Turning a Passion for Music into a Career
Volunteer finds pathway to future career through Jazz Festival
Arianna Anchestegui loves music.
Ever since she was a kid, borrowing CDs from her older siblings and listening to them under the covers, she knew she wanted to work in the music industry.
“I was a very overly energetic kid, and I distinctly remember my mom plopping me down on the couch and putting on the Grammys or music videos, because I would calm down and pay attention,” said Anchustegui, a senior in the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences.
That passion for music led her to enroll in two classes about festival and event management through UI’s Lionel Hampton School of Music. It was in one of those classes that the public relations major met Travis Labbe, president of True West, the Northwest’s leading music promoter. Labbe — who also works with UI’s Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival — gave a guest lecture for the course.
During the 2016 Jazz Festival, Anchustegui got to work with Labbe and two other True West employees, assisting with artist relations, production and the stage in the Kibbie Dome. The opportunity to volunteer alongside a leader in the music industry was a dream, she said.
“The Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival is one of the greatest things that the University of Idaho does,” Anchustegui said. “I 100 percent recommend volunteering, especially if you’re interested in music.”
Labbe was so impressed with Anchustegui that he told her to plan on working for True West over the summer; she was ecstatic. She spent the summer of 2016 interning at True West’s office in Portland, Oregon.
At her internship, Anchustegui worked as an assistant, so she had the opportunity to learn many different aspects of the music industry. Working on site at festivals and concerts was incredible and provided her with indispensable experience, she said.
“Every day, I was reminded that the music industry is where I want to be,” she said. “There’s nothing quite like the feeling of being able to work in something you’re deeply passionate about.”
Outside of her studies, she is very involved on campus. She is the lectures and performing arts chair for ASUI’s Vandal Entertainment Board, where she plans concerts and events on campus. This has been a great experience for learning how to plan events, working with agents and booking talent, she said. In addition, she is the ad production manager for the Argonaut.
In May, Anchustegui will graduate with her bachelor’s degree in public relations from the School of Journalism and Mass Media, and a minor in music. She wants to work on tour — beginning as a tour assistant or production assistant, and ultimately become a tour manager. After that, she hopes to own her own production company or record label. She is passionate about making her name known in the music industry.
“I’m content knowing my life will be spent doing my part in bringing music to the ears of others.”
Written by Laurien Mavey, College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences