Networking Assignment 2- Emily Pate
Over spring break, Nic and I traveled to Orlando to attend the Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot for the beginning of their concert series, “Garden Rocks.” Jon Anderson, lead singer of Yes, was the headliner March 11th. Nic’s cousin, Matt Brown, recorded Anderson’s newest solo album and is the tour drummer. While having a mini- vacation, I thought this was the perfect time to do some networking!
The first person I chatted with was David Brown, recording engineer and studio owner. He is also Matt Brown’s father. He sat with Nic and I during the show, but before it began we chatted about the album. He described the two year process that Matt went through as they perfected the ten song album. He and I also chatted about working on a demo tape for me to use for auditions in the near future. We obviously talked about the show after it was over, mostly focusing on Matt and how well he did (as any proud parent would) and the overall quality of the instrumentalists. David informed me that he knew most of the musicians onstage, even recording with a few of them. He introduced me to Michael Franklin, the keyboardist.
Michael was extremely nice to chat with. We didn’t talk long, but he was very gracious nonetheless. He has recorded backing keys with David Brown several times, hence the connection. We talked about how great Jon Anderson’s stage presence is and how even through a rough technical issue, he kept the crowd super engaged. I also asked Michael about having to learn some of Yes’ iconic music, and he said it was super intimidating but a great experience. He quickly went backstage to get ready for the next show, but then we were able to see Matt Brown.
Matt was the whole reason Nic and I went down to Epcot, so chatting with him was a no brainier. We talked a lot about the tech issues at the beginning of the set. Jon’s microphone was not on for most of the first song. Then, the replacement microphone cut out as well. The band kept doing their background vocals to “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” so it was cool to hear Matt’s singing, even at the expense of bad tech issues. Matt also talked about his kit and how many new cymbals he got from his sponsors. It was cool how what we’ve talked about in class related to “real life.” Matt was actually the producer of this record, so he discussed how rewarding it was to be the tour drummer after months of hard work in the studio.
So, overall this networking experience was much easier for me to accomplish and feel was productive. I got to talk about music (already much easier than art) and I was around people I knew either first hand or by one degree of separation. There were so many other nice people I got to talk to in the band or backstage, but it wasn’t enough to write about at this time. I do think networking is super important and will continue to get easier the more I do it. Since I am about to graduate, this will become a vital skill to keep in my back pocket.