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Trejohn Skinner
June 27, 2023

From Performing to Working behind the Scenes in the Music Industry

Even before coming to Berry, Trejohn Skinner ’23 was making a name for himself as a vocalist — winning a national high school a capella championship with the group InToneNation. Paul Neal, Berry’s director of choral activities, took note. He sent a personalized message to Trejohn’s high school choir director, saying the senior was a great fit for the music program. That gesture convinced Trejohn to commit to Berry.

The promise recognized by Paul Neal found early fulfillment. In his freshman year, Trejohn took runner-up honors at the international Varsity Vocals AcaOpen. Competing in a field of 400 students in the 2019 Georgia Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition, he won second place in the category for freshman men in classical singing. The honors kept coming. Judges from Georgia State University and the Atlanta Opera selected Trejohn for Berry’s Vocal Honors Recital. He was on track for a degree in music education — until an offstage creative twist inspired the change to a Bachelor of Music with Elective Studies in Business and the desire to produce.

“Logic Pro X is a music software that a lot of producers in the music industry use to record other artists and edit their music,” he explains. “I started to mess around with it and surprisingly became very interested in this software.”

A course in the music industry sharpened Trejohn’s skill set, as it provided an overview of the recording industry: arts business, concert management, sales and promotion, professional organizations, publishing, instrument manufacturing, legal and financial services, retailing and wholesaling. This preparation proved critical in Trejohn’s internship that turned into a full-time gig with Live Nation, a global entertainment company.

“My main responsibility while working with Live Nation was making sure each concert that I worked ran smoothly — and making sure any inconvenience was handled properly. I learned more problem-solving skills and how to think outside of the box because some situations aren’t going to be easy as you may think,” Trejohn says. “I was able to notice all the things I learned from that class. There were times where I became excited because I was already knowledgeable about what was going on, and being able to see it in person was very exciting.”

With the goal of experiencing music scenes across the country, Trejohn anticipates applying on-the-job learning to his dream — opening a studio in his hometown of Douglasville, Georgia: “There’s no access to a studio unless you drive all the way to Atlanta. Douglasville has a lot of different artists trying to create music, but they don’t have anywhere to go. I want to open a studio, not just for the business, but for bringing community within the studio.” 

He will draw on his Berry training as a performer and director. “Trejohn has grown into an outstanding singer,” says Lecturer of Music Ruth Baker, revered for nurturing students’ technique over the years. “His senior recital was one of the best I have produced to date — certainly in the top three! Among many pieces, he sang a Mozart concert aria that was nigh unto perfect. He thrilled the audience with two pieces from the musical theatre repertoire, and he sang three spirituals that were lovely, sensitive and musical. His tenor voice has become refined and expressive, and the joy he has on his face when he sings comes from deep in his soul.”  

Paul Neal commended Trejohn’s success as the director of the a cappella group Berry Voices: “I have never fully given the group over to a student, but Trejohn is a special case. He did wonders, and they sounded amazing. … His interest in and knowledge of branding, marketing and organization of such a group has been invaluable. He’s a remarkable young man ready to take on the music business world.”

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