The dictionary defines mentor as “an experienced and trusted adviser,” and the concept is central to the music mentors of Segue 61.
Professionals in the music industry know that the so-called school of hard knocks can easily turn into a lonely experience full of uncertainty and doubt, dead ends and squandered opportunities. The school of hard knocks can even knock out a person before he or she finds a way beyond on it.
The music professionals who serve as music mentors for Segue 61 are committed to offering a better solution for our students. They represent some of the most successful individuals working in today’s fast-changing music industry.
For them, Segue 61 provides our mentors a new way to discover and help develop individuals of exceptional potential to help forge the future of music.
Segue 61 Team Leaders
GUTHRIE TRAPP — CREATIVE COORDINATOR
Guthrie Trapp is one of Nashville’s preeminent guitar talents. He’s currently finishing work on a follow-up to his successful first solo album,Pick Peace, a 2012 showcase for Trapp’s stellar talent that long supported the careers of superstar artists and his own bands. Pick Peace served as a perfect template for Trapp’s brilliant mix of musical influences, exploring country, blues, Latin, reggae, jazz, rock and experimental music.
As a member of dobro legend Jerry Douglas’ band for five years, Trapp played on two of recordings of the “Muhammad Ali Of Dobro”, including “Jerry Christmas” and the Grammy-nominated album Glide, and toured extensively throughout North America and the UK, taking the stage at New York City’s Blue Note, Radio City Music Hall, Celtic Connections and the Montreal Jazz Festival.
Trapp is a versatile musician who crosses many genres with ease, taste and authenticity. Prior to joining Douglas’ crew, he spent several years with revered country artist Patty Loveless, appearing on two studio albums with her including the Grammy-winning Mountain Soul 2. Onstage or in the studio, Trapp has supported the world’s most talented and best-selling artists including Garth Brooks, John Oates, Trisha Yearwood, Vince Gill, Travis Tritt, Dolly Parton, Tim O’Brien, Delbert McClinton, Randy Travis, George Jones, Alison Krauss, Sam Bush, Tony Rice, Earl Scruggs, Lyle Lovett, Rosanne Cash, “Cowboy” Jack Clement and many others.
Trapp was surrounded by music during his youth on the Florida/Alabama coast. His family exposed him to numerous genres. By age seven, Trapp had taken up harmonica, by age 10, he had graduated to guitar, later adding mandolin to his musical resume. Joining his first band at age 13, he was a regular performer at the clubs, festivals and events throughout the Gulf Coast region. At ages 15 and 16, Trapp won consecutive statewide guitar and mandolin competitions in Alabama. At age 18, Trapp travelled to
Nashville to record on Gove Scrivenor’s album, Shine On, which also featured John Prine, Nanci Griffith, Lari White and Ray Flacke. Also a young adult, he teamed up with Nick Branch to form the popular band Filthy Rich, touring throughout the US and France.
Trapp eventually settled in Nashville in 2001, paying early dues with the heralded Don Kelley Band at the famed honky-tonk Robert’s Western World. He made his way to Music Row, where one of his first master sessions was playing mandolin alongside industry staples Willie Weeks, Ian Wallace and Tim Hinkley. He’s never looked back, expanding his resume to include participation as one of the most in-demand performers on the popular Artist Works instructional website and hosting a weekly live show at Acme Feed & Seed, Nashville’s hottest restaurant/live venue.
“Segue 61 is a game changer. It’s a “from the heart and soul” program with access to working music industry professionals that will unlock the secrets of the business.”
CLAY BRADLEY — INDUSTRY & MUSIC COORDINATOR
Clay Bradley is the Industry & Education Coordinator for Segue 61, managing the synthesis & integration of the music industry and educational aspects of the Segue 61 program. Bradley also helps ensure the real-world validity of the program as well as its academic integrity by working with mentors in the business-related industry categories as well as performance, songwriting, and engineering/production. His role also includes ongoing advisement in assessing and developing the program’s curriculum.
Bradley began his career at publishing leader BMI in 1991 immediately after graduation from the University of Alabama. Bradley served as Senior Director of A&R for Sony BMG/Nashville, from 2003 through 2009. He also worked in development for three years at Acuff-Rose Music Publishing and for two years as Vice President of A&R for MCA/Nashville. Bradley’s experience includes heavy involvement in music selection for such artists as Gretchen Wilson, Miranda Lambert, Kenny Chesney, Montgomery/Gentry, George Strait and Gary Allan. He nurtured dozens of songwriters, including Casey Beathard, Dean Dillon, Tia Sillers and Chesney,
For more than two decades, Bradley has been a primary liaison among artists, managers, producers, songwriters and publishers. Bradley’s achievements include being awarded the #14 position in the 2006 World Top 20 A&R chart, which was based on the national official sales charts of the 25 largest markets, including the USA, UK, Germany, and France at HitQuarters.com.
