Director of Spotlight Sounds, Sarah Gordon
The moment I was offered the position of Director of Spotlight Sounds, I was filled with both excitement and anxiety. I was so afraid I wouldn’t have enough experience for what the position required. I remember weighing the options of accepting the position and finally deciding to go with the option I feared most: choosing to be director!
What I didn’t know at the time was that this position was not only about having the ability to accomplish tasks. This year has given me more experience in music industry than any class could, but more importantly, it has taught me how to be an effective leader. Leading a committee of 35 people with the same goal in mind is a daunting task. I was extremely nervous with public speaking, and that included conducting my weekly meetings. However, I learned that sometimes we have to push ourselves through things that may seem scary at first. My time working with bands has given me valuable professional experience for the future: I’ve learned how to write formal emails, communicate with talent agencies, and decipher contracts and riders. I have been given responsibilities that include handling budgets, organizing entire concerts, and dealing with hospitality needs of bands.
Like I said before, I was terrified being in charge of our committee, but it only took me a few meetings to realize that everyone in Spotlight was on my side. I didn’t need to be afraid of leading meetings or be intimidated by our large committee beca
use we were all there to support each other. Everyone in Spotlight has a common goal: bringing up-and-coming artists to JMU’s campus. Music is what brings us together and because of that, my job doesn’t seem so intimidating . When you do something you are passionate about, and have 35 people with the exact same passion supporting you, it makes everything a lot simpler.
As an Exec board, we have heavily utilized marketing tools like advertising and design, interactive promotion, and social media to attract diverse audiences. The decision I made of being on the Executive Council this year has begun shaping me into who I will be for the rest of my life. The opportunities that I have been given have made me a more independent person and have helped me to truly discover my passion for music, and for that I’ll be forever grateful.