The Nashville Association of Talent Directors (NATD) is back this year for the “NATD College of Knowledge” at Murray State University on Thursday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. in Lovett Auditorium. Among the expert panel participants will be CMT star and performer, Julie Roberts, most noted for her hit “Break Down Here,” which topped out at 18 on the U.S. Country Music Billboards. Also in attendance will be past president of The Nashville Publishers’ Network and co-founder of The Independent Pluggers Association, Sherrill Blackman; ASCAP songwriter and performer, Chris Carpenter; singer-songwriter, Lyndsey Highlander; vice president/general manager of Still Working Music, Clay Myers; music executive all-star and “Rising-Star” award recipient, Jeff Howard; senior director of media and marketing at Webster and Associates Public Relations, Shelly Mullins; and singer-songwriter, Michael Ray.

Stephen Tolman, co-director, LogiCom Project Management and president of NATD, will present the group’s scholarship award to a Murray State student during the event. Ed Bazel, CEO (chief entertainment organizer) at The Bazel Group will also be in attendance. There is no admission charge for the event. MSU music business students are especially encouraged to attend, but the program is open to anyone. Murray State students majoring in other areas who are interested in the business side of the music industry will find the evening helpful as well. The panel discussion should also be of particular interest to students in public relations, management/marketing and music performance.

The program is designed to let entertainment professionals educate and inspire individuals with an interest in the music business while giving them an insider’s look at the various facets of the industry. Some additional panelists for the event include: * Paul Compton, president of The Songwriter Agency and founder of Music Highway Writer Services * Clyde Bright, president of Collinsworth, Bright and Co. P.C. * Jesse Keith Whitley, son of the late Keith Whitley * Karen Kane, director of artist development/marketing for Sony Nashville * David Preston, director at BMI * Kate Dore, promoter for Outback Concerts * Brandon Mauldin, manager of Ontourage Management * Jimmy Barret, singer-songwriter

Panel subjects are “It All Starts with a Song,” “The A Team — Building an Artist Team” and “Guitar Pull.” During a special round, songwriters in the group — Roberts, Carpenter, Ray, Highlander and Barrett — will briefly share their experiences and each perform a song or two. For more information on the College of Knowledge at Murray State, contact Jim Carter, vice president for institutional advancement at MSU, at

For information regarding the NATD, visit online at

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