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University of North Carolina School of the Arts Launches Independent Media Arm

The new label, UNCSA Media, will release its first album, "Windows," on September 29, 2023


The University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) recently launched a new media arm, which will allow its students to get first-hand experience in the practical components of recording and releasing their work commercially.

Titled UNCSA Media, the label will cover work from across the conservatory's disciplines, and will offer two to three releases each year of work in music, film and video, plays, dance, and more.

The inaugural release is a recording of works by the contemporary composers Valerie Coleman, Jessie Montgomery, and Reena Esmail — and also includes a world premiere commission by Kamala Sankaram. Titled Windows, the album features the performances of UNCSA faculty members and will be available from September 29, 2023.

UNCSA Media will also create opportunities for students to learn about licensing and intellectual property. The label intends for artists to retain ownership of their master recording and publishing rights, though works will be licensed to UNCSA Media for limited terms of three to five years.

"I am so proud to launch UNCSA Media, an innovative, mission-driven platform that will highlight the incredible talent produced by and created at our unique conservatory," said Brian Cole, the UNCSA's Chancellor. "UNCSA Media will not only showcase the remarkable and innovative talents of our faculty and alumni across a range of disciplines, genres and art forms, but will also provide curricular opportunities for our students to gain practical skills that will help them become entrepreneurs and artists for the 21st century and beyond."

"In this time of ever-evolving business models in the arts industry, it is more critical than ever for our student artists to learn the value of ownership, and of leveraging their intellectual property as they move into the professional world," he added.

You can listen to "Presto," the third movement from Jessie Montgomery's Duo for Violin and Cello, below. Performed by cellist Brooks Whitehouse and violinist Janet Orenstein, the work is included on UNCSA Media's Windows release.


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