Innovative music research is underway at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). The university's music marketing coordinator and his undergraduate students are using geographic information system (GIS) technology to map the scale and scope of the live music scene in San Antonio.
Stan Renard, in the UTSA Department of Music, has developed an app to capture, store, analyze, manage and present music-centric geographic data for San Antonio. The app gives a visual representation of San Antonio's music venues, studios and production companies, and how and where the city's music industry is growing.
Renard and his undergraduate research assistants mapped more than 300 venues, nearly 30 music festivals, more than 250 music businesses (record studios/production companies) and more than 100 music-related non-profit organizations. In addition, Renard was able to show how the music scene and alcohol sales are correlated. This research was funded by a $3,000 grant from the Music Entertainment & Industry Educators Association (MEIEA).
The UTSA researchers point out that District 1, which includes downtown San Antonio, has the most concentration of music venues, music industry non-profits and music businesses. Additionally, they observed the San Antonio music industry is growing especially in Districts 8 and 9 with more music venues and live music festivals showing up along I-10 and US Highway 281.
"I hope this data will be used by city leaders and music professionals to develop programs and initiatives to spur more growth for the music scene citywide," Renard said.
Renard will present his team's findings at the MEIEA Summit in Los Angeles on March 24, 2018.
Prior to this study, Renard and his students developed a music industry impact study along with Music Canada LLC. It was commissioned by San Antonio Sound Garden, funded by the City of San Antonio, and released in November 2017.
The study provided an inventory of recording studios, live music venues, music training and education and included recommendations to promote the music industry in San Antonio.
Soon after that study's release, the Texas Music Office, a division in the Office of the Governor, announced San Antonio as a "Music Friendly Community".
"San Antonio's music industry is seeing tremendous growth and a lot of musicians, many from Austin, are seizing the opportunities here," said Renard. "We are also seeing more tech-related music start-ups popping up in San Antonio."
Renard and his Music Marketing students are taking advantage of the opportunity to network with those music professionals at this year's Music Biz Day on April 7, 2018 at the UTSA Downtown Campus.
Music Biz Day is considered the largest university-held music expo nation of its kind in the nation. The expo brings industry professionals, musicians, and students together for a unique networking and collaborating experience.
"In UTSA's Music Marketing program, we are training our music students to adapt to the changing landscape and provide great networking opportunities for them to thrive in a variety of roles in the music industry," said Renard.
The UTSA Department of Music is nationally recognized and accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. The department includes world-renowned faculty members and researchers who prepare students to become performers, educators and leaders in the music industry.
UTSA is ranked among the top four universities in the nation under 50 years old, according to Times Higher Education.