Carl H. Lindner College of BusinessCarl H. Lindner College of BusinessUniversity of Cincinnati

Carl H. Lindner College of Business

Music to the Ears

MS-Marketing student's capstone project leads to unique wedding experience.

When Alex Tieman reviewed the list of available capstone project proposals for the Master of Science in Business Administration, Marketing program at the UC College of Business, the application from the Catacoustic Consort caught his eye. Personally interested in all types of music, Alex thought the proposal from the Consort—a vocal and instrumental ensemble specializing in Renaissance chamber music to Baroque opera—was a perfect fit: he could help a local non-profit organization through his marketing skills as well as learn about a new genre of music. Little did he know that the Catacoustic Consort would not only be a graduate school memory, but a wedding one as well.

Throughout the 2008–2009 academic year, Alex worked closely with Catacoustic Consort Artistic Director Annalisa Pappano with the goal to increase the organization's visibility locally, nationally and virtually, while establishing a foundation for long-term sustainability and success in the classical music genre. Alex gathered research for the project by meeting with Board of Directors Chairperson, Lisa Fulton, surveying event attendees, and gathering demographic data from the Consort's previous work with the Fine Arts Fund.

His research led Alex to create an extensive communications plan aimed at streamlining operational activities to both decrease costs and increase the quantity and quality of contacts to potential event attendees. Alex believed that by using a variety of social and e-media tools, combined with direct and e-mail communications, the Catacoustic Consort would attract both Gen X and Gen Y audiences to their performances.

“The Consort attracts a large portion of their audience from the 50+ audience, but has the opportunity to market their music as an independent case-driven brand to Gen X audience members,” Alex shares. “Attracting Gen X audience members not only widens the Consort's reach, but brings in long-term audience members that can participate in the Consort's events for life.”
After compiling his research and ideas, Alex's final task was to present his recommendations to the Board of Directors, as well as Artistic Director Annalisa Pappano. Both parties appreciated his recommendations and the Consort plans to implement Alex's strategies for the upcoming performance season. However, the relationship between Alex Tieman and the Catacoustic Consort did not end with this win-win project.

At the same time Alex was working with the Catacoustic Consort, he and his fiancée Meghan Ross (Engineering, ‘09 ) were planning their May 2009 wedding. Coincidentally, Meghan had charged Alex with the task of choosing and scheduling live music for the wedding ceremony. Marrying into a family of musicians made the task a daunting one as Alex confesses he enjoys music, but “can't play a lick of it.”

“My in-laws are all musicians, in fact, my father-in-law is a professional musician, so the pressure was on to find great music for the wedding,” Alex notes.

Eager to make a wise choice to please his bride and future in-laws, Alex searched for the perfect musicians for the task. Then, during one of his many research sessions, Alex learned that the Consort had played private performances on occasion for dedicated listeners. He quickly shared their CD with his fiancée, and then approached Consort Director Pappano about the group performing at his wedding ceremony.

“When Annalisa mentioned that the group had done private parties, I instantly thought they would be perfect for our ceremony,” says Alex. “As soon as I mentioned it to Meghan, she was on board. We knew that the Consort's music was exactly what we were looking for.”

Thanks to Alex's academic pursuits, he, Meghan and their guests enjoyed a lovely and unique presentation of the Catacoustic Consort's Renaissance and Baroque offerings at their nuptials. In the end, Alex achieved success in both his capstone project and in garnering a few brownie points with his new, music-loving family.