Nathan Wright chooses what music you listen to.
He’s the talent buyer for Program Council, an organization at CU that is responsible for a huge chunk of the entertainment that goes on around campus.
Wright, 21, is a senior humanities major who is in charge of booking bands for upcoming shows at CU. Wright said he does his best to represent the unique tastes of approximately 30,000 different people.
That sounds simple, right?
His days consist of calling and e-mailing artists, managers and agents, whether local or national. He finds dates and venues that work for the university, and decides whether an artist would be good for the student body.
According to Program Council’s mission statement, its goal is to provide affordable “face rocking” entertainment for students, so Wright says he sets out to achieve this with every show he plans.
Planning a larger show can start three months in advance. First comes budget, then comes venue, then comes Wright finding a band to book. When that’s all said and done, the tasks become, “paperwork, paperwork, paperwork, promotion, promotion, promotion,” Wright said.
To be good at a job like this, the person has to be in tune with all varieties of new music.
Co-worker Seamus James, a 27-year-old senior philosophy major, said Wright is the right guy for the job.
“He’s really got his finger on the pulse of music. He’s always up to date with national artists, as well as local,” James said.
It is not hard to believe, since Wright is always surrounded by music. If he’s not listening to new music for an event, Wright said he’s usually making his own with his band Fellow Citizens. He plays guitar in the band, which he describes as an “experimental folk rock” group.
The opportunity of getting to be hands-on with the music is what Wright said attracted him to CU Boulder in the first place. After coming from Dallas, his hometown, he first he toured CU Denver’s campus hearing they had a program offered in working in the music business. But when visiting Boulder he heard about Program Council and said he had a realization.
“If I work hard I can try to get to the top of this organization. There’s no better way to learn than doing it myself,” Wright said.
Wright said he started at the bottom of the totem pole, on street team, tacking up posters and handing out fliers for up and coming events. Eventually, he landed a desk job where he answered the phone and learned the general operations. Then, the person who held the booking job previously left abruptly, and so Wright was thrown into the ring without much training or preparation.
Whether dealing with a star’s quirky behavior, handling needy posses or controlling snooty music officials, Wright said he deals with it all.
“I have to try and work with people,” he said. “The thing is we’re students, but we don’t deal with other students.”
Wright’s diligent nature is apparent to his fellow colleagues, as well.
In her short time working for the Program Council, Bri Maranga, an 18-year-old freshman open-option major, said she has gotten a sense of Wright’s character.
“He’s hardworking and reliable, and he really tries his best to get all the top bands,” Maranga said.
But no matter how hard Wright tries, he said it’s never enough.
“I always seem to cross one thing off of my to-do list and five more appear,” Wright said.
It’s all in a day’s work for Wright, who said he tries not to become stressed when it’s show time.
“I do everything I can,” Wright said. “When it’s show time the only thing I can do is just sit back and pray I didn’t forget anything.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Amanda Moutinho at Amanda.firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Man Man's unique performance brings full house to Club 156
- CU Idol returns for a night of music, entertainment
- College of Music sparks holiday spirit
- CU offers free music-subscription service in dorms
- Cingular unleashes slew of new options with Music Service