the awarding of the PIA and her plans for attending The NAMM Show.
Q: What made you apply for the President’s Innovation Award (PIA)?
A: Throughout high school, I watched my favorite YouTubers attend The NAMM Show, and I wished I could have that experience. Due to the financial cost of traveling to California, I haven’t yet had the opportunity to attend. So, when I saw that the NAMM President’s Innovation Award helps fund students who hope to become music industry entrepreneurs to experience the trade show, I knew I had to apply. Additionally, I felt a calling to attend as a woman of color in the music industry, as I feel I must represent who I am to the world and use my talents and skills to inspire others.
Q: What are you looking forward to most at The 2022 NAMM Show?
A: I’m excited to meet the artists and technologists that I’ve looked up to for so long, and connect and network with industry entrepreneurs, specifically those working in the music technology space. As a creative entrepreneur and music technology founder, I understand first-hand the importance of networking. I am always looking to talk to and meet other people who have similar interests.
Q: How do you think attending a NAMM Show using the PIA will help prepare you for a career in the industry?
A: When I found out that I was selected for the PIA, I was surprised and ecstatic! It is truly an honor to be recognized and granted this award. I often like to see myself as a sponge of knowledge, and I want to learn as much as I can from the experts and artists at The NAMM Show. Gaining mentorship and advice from other professionals will be an integral part of my future success, an experience only gained through attending The NAMM Show.
Q: What advice do you have for students interested in a career in the industry?
A: In today’s gig economy, being an artist and an entrepreneur are almost the same. To be a successful artist, one needs to understand a diverse set of skills. These include budgets, business, event planning, marketing, and management. After the rise of Digital Service Providers, we saw an almost total eradication of the music industry’s middle class. On the flip side, we’ve also started to see new jobs and roles introduced into the music industry. My advice is to forge your own path in the music industry. Nothing is set in stone, and the music business is constantly evolving. It’s up to our generation and those that follow to change the music business for the better.
Q: What advice do you have for students considering applying for future rounds of the PIA?
A: One thing that has helped me throughout college was finding the right mentors. I have a few professors and industry mentors that I always turn to when I have questions, and they support me unconditionally. The most vital step to career growth and development is finding great mentors and advisors who can guide you on all sorts of issues. I am grateful that my mentors wrote my letters of recommendation for the PIA, and without them, I wouldn’t have accomplished all that I have to this day.