Hello Simply Three fans! A ton has been happening! Here's the scoop: Last year, we started working diligently on a new project: publishing our sheet music and creating tutorial videos teaching how to play our arrangements and instruments. As we began brainstorming how to best prepare, launch, and execute the project, our Arizona State University Herberger Institute advisor, Jennifer Edwards, suggested we apply for a grant hosted by the School of Theatre and Film called the Performing Arts Venture Experience (PAVE) grant.
With the assistance of great mentors and professors, we were lucky enough to receive the highest PAVE grant at the beginning of this year! (check out this article) As a result, we were able to
obtain all the camera equipment and editing software necessary to make high quality tutorial videos, business and website establishment, and our trademark registration, which will allow national distribution of our sheet music and other musical products. In short, the PAVE grant provided us with everything we needed to get our business idea off the ground. It was more than a blessing – all thanks to PAVE.
Even better than the money were the people we met and the connections we gained. The grant encouraged us to reach out to professionals, mentors, and teachers for assistance. We worked with several experts in various fields, including G. Douglas Olsen, Associate Professor of Marketing at ASU (check out his book here); Amy Spears, Doctor of Music Education; Evan Tobias, Assistant Professor of Music Education at ASU; Jake Pinholster, Director of ASU's School of Theatre & Film; Kimberly Marshall, former director of ASU’s school of music; Lynne Aspnes, ASU Professor of Harp and member of the PAVE committee; and Linda Essig, Director of the Pave Program in Arts Entrepreneurship. These people were integral in helping us with our project, and most are still working hard to help and support us.
During our research, we were under the impression that we needed to get our music licensing through Hal Leonard publishers in order to publish our music. So we called them. First, they threatened us and treated us rudely, telling us that there was no way to get permission to publish, let alone arrange the music we wanted. Next, they told us who to email to TRY to ask for permission. After several weeks of waiting, we finally received a firm response that simply said, "No.” Not only did they refuse permission to license popular music, but they also did not even give us options on what would make our project possible. We highly recommend, if you have music licensing needs, DO NOT use Hal Leonard – use Tresóna (more about Tresóna now).
With the rejection from Hal Leonard, we thought all hope was lost. Our project was at a standstill without licensing. Though discouraged, we did not stop asking our ASU professors and mentors in search for another option. Professor Gary Hill, Director of Ensemble Studies, referred us to Professor Jim Hudson, director of ASU’s athletic bands, and then Jim referred us to the man who would become the answer to all our problems: a savvy business man named Mark Greenburg.
Mark Greenburg is the President of Tresóna, a company that specializes in music licensing and intellectual property. Mark told us not to fret - many other musicians have encountered the same problem with Hal Leonard - and there is a way around them. We couldn't have been more thrilled. Our project was back on track!
Throughout our continued interactions with Mark, we learned about music licensing and intellectual property from his business partner Ken Booth of Booth Udall, PLC - an intellectual property law firm based in Tempe, AZ. What makes this connection more exciting is that Tresóna just merged with Soundset Records, the record label of Frank Koonce, professor of guitar at Arizona State University. This put us in contact with Clarke Rigsby, owner of Tempest Recording and an icon in the music recording industry. Clarke has recorded several famous artists including Simon and Garfunkel, Alice Cooper, and Paul McCartney.
After working with Tresóna and Soundset records, they decided to license, represent, and promote us. Since the agreement, we have struck deals with Sony, Tempest Recording, and Google/YouTube. Here is the plan: we record a studio album and then shoot music videos to put up onto YouTube. Through our relationships with Sony and Google/YouTube, we got a Premium Partner YouTube Channel (see it here). We are excited for the potential and exposure these partnerships will bring to us.
We are currently in the process of recording our studio album with Clarke Rigsby of Tempest Recording, and we are excited with our progress! Our goal is to be innovative and professional in our arrangements, compositions, recordings - and soon - our music videos. Wish us luck as we continue working on this exciting project - and thank you for your support!
Zack, Nick, and Olivia