Mercer University alumnus Andrew Lane set out to be a music teacher and fell in love with arts administration along the way. Now, he’s the vice president of touring and artist management at one of the nation’s most prestigious music conservatories, the Curtis Institute. He was named a 2022 Top Professional by Musical America in December.
“I am incredibly honored to be named a Top Professional of 2022 alongside industry professionals that I so admire,” Lane said. “I am fortunate to work with fabulous colleagues at Curtis. This is really recognition of the work of the entire team.”
Lane began his music career at Mercer, where he earned a Bachelor of Music Education with a focus on voice in 2004. The small class sizes and student-to-teacher ratios led him to many unique experiences and leadership opportunities, including as president of the American Choral Directors Association student chapter and a Mercer Ambassador.
“(Mercer Ambassadors) was a really important experience for me to learn how to represent the school and myself as a professional,” he said.
Lane said working with Dr. Stanley Roberts, associate dean and music professor in the School of Music, influenced his life, as did being a member of the Mercer Singers. Lane was able to perform across the country and Europe with the choral ensemble.
“The experience of touring internationally as a member of the Mercer Singers had such an impact on me and my view of the world and imagining what a career could be,” he said. “Those are experiences I’ll never forget.”
Following graduation from Mercer, he spent a semester as a long-term substitute teacher in his hometown of Newnan. He went on to earn a Master of Music in Choral Conducting at Texas Tech University in 2007. While in graduate school, he organized regional and United Kingdom tours for Texas Tech’s University Choir.
“That was when I first started getting a taste of the line of work I ended up in,” Lane said. “I was on the path to becoming a teacher and choral director, but I started to fall in love with arts administration. I loved teaching and still do, but I found my calling in this work.”
That work led him to a position as director of patron services for the Lubbock Symphony in Texas, while simultaneously serving as co-director of music and choirmaster at St. Paul’s on the Plains Episcopal Church. He took the leap to New York City two years later to join classical musician management company Opus 3 Artists, where he made his way from assistant to booking agent.
In 2013, the Curtis Institute came calling, and Lane moved to Philadelphia to become director of Curtis on Tour, an initiative that features concerts with Curtis alumni, faculty and emerging artists across the United States, South America, Europe and Asia.
As part of the tour, an ensemble of singers from the Curtis Opera Theatre performed at Fickling Hall on Mercer’s Macon campus in October.
“It has become a real flagship program for the school and a wonderful opportunity for our students,” Lane said. “Curtis has a unique teaching and learning philosophy that is ‘learn by doing.’ Curtis on Tour is the perfect embodiment of that approach in which students go on real-world tours performing alongside faculty and alumni artists as they share the stage.”
His promotion to his current role in 2021 reflects the expansion of his work to include professional artist management for a select roster of faculty and alumni artists. He also oversees booking professional performance opportunities for emerging professional artists from Curtis, helping to launch their performance careers and bridge the gap between student life and life as a professional musician.
For the management services, Lane handles everything from artist planning and booking to developing musicians’ careers and artistic ventures. The roster of artists represented include the Dover Quartet, pianist Michelle Cann, piano trio Trio Zimbalist and marimbist Ji Su Jung.
“There’s no other school that offers a program like ours, having a robust touring initiative and an artist management agency embedded within the school. It’s specifically focused on alumni and faculty artists,” he said. “It’s a wonderful way to highlight and showcase the artistic excellence of Curtis musicians.”
Lane said he enjoys advising students and alumni and preparing them for tours and performances. He gets to see artists and musical pieces evolve throughout a series of concerts, which is very rewarding.
“For me, it’s about seeing the success and the impact that our work can have on students and even on alumni,” he said. “To come home and for students to say, ‘Thank you so much. This tour has meant so much to me, and I’ve grown so much through the tour,’ that’s really what keeps me going.”