Vol State and Starstruck announce partnership

Cliff Williamson and Steve Bishir are shown in one of the two Vol State recording studios. (Submitted)

For The Portland Leader

A new partnership between Starstruck Entertainment of Nashville and Volunteer State Community College will provide a scholarship and the possibility of future music industry opportunities for Vol State students. It’s a unique partnership that combines real-world music industry experience with Vol State’s Music and Entertainment Media Production degree programs. Starstruck Entertainment develops talent, including singers, songwriters, producers and recording engineers. Currently, they manage Blake Shelton and Kelly Clarkson.

“For years, via internship programs, our industry has provided opportunities to music business graduates,” said Cliff Williamson, chief operating officer for Starstruck Entertainment. “Our goal with the Starstruck Scholarship is to elevate that to a place where deserving students can get financial assistance, have a relationship with Starstruck, and receive an outstanding education focused on their talent and dreams.”

The Vol State Entertainment Media Production program is directed by five-time Grammy Award winner Steve Bishir. “The focus of the Entertainment Media Production program is to get students into the workplace,” Bishir said. “We do that by developing relationships with music industry partners. This a great opportunity for our students.”

The scholarship is specifically for a student planning a career in the entertainment industry as a singer/songwriter. The application deadline for this year is coming up quickly — Aug. 1. Scholarship applicants must be able to enroll as a full-time Music or Entertainment Media Production major for the Fall Semester, starting Aug. 22.

Current students are welcome to apply. Applicants will also need to include a link to a video or sound file of a performance, and attach three letters of recommendation. The other requirements are listed on the application, which can be found at www.volstate.edu/starstruck. Auditions for scholarship finalists will be held in early August.

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