Sony/ATV's Martin Bandier Celebrates Success of Syracuse University's Bandier Program for Music Business Education

Syracuse University’s Bandier Program
Ben Gabbe/Courtesy Syracuse University

Bill Werde, director of Syracuse University’s Bandier Program for Music Business and the Entertainment Industries, former director David Rezak and Sony/ATV Music Publishing chairman/CEO Martin Bandier, who endowed the program, at a celebration at the Sony Square Rooftop in New York on Oct. 10, 2017

Sony/ATV Music publishing chairman and CEO Martin Bandier Tuesday (Oct. 10) night presided over a celebration of the music business education program he endowed more than a decade ago at Syracuse University, calling it “one of my proudest successes.”

A rooftop party at Sony Square, overlooking the Manhattan skyline, was held to mark major milestones for the Bandier Program for Music Business and the Entertainment Industries, including its move from the Syracuse’s College of Visual and Performing Arts to the prestigious S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

Music industry executives and alumni gathered also to fete David Rezak, the program’s first director, following his retirement, and to welcome the program’s new director, Bill Werde, the former editorial director of Billboard.

Since it launched in 2006, the highly selective Bandier Program, which admits about 25 students a year, has offered a bachelor of science in recording and allied entertainment studies. Students study all aspects of the music business on campus and through internships with major music companies in New York, Los Angeles and London. It has graduated seven classes of students to date and its alumni include Andrew “Drew” Taggart of the Chainsmokers.

“The main reason the program was created,” said Bandier, a Syracuse alumnus, “was because of the lack of music business programs that afforded students the opportunity to learn the business of music. And so myself, John Sykes [president of entertainment enterprises, iHeartMedia] and Rob Light [partner and head of music, Creative Artists Agency] and a few other alumni, who had successful music business careers and who understood the need for a business program, worked with the university to create the Bandier Program, which I was privileged to endow.”

Bandier added: “I think out of all the things that I have accomplished in my career – and I’ve been lucky enough to achieve a few things over the years – this is one of my proudest successes.”

He praised Rezak for “knowledge, experience, wisdom and caring [which] have been invaluable to the program and, more importantly, to its students, many of whom are here tonight to pay tribute to you.”

Bandier thanked Lorraine Branham, dean of the Newhouse School “for all she has done to make the move into Newhouse possible” and credited the work of the Bandier Program’s assistant professor Ulf Oesterle, its assistant director Lisa Steele and Andrew Beyda, director, business and legal affairs at Universal Music Group, who graduated from the first class of the Bandier Program and is president of its alumni association.

And the Sony/ATV executive praised Werde for “exceptional knowledge and understanding of the music business and entertainment industries that will be a significant asset to the program. I’ve known Bill personally for a number of years and I really cannot think of a better person to follow Dave.”  To Werde, Bandier said, “I know, Bill, you are going to be terrific and that with you as the program’s director its future is in extremely capable hands.”