Huntsville Music Advisory Board appointed during Thursday meeting

Mayor Tommy Battle officially appoints the nine members of Huntsville's new Music Advisory Board during a city council meeting on Thursday.
Mayor Tommy Battle officially appoints the nine members of Huntsville's new Music Advisory Board during a city council meeting on Thursday.

The nine-member group will hold its first official meeting in March.

Posted: Jan 23, 2020 9:42 PM
Updated: Jan 23, 2020 10:04 PM

As Huntsville works to build out its music economy, Mayor Tommy Battle appointed the city's first Music Advisory Board during Thursday's city council meeting.

The nine-member group is comprised of a diverse cross-section of musical backgrounds and experiences. 

Huntsville Music Advisory Board: *

  • Judy Allison
    • Manages and performs with Josh Allison. She also works with Arts Huntsville to conduct professional development seminars for local musicians.
  • Codie Gopher
    • Organizer of Huntsville Hip Hop Tech Conference. He has more than 20 years’ experience as a creative and executive in the music industry.
  • Cricket Hoffman
    • Founder of CodeName Underground, which provides a stage for rising hip hop and R&B artists in the area. She was also a founding member of the Kind Society and Hip Hop Live.
  • Mario Maitland
    • Founder and CEO of Maitland Conservatory, which gives music students hands-on instruction in production, contemporary instrumental training, vocal coaching, leadership and more in North Huntsville.
  • Chuck Rutenberg
    • Performer and CEO of BIZFORCE Technologies.
  • Celese Sanders
    • Performer and founder/president of Encore Opera Theatre.
  • DeQn Sue
    • Alternative-pop singer dubbed the “Queen of Quirk” by Time Magazine. She’s been featured on NPR’s Tiny Desk, T-Mobile and the Netflix series, “Orange is the New Black.”
  • Brett Tannehill
    • General manager of WLRH 89.3 FM, musician and 20-year public broadcasting veteran.
  • Mark Torstenson
    • Co-owner and manager of The Fret Shop, musician and live performance audio recording engineer for Know Huntsville.

*Bios provided by the City of Huntsville

Dennis Madsen, the manager of urban and long-range planning, said more than 60 people applied to be a part of the board. He said they have a lot of work to do this year.

"We view this as a working board, with an emphasis on working. So there will be lots of rolling up of sleeves and a lot of work really to get the recommendations from the music audit out and humming," said Madsen.

Thursday's annoucement comes about three months after the city completed its music audit.

Now that the primary board is established, they will move on to creating subcommittees that will oversee four areas: outreah and marketing; industry; education; and events.

As for timeline, the board will hold its first official meeting in March 2020. By the end of the year, the city will also aim to create the position of "music officer." That person will be a resource to the music scene and will assist in marketing and recruiting music-related jobs.

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