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Front Row: Meet Annaliese

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At this time, two years ago, I started my first semester at Loyola Marymount University after transferring from a community college. 

I had no idea what lay ahead for me at the start of my university experience and I most definitely did not think that almost exactly two years later, in my final semester, I would have the opportunity to dance in the Super Bowl Halftime Show or intern at an international music company.  The second of which was thanks to Music Forward who presented me with his unexpected opportunity after having completed an amazing digital marketing internship with them last fall.  I could not believe that I’d gone from ending that internship to wondering what I would take on in spring only to be given these two wonderful opportunities. 

With the Super Bowl being in Los Angeles for the first time since 1993, I was so excited to be able to have even just a small part in this event that is watched by millions of people.  

Dancing in the Super Bowl Halftime Show was one of the most exhilarating experiences I’ve had as a dancer (I’ve been dancing since I was a child) and as a student interested in live entertainment production. Although my part was small in comparison to the legendary acts being highlighted on the stage (Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Eminem, and Kendrick Lamar), it felt amazing to contribute to one of live music’s biggest performances of the year. Being on the field with these iconic performers and seeing the nods to Los Angeles culture that surrounded me, everything felt larger than life! 

The multiple elements integrated into the performance that television could just not capture in its entirety. During our rehearsals, we got to witness the building and break down of the stage after each practice that required hundreds of people to complete. It did not feel real being at SoFi Stadium, nearly every day a week before the game, walking onto that field, and rehearsing over and over to make sure everything was perfect. It never felt not-exciting and I’ll never forget the way I felt each time the lights dimmed, with the halftime show introduction leading into  “The Next Episode” by Dr. Dre. 

To share the field with some of my favorite artists is a memory and experience I’ll forever cherish.

From a learning perspective, it was fascinating to see all of the effort that goes into executing a show of this scale! I learned that in order to make it all happen you need patience, encouragement, communication, kindness, and a desire to persevere. Everyone was so appreciative of each other’s work and shared words of encouragement anytime they could. One of the things I love most about having had this experience is sharing it with my mom, who danced in the Super Bowl Halftime Show the last time it was in Los Angeles! In the week, leading up to the Super Bowl, I had long practices almost every single day. It was a lot of work in a short period of time, but I enjoyed every minute of this experience. 

It was at this same time that I was also starting my first week with BMG as their Catalog Digital Marketing Intern. This opportunity, presented to me by Music Forward, is one that I am learning so much from already, every moment is exciting! 

I’ve known for a long time that I wanted to work in music, but I wasn’t 100% sure which area was the right career for me.  I’ve explored the music industry the various ways that I’ve had access to, such as through live music entertainment (both attending concerts and shows or producing them from behind-the-scenes) or via music education like some of the programs that Music Forward offers. 

In this new role, I work closer to the artist and their teams on the music publishing and recording side. I specifically work in the catalog department, working on projects including an incredible roster of artists across all genres from Iron Maiden to the incomparable Nina Simone to legendary Stevie Nicks and more! 

In a short time, I’ve already learned so much more about the music industry from a publishing and recording standpoint. It’s a challenging role that I love. It feels great to learn so many new things about an industry that  I am passionate about, and to be able to explore the music of many artists by strategizing ways to creatively promote their work. I would never have known that this was a role that existed in the music industry if it wasn’t for opportunities like this. 

As the year kicks off with these incredible blessings, I am so very grateful and excited to see what’s next!

I feel so fortunate to have had these incredible learning experiences, and to have the support of my school LMU, Music Forward, and BMG as I navigate the end of my college career and continue to work on these exciting endeavors. 

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