While we don't anticipate major recording artists to sign anytime soon, it's a pretty cool by-product of a rare college curriculum.

The University of Montana is one of only a handful of universities in the country offering an entertainment management curriculum. UM News Service tells us that among its alumni are entertainment professionals working for companies such as William Morris, the largest talent agency in the world, and for organizations such as Paramount’s “Yellowstone.”

And while this UM enterprise is not new, it's pretty impressive how it has risen from COVID ashes to become a viable entity again on campus. That leads us to Jack Person (pictured), whose work-study job led him on his current career path.

UM News Service says Jack was doing work-study in the School of Business Administration’s Entertainment Management office. And while it did not steer him away from other impressive academic goals - he earned double majors in management information systems and anthropology with honors - it did inspire him to take another step in the UM-related entertainment field: the job of resurrecting UM’s student record label, Switchback Records, and the Entertainment Management Student Group ­– both mostly shuttered by the pandemic.

From a near-dormant two or three students, Jack has rebuilt Switchback Records, and his enthusiasm has been infectious. They've seen growth in not only members, but bookings and a reputation that extends far beyond the boundaries of campus.

Switchback Records now hosts shows on the UM Oval and Urey Lecture Hall. That includes the 2nd Annual Weary Travelers Music Festival on the Oval this coming Saturday, April 29. Students and community members are invited to this free event from 6-10 pm. to  indulge in music, food trucks, and several art showcases.

Switchback also offers free recording sessions for aspiring local musicians. And the student club is now one of the most-attended clubs on campus.The mission is to get students jobs in the industry. That means road trips to conferences with professional resumes and business dress prepared to talk about who they are and what they do. During the last trip all students were offered employment.

That includes Jack Person himself, who will go to work for Show Imaging, a national entertainment production company in San Diego, this summer.

It's fair to say that the kid from Lolo, Montana, has left a "sound" legacy on the UM campus. Here's wishing Switchback Records continued success! You can learn more here.

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