Published on August 17, 2020 by Ashley Smith  
Potaczek Steven

This fall Samford University's School of the Arts is launching its newest degree, a Bachelor of Arts in Commercial Music.

Based in the Division of Music, the Commercial Music program will include concentrations in music business, music production, songwriting and live touring and performance. Students will become business-savvy musicians with the artistic, technological and entrepreneurial skills needed to thrive in the 21st century. Industry knowledge from Samford’s director of commercial music Steven Potaczek will be a key component for students in the program.

“As I am preparing for my fall classes right now, so much of what is planned comes straight from not only myself, but from full-time artists and professionals (via interviews, resources and content) who are making an impact in the world of music and commerce,” he said.  

As a professional songwriter, producer and musician, Potaczek and his wife, Samford guitar instructor Amanda Potaczek, have earned music placements on several networks and shows including MTV, “Parks and Rec," "America's Top Model," and "Dance Moms." The talented duo recently had one of their songs, Wrecking Ball, chosen by the NBA to be used on the Turner Broadcasting Network during regular season games and the finals. 

“I'm always working with other artists as a music producer, session musician and mix engineer,” Potaczek said, “Often these projects fly under the radar to larger audiences, but sometimes, like in this case, you get something that is treated to a wider demographic. The key is being faithful to each and everything you do and waiting for the right moments.”

Other recent successes include his work as a producer with artists ASAPH and Melissa Sandullo, and playing keys for The Band Perry on the road.

“I am incredibly grateful for all the experiences God has allowed me to have as a professional in the industry,” he said. “My desire is to take this continuing ‘street knowledge’ into the classroom where it will be used to demonstrate real world examples of how to make a living in the new music industry.”

 

 
Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.