By Jon Solomon, Westword | While concert promoter and manager Chuck Morris has worked in the music industry for nearly five decades, he’s also had a longtime dream of starting a music program for a Colorado university. Morris, who’s been CEO of AEG Presents Rocky Mountains for the past fourteen years, will get that chance as director of a new cross-disciplinary music business program with Colorado State University’s College of Business that’s set to offer courses this fall.
As director of the program, Morris says his position will involve hiring teachers, recruiting students, setting the curriculum, and developing the department into a larger entity.
“I’m going to have a series of guests coming in of all my hundreds of friends and artists that I’ve been friends with from my career that will guest-lecture,” Morris says. “We’re going to have some really exciting seminars. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and I’m so happy I’m able to do this.”
The music business program, which will be open to every student at CSU and won’t be limited to business students or musicians, will work with organizations like the Bohemian Foundation and the Music District in Fort Collins as well as music businesses in Colorado and beyond to help students gain real-world experience.
“I couldn’t be more excited about working with the renowned Chuck Morris to launch a music business program through the College of Business at CSU,” says Beth A. Walker, dean of the school’s College of Business. “Given the vibrant and thriving music scene in Colorado, distinctive music culture and community in Fort Collins and partners across our campus, we have the opportunity to build a program that is truly world-class.”
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After spending a decade managing acts like Lyle Lovett, Big Head Todd & the Monsters, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Leo Kottke, Morris got back into concert promotion by helping launch Bill Graham/Chuck Morris Presents, which would eventually morph into Live Nation, and opening the Fillmore Auditorium in the former Mammoth Event Center in 1999, and then creating AEG Presents Rocky Mountains, which books more than 1,100 shows per year at venues from the Bluebird Theater to Red Rocks Amphitheatre to Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre, to the Mission Ballroom, which opened last year. In 2018, Morris was inducted into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame.
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Jon Solomon writes about music and nightlife for Westword, where he’s been the Clubs Editor since 2006.
Photo: My latest picture of one of my 60 pair of glasses with a favorite music t shirt. My great friend and the biggest hip hop artiste in Uganda. NAVIO who was the main host for the great series of concerts and aids testing in Uganda created by the people of The Global Livingston Institute founded my friend and Denverite Jamie vanLeeuwen.