Middle Tennessee State University graduates are preparing to head west to be recognized for their work at music’s highest levels: the 62nd annual Grammy Awards, set Sunday, Jan. 26, in Los Angeles.
This year’s MTSU Grammy nominees include:
• John Baldwin, a 2002 Department of Recording Industry graduate who mastered and engineered Kankyo Ongaku’s “Japanese Ambient, Environmental and New Age Music 1980-1990,” for best historical album category.
• Tony Castle, a 1995 MTSU recording industry production and technology alumnus, is nominated for engineering Reba McEntire’s best country album-nominated project, “Stronger Than the Truth.”
• Torrance “Street Symphony” Esmond, a 2003 music business alumnus, produced a best children’s album nomination for “The Love.”
• 2000 recording industry alumnus Jason A. Hall and 2014 audio production grad Jimmy Mansfield, are the engineers for Eric Church’s best country album candidate, “Desperate Man.”
• Billy Hickey, a 2006 recording industry production and technology alumnus, is nominated for two Grammys for his work with Ariana Grande. He’s part of the team nominated for record of the year for Grande’s “7 Rings” single and earned a second engineering nomination for Grande’s best pop vocal album candidate, “thank u, next.”
• Jeff Hyde, a 2003 marketing graduate from the Jones College of Business, is nominated for the best country song Grammy for co-writing “Some of It” with — and for — Eric Church.
• 2009 Master of Fine Arts alumnus Aaron Raitiere’s “I’ll Never Love Again,” co-written for the 2018 film “A Star is Born,” was nominated for the Grammy for best song for visual media.
• F. Reid Shippen, a 1994 recording industry graduate and multi-Grammy winner, is engineer for Gloria Gaynor’s best roots gospel album nominee, “Testimony.”
The university is again partnering with the Americana Music Association for a pre-Grammy concert event at The Troubadour, the legendary live music venue in West Hollywood. This year’s concert will celebrate the music of Willie Nelson and is scheduled to feature John Prine and Tanya Tucker.
MTSU alumni, former or current students, and faculty have been a part of more than 75 Grammy Award nominations in the last decade. Ten have won a total of 30 Grammys, including seven repeat recipients, since 2001 in categories from classical to pop to country to gospel.