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In the news: Tonya Butler

In the news: Tonya Butler

Berklee College of Music has appointed Tonya Butler as the new Chair of the Music Business/Management Department. She will succeed Don Gorder, chair and founder of the department, in August of 2020.

Arriving on the Boston campus in 2017, Butler made a positive impact on the community. The seasoned music industry veteran has coordinated visiting artists seminars, moderated panels, counseled students, participated in numerous workshops and master classes, and cultivated partnerships across various departments. She also teaches three courses, including a music business management and leadership class through Berklee Online, the college’s online school.

“Tonya has the experience, tenacity, and academic savvy to take the reins of the Music Business/Management Department and lead it to new heights,” says Gorder. “She is a consummate educator, revered by students and colleagues alike, with a firm resolve to keeping the department at the forefront of music business education. It’s comforting for me to know that I’m leaving the department in such good hands.”

As chair, Butler will continue to serve the needs of students with early academic advising, a legal and business affairs clinic on campus, a soon-to-be-launched Bachelor of Arts in Music Business Degree program, and creating an opportunity where every Berklee student is able to incorporate music business education into their curriculum.

On a mission to inspire and change lives, it’s all about “operating in her truth,” says the award-winning Toastmaster and motivational speaker. “My truth is relationships, collaborations, bridge-building and program development. That’s what I’ve always done, and that’s what put me on Berklee’s radar.”

An accomplished educator and retired entertainment attorney, Butler came to Berklee from Minnesota State University, Mankato, where she directed the Music Industry Studies program. She previously served as the coordinator of Music Business at the University of Memphis. Her career path also led her to the Los Angeles Film School as course director of entertainment marketing and media distribution.


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