Music industry students and faculty recently traveled abroad to London and Liverpool as part of the Artistry of the Beatles course taught by Kenneth Womack, dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Womack attended the trip, along with Joe Rapolla, chair of the Music and Theatre Arts department, and Eileen Chapman, director of the Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music.
Sponsored by Monmouth’s affiliate, the GRAMMY Museum, the trip was designed to give students a unique and valuable cultural experience to convey the impact of the music scene in the United Kingdom while introducing and reinforcing the breadth of global opportunities of today’s music industry.
During the trip, students visited iconic locations in music history, participated in a conference on music tourism in Liverpool, and attended private meetings with executives at London-based record labels including Universal and Capitol Records.
In addition to famous spots like Abbey Road and Buckingham Palace, students had the opportunity to visit Bravado, a merchandising company under Universal Music Group, where they met with music industry experts who create and provide merchandise for some of the world’s biggest artists.
“The Bravado executives gave us information as if we were working at the company, going in depth about the urgency to create desirable merchandise as a primary source of income for music labels, artists, and creators in 2019,” said Sara Wojciehowski, a senior who attended the trip. “I found this meeting to be extremely helpful to my education, illustrating another key aspect of today’s music industry: merchandise sales.”
After a tour of London, the group progressed to Liverpool, birthplace of the Beatles, to visit renowned locations in Beatles history, including the band members’ homes, the Casbah Club, and Penny Lane.
“We explored the childhood homes of both Lennon and McCartney. We saw where they sat, where they ate, where they slept, and most importantly, where they wrote together: the cozy yet pleasant front parlor in McCartney’s house,” explained senior Mark Rodriguez. “I was even able to play a piano in the house that McCartney himself played. To touch the keys, which were touched by a hero of mine, was an honor and an experience many fans may never get to have.”
In Liverpool, students also attended a music tourism conference at the British Music Experience, a museum that houses relics and tells stories from the history of music in the U.K. Here, Womack and Chapman delivered a presentation about music tourism in New Jersey focused on Bruce Springsteen.
“I am so grateful that Monmouth gave me the opportunity to go to London and Liverpool,” said senior Alexa Costa. “It was so eye-opening to see where the Beatles started and learn about the international music business. I made great friends, great memories, and will never forget this amazing experience.”