“Segue 61 is the perfect program for the student looking for a career in the music business. It is designed and taught by industry experts with the knowledge to guide the next generation of musicians, engineers, and executives.”
PETE ABBOTT — EDUCATION & MUSIC COORDINATOR
Pete Abbott is Music & Education Coordinator for Segue 61, coordinating the music and educational aspects of the Segue 61 program. Abbott uses a broad industry reach to help see to the real-world validity of the program as well as its academic integrity by working with mentors in the areas of performance, songwriting, and engineering/production. His role also includes ongoing advisement in assessing and developing the program’s curriculum.
Abbott moved to New York in 1987 and began a successful 11-year stint in the clubs and recording studios. He was playing shows with Noel Pointer and with Blood, Sweat and Tears when he received a call to audition for the legendary Average White Band. After the “Invitation Only” audition, Pete was asked to join the band and served as a member of the group from 1994-1998. During that period, AWB recorded one studio record and one live record and toured extensively around the world. Among many highlights of living/working in New York was getting the opportunity for Abbott to work with 14-time Grammy-winning producer Phil Ramone, whose resume spanned from John Coltrane to Frank Sinatra to Quincy Jones to Stevie Wonder to Billy Joel.
Abbott moved to Norway in 1998, meeting respected guitarist Georg Wadenius (Blood, Sweat and Tears, Steely Dan, SNL band ) in Oslo. The two produced and played on multiple records for various Scandinavian artists together, as well as completing Georg’s last solo record together entitled “Resurrection” (EMI Scandinavia). Abbott moved to Nashville in 2007, where he’s worked both as a studio musician and regular drummer for artists including Ashley Monroe, Steve Cropper, Larry Carlton, Robben Ford, Keb’ Mo, Jack Pearson, Jim Oblon, T.A.R. (Trapp, Abbott and Rhodes), The Tom Britt group and Charles “Wigg” Walker. Abbott also served in the house band in 2010 and 2012 for the prestigious Nashville String Fever All-Star benefit, backing guitar icons Carlton, Cropper, Pearson, Vince Gill, Duane Eddy, Steve Wariner and a dozen others.
“I received a formal education but afterward spent years bridging the gap between the academic world and that of a working musician. Segue 61 is the bridge connecting those two worlds.”
NATALIE THOMPSON — COORDINATOR OF OPERATIONS & STUDENT ENGAGEMENT
Natalie Thompson is Coordinator of Operations & Student Engagement for Segue 61, coordinating day-to-day operations, including scheduling of all daily activities (courses, mentors, rehearsals and recording, advising, and industry interface) for both the Segue 61 workshop and in the marketplace. She will hold primary responsibility for S61 student engagement and participation in the program. Natalie’s role will also include ongoing advisement in assessing and developing the program’s execution.
“I quickly fell in love with Segue 61 and everything that it stands for. I’m also madly in love with the
city of Nashville and what it has to offer young entertainment professionals.”
Segue 61 MENTORS
“Segue 61 is exactly the kind of program that I used to dream about experiencing when I was growing up studying music. It doesn’t just rattle off a bunch of tips and facts for you to figure out on your own as you are launched into real world business. Segue 61 integrates the same kind of true-to-form scenarios in which you’ll find yourself when you move to Nashville. It also happens to be perfectly and uniquely curated for the music industry of Nashville, centering its focus on the men and women who make the wheels go round in every corner of the business here. You won’t find this opportunity anywhere else.”
“Every successful person in the music industry has their story about an industry ‘insider’ who played a critical role in their development, as a mentor or just a source of good intel. A person who helped them shave off months or even years of dues paying and accelerated them toward their goal. Segue 61 organizes this experience, virtually guaranteeing that accelerated growth for their students.”
“Segue 61 offers students the opportunity to learn from working professionals and get valuable real world knowledge that isn’t taught at a traditional popular music program. Not only will they learn the skills needed to be successful, they’ll learn how to put them to use.”
“Some people attain success and pull the ladder up behind them. Others let the ladder down and offer a hand up to the next guy or girl. I’ve had a lot of hand ups in my life and Segue61 seems to be presenting me and an awesome collective of others a beautiful opportunity to drop that ladder down to the next generation.”
