Published: April 3, 2024 By

Musical Dialogue networkingIn working with College of Music students, Marilyn Brock—interim director of our Entrepreneurship Center (ECM)—realized there is one aspect of business that makes many students uncomfortable: networking.

“A lot of students shared with me that they hadn’t participated in many networking events and that networking seems stressful,” Brock says. “I got a lot of feedback that it felt like it might be overly transactional or anxiety-inducing to go up to people and introduce yourself.”

Those conversations were the inspiration behind Musical Dialogues, a networking event hosted by the ECM that aims to connect students with each other and with musicians from across the Front Range. Among others, participating music professionals include Colorado Symphony members Nicholas Tisherman and Carolyn Kunicki. 

Musical Dialogues follows the framework of a formal networking event, down to the dress code: business formal. “This is a really unique opportunity for students to experience what some of these more formal events are like and for them to engage with musicians from a variety of spheres,” Brock says.

Musical Dialogues exemplifies the ECM’s mission to equip today’s music students with the skills and tools they need to create sustainable careers in the arts. Brock explains, “By attending an event like this, students are developing some of the networking skills that they will very likely be using in their careers. 

“Also, so many career opportunities come as a direct result of the relationships that have been built over the years and the more that students can get the opportunity to connect with one another and musicians from outside of the university, the more they’ll be able to then build on those relationships and develop those opportunities for one another later on.”

The event is partially funded by the Dr. C.W. Bixler Family Foundation. “I am extremely grateful that the ECM has been given this opportunity through the generosity of the Bixler fund,” Brock says. Bixler Foundation funds support faculty projects that elevate and enrich the College of Music experience. 

To the potential attendees, Brock says to come with an open mind. “There’s really space for everyone in terms of musical interests and in terms of career goals. Oftentimes, networking can feel like this prescribed, formulaic thing and really it’s just about leaning into who you are, bringing your own authentic self and developing connections with other musicians.”

Musical Dialogues will be held on April 10, 2024 from 5-8 p.m. at Chautauqua Dining Hall. RSVP here.

Photo: A recent ECM networking event in Grusin Lobby (credit: Marilyn Brock).