The city of Morganton has welcomed Mike Musick as the new director of CoMMA.
Musick comes to Morganton from Western Illinois University with more than 35 years of experience in the entertainment and theatre industry.
Musick will be well-prepared for his new role as director of CoMMA as he has worked in the theatre and entertainment industry as an actor, musician, stage manager, writer, set designer, lighting designer, costume designer, sound designer, carpenter, producer, camera operator, event coordinator, director, booking agent, administrator, teacher and consultant.
Musick holds a bachelor’s degree in theatre from Kansas State University, and a master’s degree in arts policy and administration from Ohio State University.
“We are thrilled to welcome Mike Musick as the next director of CoMMA,” said City Manager Sally Sandy. “Mike has an incredible amount of experience in the industry and is enthusiastic about taking the helm at CoMMA. Musick combines administrative and artistic experience that we can’t wait to see translated into success at CoMMA.”
Musick said he is looking forward to moving to the North Carolina foothills, and fell in love with Morganton the first time he visited.
“My wife and I are entering the ‘empty-nester’ phase of our lives, and we were looking for somewhere to move to spend the rest of our lives,” Musick said. “I think moving to Morganton was fate for us. It was kismet. As soon as we started looking for somewhere to move, three people sent me the job opening for director of CoMMA.
“We wanted to find a community to be our home where our family wants to come visit and spend time with us, somewhere we wanted to be forever, and we found that in Morganton.”
In Illinois, Musick had served as the cultural events coordinator for Western Illinois University since 2008. As the university’s cultural events coordinator, Musick was responsible for overseeing and advising the Bureau of Cultural Affairs and Youth Performing Arts Series, overseeing the Hainline Theatre Box Office, booking and scheduling national and international touring acts, negotiating contracts with artists and unions, and teaching college-level courses.
Prior to serving for more than a decade at Western Illinois University, Musick was the fine and cultural arts manager for the Johnson County Park and Recreation District and the executive producer for the Theatre in the Park — the largest outdoor community theatre in the United States — from 2000-07. In this role, Musick managed the selection, development and delivery of musical productions for The Theatre in the Park, was responsible for marketing concepts and the execution of the Theatre in the Park brand, oversaw artistic talent and staff, conceived and produced fundraising and special events, and developed policies and procedures to ensure artistic, quality production values and safety standards for the district.
Prior to Musick’s tenure in Kansas and Illinois, he gained experience as a stage manager in Las Vegas and New York City. In addition to his professional roles, Musick serves as a member of the Actors Equity Association and the Association of Professional Arts Presenters.
Musick said his experience has prepared him to serve the citizens of Morganton, and he is looking forward to getting involved in the community and getting to know CoMMA patrons and Morganton’s citizens.
“I like smaller cities,” Musick said. “I like going to the grocery store and seeing the police chief and the mayor. I like people. I want them to come up to me and share with me if they have an idea for CoMMA. I want them to talk to me and tell me all about it, because that’s how we make sure CoMMA continues to provide great programming for everyone.
“CoMMA has been building trust with the citizens of Morganton for more than 30 years. It is important to me to keep that trust so that people will continue to see acts at CoMMA they may not otherwise have the chance to see. I loved CoMMA the moment I walked in the doors, and I’m looking forward to serving as its director.”