Segue 61 Administration
BILL ARMOUR – EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
As Executive Director of Segue 61, Bill Armour is responsible for the overall administration of the program, including budget and facility management. He also oversees the marketing, public relations and branding of Segue 61, including working with College Enrollment & Public Relations. As chief development officer for the program, Armour is responsible for developing and leveraging strategic relationships with individuals and organizations within the music industry in Nashville and beyond to ensure Segue 61 fulfills its mission. He also works with College President’s Office, Enrollment, and the Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operating Officer to ensure fiscal standards and requirements are met with the program.
He came late to his involvement in the music industry, through a chance post-show encounter in June 2011 with performer John David Souther, who encouraged him to consider combining a life-long passion as a deeply Informed Consumer of all things music and extensive career equity in external imaging, into a direct involvement with the business. Beginning as a friendly consulting relationship with Souther, Armour expanded his primarily sports-based entertainment background to include his life’s greatest passion: music and all those who create it. Armour came to Catawba in September 2014 to originally consult with the school on its interest in building a permanent Hall Of Fame for the Salisbury-based National Sports Media Association but was shifted to aid the Music Department in the development of what became the Segue 61 project.
As Owner of GTW Communications for two decades-plus, Armour provided consulting services for marketing/external imaging in projects with clients, including NESTLE FOODS (Baby Ruth), PROCTER & GAMBLE (Folgers), BP/AMOCO and KELLOGG’S. Armour also served as Manager/Special Event Marketing & Media Services for Atlanta-based Garner & Nevins, a full-service marketing, advertising and promotional agency, whose client list included national account work for THE KELLOGG COMPANY, COCA-COLA, TURNER ENTERTAINMENT, and M & M MARS, among others.
As part of the GTW framework, Armour was selected as Project Manager, producing the image package and coordinating all external efforts for LAS VEGAS EVENTS’ successful bid in to acquire the National Finals Rodeo—the sport’s Super Bowl—for Las Vegas, an event acquisition which now delivers an estimated impact of $300 million-plus annually to Clark County and Nevada. As National Media/Marketing Director at R.J. REYNOLDS CO. for national pro-rodeo and racing programs, Armour’s responsibilities included oversight of all external projects for over 3,000 cumulative events annually, including graphic and conceptual design, media coordination as well as budgeting and targeted program planning. He is a graduate of Wake Forest University.
“I’m committed to Segue 61 as deeply as any project I’ve ever worked on. I know the single most valuable element of career-currency I possess is my relationship equity & it lives at the core of what Segue 61 imparts to its students.”
CAMERON JOHNSON, SEGUE 61, PROGRAM ACADEMIC DIRECTOR
As Segue 61 Academic Director based in Nashville, TN, Cameron Johnson is responsible for execution of all curriculum elements and continued curricular development including scheduling of classes/mentors as well as recruitment, hiring, and assessment of Segue 61 faculty. Johnson works with the Catawba College Provost, Registrar, Admissions & Student Life offices to ensure academic and accreditation standards and requirements are met. He also serves as an official agent for Segue 61 (along w/Dr. Jeff Bowe) to interface with prospective students and parents in the admission process, and participates in the selection process of students with Segue 61 staff.
Johnson graduated from Appalachian State University in 2006 with a BS in Music Industry Studies. He furthered his education with a MFA in Film Music Composition from UNC School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, NC in 2010.
In January of 2011, Johnson joined the faculty of Catawba College, as a principal instructor for guitar, drum kit, and bass guitar lessons, as well as overseeing & directing numerous music ensembles. He has also developed and taught the courses for Audio Recording, Rhythm Section Methods, and Class Guitar.
When he is not teaching, Johnson is touring regionally with his internationally reviewed progressive metal band, Atma Weapon. They have released two albums and are currently writing their third.
“Being in the academic world for the majority of my life, Segue 61 struck me as a fresh and intuitive program. I would have jumped at such an opportunity, had it been available when I was coming up.”
JEFF BOWE – FACULTY ACADEMIC/ADMISSIONS DIRECTOR
As Faculty Academic Director for Segue 61, Dr. Jeffrey Bowe serves as a primary internal point of contact for both students & staff on the campus of Catawba College in Salisbury, N.C. Bowe is responsible for offering guidance & direction for potential candidates to the program during the admission process as well as advisory support throughout the execution of the program.
“Life is about passion and connections, and when those are combined the results are limitless. The music industry inspires all of us and I am thrilled to be on the Segue 61 team to watch future superstars live their passion and make lifetime connections through our unique program.”
Got What It Takes?
The talent of the young professionals who make up our first team has been inspiring.
So, if you’ve got the talent, skills, maturity, and motivation to make it in the music industry, if you’re poised to begin your career, if you want to work closely with top music professionals as mentors and faculty, let us know. If you’re interested in Year 2, apply now!
We’re currently taking applications for September 2017 – May 2018. Limited spots are available.