The Collegian
Thursday, March 30, 2023

Music for social change

Westhampton College '10

Last Monday night, I had the pleasure of going to what ended up being a two-and-a-half-hour information session on careers in the music business. The audience of only about 25 people -- six of whom were UR students -- was given an amazing opportunity to listen to Grammy winner and record producer Steve "Buck" Buckingham and country music star Chely Wright. Steve Buckingham, a Richmond graduate, has worked with a long list of musical legends including Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn and Steve Gibson. Buckingham discussed the 21st century record industry and gave the audience a closer look into how music has been a major cause of racial integration in the United States, more so than any laws or rallies. Wright also presented a slideshow touching on some of her recent trips to Iraq and Afghanistan to give support and perform for our troops. The personal anecdotes from both guests were enjoyed by all and gave the audience a glimpse into personal relationships within the music industry.

As the session came to a close, Wright and Buckingham sang a raw version of one of her hit singles "Shut Up and Drive" and Wright followed with a new song "Something Positive & Hopeful" which she wrote for her coming album. She introduced the song as a therapy release after her first real broken heart. Wright's calming, yet powerful, voice mesmerized the audience. I, for one, left there with a better idea of how to further myself in the music industry and a strengthened enthusiasm for what my future may hold. Buckingham will be teaching a course at the University of Richmond next semester in the music department. This will definitely be a class not to miss. Many adults said they wished they were students again just for an opportunity like this. I hope University of Richmond will have more opportunities that the students will take advantage of while we are here for such a short time.

Contact writer Amanda Canada at

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