Investing in the Future of the Music Industry with the Faculty Fellows Program

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GenNext College Music Society Fellows Program Award logo

“The NAMM Foundation and CMS have set the foundation for meaningful dialogue on the future of music and the music industry, and I am incredibly excited for future NAMM-CMS Fellows to join this conversation.” – Jeff Loeffert, Executive Director of the College Music Society 

The NAMM Foundation’s GenNext college music program began in partnership with the College Music Society (CMS) more than a decade ago under the leadership of then-CMS President Dr. Tayloe Harding, working together with NAMM Foundation Executive Director Mary Luehrsen.  GenNext was created to provide students with exposure to the many career options available in the music products, pro audio, event management, production, lighting and sound industries, and to support young people in their creative goals and career ambitions.

"College music students, with their commitment to rigorous study of music and music business, hold the keys to the future of music, in all genres and forms, including the evolving use of technologies," said Mary Luehrsen. "A trip to The NAMM Show can change an entire career trajectory and affirm that a life and career in music is filled with options." 

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Faculty Fellows Program for the Win 

Along the way, GenNext garnered a dedicated network of faculty from the same institutions that sent the students we were seeing at The NAMM Show year after year. This gave us another idea: let’s invite college music faculty “behind the curtain.” And in 2017, in collaboration with CMS, we launched The NAMM Foundation-College Music Society Faculty Fellows program. This just made good sense based on the Field of Dreams principle of “if you build it, they will come.”  

So, we did it! We built the Faculty Fellows program to be a dynamic, collaborative, and experiential overview of all that The NAMM Show has to offer. In collaboration with CMS, The NAMM Foundation offers accepted college music faculty a $500 award to help offset travel costs associated with attending The NAMM Show. With more than 70 college music faculty members accepted into the program since its inception in 2017, dozens of colleges and universities and many thousands of students have made lifelong connections with the music industry! 

Current CMS Executive Director Jeff Loeffert said of the collaboration, “The NAMM Foundation-College Music Society Fellows program represents one of the most impactful and inspirational opportunities available to CMS members.” He continued, “This program provides music faculty with a direct connection to the music products industry and opens a new world of innovation and ideas through professional development and networking sessions, concerts, special events, and more.” 

Important Dates

  • Application Opens: June 15, 2023
  • Application Deadline: October 10, 2023
  • Notifications: November 1, 2023
  • NAMM Show Dates: January 25-28, 2024

Alumni Experiences  

“I had an amazing experience in the CMS/NAMM fellows program. We got to interact with some of the most creative and active people in the music industry. I still talk about the experiences I had, and things I learned, with my students to this day. I would highly recommend applying. “-Dr. Derick Cordoba, Director of Commercial Music Anderson University 

“I've worked at or attended over 25 NAMM Shows, and the CMS Fellows program was one of my favorite NAMM experiences.” – Jennifer Amaya, Assistant Professor of Music Technology, Riverside City College 

“As a Fellow... it is a great opportunity to connect and be involved with the conversations of possibilities, and to bring these ideas back to your program to share, build, and collaborate.” -Michael Philips, Director of Athletic Bands, Assistant Professor of Music, Campbell University 

“It was wonderful to get to know colleagues across the country that are interested in music business as well as participating in roundtable discussions and learning more about the music business from NAMM’s perspective. I would highly recommend participating.” – Noah Getz, Saxophone Musician-in-Residence, American University 

“The NAMM/CMS GenNext Fellows program was a pivotal experience for me. It affirmed for me that the music industry is the larger ecosystem that we all live in, and that preparing students for that reality, rather than traditional programs' focus on only performance and/or education, is where our focus should be in higher education.” -Peter Folliard, Director of Orchestras, Augustana University  

About GenNext  

GenNext is a core program of The NAMM Foundation at The NAMM Show, the global gathering of the music, pro audio and event technology industries that is held in Anaheim, CA annually.  Developed in collaboration with the College Music Society, the program offers dozens of conference sessions geared toward having a career in music. To date, the program has served more than 25,000+ college music students and faculty.  

Faculty Fellows Program 

The NAMM Foundation offers an annual NAMM Foundation-College Music Society Faculty Fellows program that provides a $500 stipend for college music faculty to attend The NAMM Show. Fellows receive a customized experience with some behind-the-scenes access and special programming as well as an invitation to a hosted faculty mixer. The application period is open through December 1, 2022.   

President's Innovation Award 

The NAMM Foundation also offers the President’s Innovation Award (PIA) that provides a $750 stipend for select students to attend The NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA. The PIA application period is open through December 1, 2022, and we also offer a PIA meet and greet with NAMM CEO Joe Lamond followed by the Careers in Music Summit as well as a hosted student mixer. 


The NAMM Foundation offers two (2) student internships to work embedded with Senior Project Managers on executing sessions and events at The NAMM show.  New  for 2023, we will also be working with the She Rocks Awards team, offering internships to help with event management of their awards show, which happens during The NAMM Show. Some of these positions may start as early as December 2022 (LA based). Contact if you are interested in learning more about internship opportunities.