Senior Carrie Lelwica: Kirby Program Board Concert Chair
Not every student can say that the skills they’ve acquired in their college job will propel them towards their dream career. Senior Carrie Lelwica, a communication major, wants to work in promotions and events in the music industry in Nashville, Tenn. She’s well on her way as she seizes opportunities and takes on challenges as the concert chair of the Kirby Program Board (KPB).
Her job involves nearly every aspect of the concert business. “I reach out to agents, book the artist, and coordinate the event – catering, police, the production company. I promote the concert, everything from posters to social media. It takes about six months to put a big concert together. Fortunately KPB is a great team, and they give me a lot of support,” she said.
Her talents are recognized by those around her. "Carrie's work with the Kirby Program Board is a great example of student leadership as an extension of the things that students learn in the classroom. The skills that Carrie's acquired as concert chair – negotiation, planning, recruiting volunteers – she can take to any job after college," said Jeni Eltink, director of the Kirby Student Center.
In the Works
An upcoming KPB event will feature country singer and national recording artist Dustin Lynch. He will perform Thurs., Sept. 5 at 7 pm under the Dining Center, making it KPB's first outdoor concert. The event is free and open to the public. “Country has always been a very popular genre with college students, which is why we wanted to include country music this year," she said. Previously, Lelwica and the KPB have worked to bring such artists as Mac Miller and the band Timeflies to UMD.
Acts are chosen based on input from students. Lelwica sends out a mass email to UMD students to learn what artists or groups they are interested in seeing. She then narrows it down to the top ten. “Then it’s a matter of who’s available, their price range, if the venue is available, etc.,” Lelwica said.
She sees the Dustin Lynch concert as a kickoff event for the start of the school year. “I really want freshmen to get out of their dorms and see the show. It’s a great way to meet people.”
Lelwica became involved in KPB as a freshman. “I started with Late Night Kirby as an event attendant. It got me connected to the school and to friends. I grew as a person,” she said. As a sophomore, she began booking acts. In her junior year, she was hired as KPB’s concert chair. She’s also worked for WE Fest and for Winstock Country Music Festival implementing social media and as a meet and greet assistant.
She encourages students, especially freshmen, to get involved with KPB. “Students can shadow a chair to learn how everything works.” In addition to concert chair, KPB has a variety chair who brings in speakers and comedy acts; a special events chair who organizes such things as open mic night, games night, and crafts night; a film chair who brings in movies that haven’t yet been released on DVD; a traditions chair who works on homecoming, Out Cold Week, and the student awards; a co-sponsorship chair who works to build and maintain relationships with student groups around campus; a financial chair who coordinates the budgets; a publicity chair (a new position this year) who works on promotion and social media; and an overall KPB coordinator.
“We are always looking for volunteers for events, especially for concerts,” Lelwica said. Students who are interested can visit the Kirby Program Board website or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how they can get involved.
It’s been said that if one does what they love, they’ll never work a day in their life. Lelwica would agree. “Concerts and music have always been my passion. I don’t even consider it a job. It’s been an incredible experience to be a part of the Kirby Program Board. I look forward to what the future holds.”
Written by Kathleen McQuillan-Hofmann, August 2013