NASHVILLE, TENN., Dec. 7, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Students at the Ringling College of Art and Design engaged through the Ringling College Collaboratory recently completed production of ten music videos for SUM Entertainment's 'Artist Development' platform - the NASH Next Challenge. The students had to complete the ten full-length music videos in under four weeks – a video detailing their experience is available at

NASH NEXT is discovering and releasing music from the most promising emerging modern Country talent. It is doing this by having fans find and choose the next superstars of Country Music radio through social media and online engagement with their favorite artists and bands.

According to Ron Berryman, Founder and CEO of SUM, NASH NEXT's strategic partner, "We are very pleased with our first engagement with the Ringling College and its Collaboratory. Students and performers worked together under a very tight time frame to create some very compelling videos. The core of the NASH NEXT Challenge is to find emerging modern Country talent that can actively engage and build their fan base by leveraging their online exposure. The videos the students from Ringling College created have proven to be phenomenal in driving fan engagement. This is a very exciting time in the music business and it has been revolutionary bringing together our NASH NEXT performers and Ringling College's visual artists to make great things happen. We look forward to taking this engagement to the next level."

The music video creative process began with the Ringling College student team leader of the project receiving the audio tracks for each of the ten NASH NEXT finalists. Each of the five project leaders was responsible for two songs. They then formed teams with fellow Ringling College students and conferenced with the musical artists to talk out their ideas and the kind of treatment the musicians wanted in their video. The Ringling teams then storyboarded the videos and detailed how they wanted each of the segments shot. The NASH NEXT musicians then shot the video footage remotely. The rough video was delivered to the Ringling teams, who then edited, animated and added motion design elements to create the finished videos, which are viewable at

"This has been a collaboration of the highest order and intensity," said Cynthia L. Gravino, Ringling College Associate Vice President of Collaborative Enterprises. "The scope of the project and the accelerated timeline was a challenge, but the opportunity was so great that our student project leaders, motion designers and computer animators exceeded expectations. To bring together musical and visual artists in a creative whirlwind was an experience like no other. We are proud of the work our teams have done. With the growth and interest in country and crossover music this project has been an excellent opportunity for our students to understand how to work in an established industry experiencing unbelievable growth."

Corin Grover, Project Manager for the Ringling College Collaboratory, said that "Going into this we knew it was going to be intense from the onset. But we developed some new strategies, worked through weekend charrettes in order to not disrupt the regular academic flow and accomplished the job. My hat goes off to all the students and artists because they pulled it off. That they were able to achieve this level of excellence means they will be able handle anything else thrown at them professionally in the future."

The five Ringling College Project Leads for the NASH Next Challenge Videos were students Sarah Lockett, Chi-ling Chu, Alexa Maseillo, Laszlo Bogdan and Stephanie Griner, who were instructed by Ringling alumni Ross Cometti. Students working with the project leads on the month-long NASH Next Charrette were Gisselle Tirse, Michael Warren, Katelyn Hagen and Elizabeth Ramos, facilitated by Ringling alumni Ken Trunk. Special thanks is also due to Ringling alumni Thomas Eyester, who volunteered his time to help assist with the Charrette portion of the project. Ringling Student Nikelle Mackey produced a video of student observations on the project at:
'Breaking Southwest' was announced as the NASH NEXT Challenge Winner at the NASH Next Finale on Thursday evening, December 3rd in Nashville, Tennessee at the Whitehorse Saloon. The video Ringling students produced for their song 'Heart Goes Boom' is viewable at

The NASH NEXT Finale showcased the top 10 finalists, as they each performed original songs. Scott and Sandi Borchetta, with Big Machine Label Group (BMLG), also mentored all Top 10 Finalists on their "Create a Music Video" Challenge.

The NASH NEXT Challenge featured a nationwide talent search through submissions to and was promoted on more than 450+ Cumulus radio stations – making NASH NEXT the largest online talent search ever undertaken. The grand prize winner will be signed to the new NASH Next record label, with the top 10 all participating in a 2016 NASH NEXT concert tour from coast to coast. NASH NEXT marks the latest expansion of the popular NASH entertainment and lifestyle brand, and NASH's second launch into the recorded music business (joining the NASH Icon and NASH NEXT record labels).

About NASH

Cumulus Media, Inc. launched the NASH entertainment brand based on the Country music lifestyle in January 2013 with the flagship NASH FM 94.7 in New York City. In addition to Country radio stations, the NASH brand includes a NASH magazine, concerts/events, online content and television programming. Country radio programs originate from Cumulus Media's NASH campus in Nashville, the nation's only multimedia facility devoted solely to producing and distributing content based on the Country music lifestyle, including radio programming, TV/videos, magazines and events.

About SUM

Founded in 2013, SUM Entertainment is the creative collaboration network connecting people, providing unique collaboration methods, and publishing the work across the globe. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, SUM's network offers artists, musicians, producers and more a place to develop great work through shared knowledge, ideation, iteration and validation. Partnering with key media companies, universities and brands, SUM is dedicated to bringing people together to facilitate the creative process and networking possibilities. For additional information about SUM, the creative collaboration network, email or visit

About the Ringling College Collaboratory

The Ringling College Collaboratory is an initiative developed by Ringling College in partnership with The Patterson Foundation. Beginning in the fall semester of 2015, the 'Collaboratory Commitment' guarantees that every entering Ringling College student will have the opportunity to have a "real world experience" working with "real world clients" prior to graduation.

About Ringling College of Art and Design

For nearly 85 years, Ringling College of Art and Design has cultivated the creative spirit in students from around the globe. The private, not-for-profit fully accredited college offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in eleven disciplines and the Bachelor of Arts in two. The College's rigorous curriculum employs the studio model of teaching and immediately engages students through a comprehensive, first-year program that is both specific to the major of study and focused on the liberal arts. The Ringling College teaching model ultimately shapes students into highly employable and globally aware artists and designers. Visit the Ringling College website, or follow Ringling College on Facebook and Twitter for more news and information.

Media contacts:
Rich Schineller
Stephanie Lederer

Photos accompanying this release are available at:

Rich Schineller


Stephanie Lederer