Wild Oak Music Group
Wild Oak Music Group is an independent record label operated from the Music Industry program at California State University, Chico in Chico, California. The label was founded in the fall of 1997. The name combines the city's boisterous music scene paired with the oak trees of Bidwell Park. Wild Oak Music Group includes 15 separate departments, all run by the music industry students, such as Songwriter's Guild and the Hip Hop Collective, Concert Productions, Artist Management, and Oak Leaf CD Duplication Services.
|Wild Oak Music Group|
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Since its inception over a decade ago, Wild Oak Music Group's mission has been to “support and promote local and regional popular music.” To this end WOMG has released ten CDs, produced over 100 concerts, partnered with local businesses and organizations to raise money for worthy causes, managed local artists and assisted a generation of local songwriters to improve their craft and live performance skills.
1997 - 2007
Wild Oak Music Group first CD release was the spoken word Music Industry 2000, A Symposium on the Future of the Music Delivery and the Web (1998) featuring industry leaders speaking about the major issues facing the music business. Participants included: Jim McDermott (Polygram Records), Mike Farrace (Tower Records), David Pakman (eMusic CEO), Andrew Frances (management consultant for David Bowie and Garth Brooks) and David Sanjek (BMI). A year later, they issued Chico Symphony Orchestra (1999) performing a program of Beethoven and Mozart under the baton of maestro David Colson.
The first rock release came in 2001 with Four Corners, A Compilation of Chico Music featuring cuts from Chico stalwarts Electric Circus and Indecisive Youth and newer artists the Craze and El Diablo. Wild Oak reached out to regional artists next with their popular Bands Gone Wild, a Northern California Compilation (2002),” showcasing Fresno’s 40 Watt Hype (who was featured on the Adventures of Pluto Nash movie soundtrack), Simplistic (who went on to sign to Linkin Park’s Machine Shop Recordings), Thirst (whose cut “In My Eyes” would gain significant North state radio airplay) and several other artists.
In 2003, Wild Oak celebrated indie music with All Things Rock, highlighting local favorites Idle Discourse, Machine Green, Bear Hunter and others. This was followed by the 2004 Chico State of Mind: A Party-Hop Compilation, featuring the hip-hop/dance sounds of Chico alums Mystic Roots, Pyrx, Derivative and many more. Wild Oak Songwriter’s Guild got into the spirit with their Volume I (2005), a release of performances by members including Erin Lizardo, David Harris, Corey Nitchke and John Paul Guttierrez. A follow-up Volume II (2006), Songwriters, contained performances from the Shimmies, Jonathan Leroy, JP and Dr. Lacubrious. WOMG went back to the ‘hood in 2006 with The Mix Tape ‘06 and beats from the Dirt Merchants, the Hooliganz, Doctor Proper, Dusted Phoniks, Bugzy and others.
When Wild Oak promotes its featured artists and others, Wild Oak Concert productions presents shows in venues like: intimate all ages venues (Cafe Coda, Has Beans, and 1078 Gallery); clubs such as La Salles, the Brickworks and Off Limits; 1000 seat theaters (the Senator) and ballrooms (the BMU); and major outdoor celebrations on the Chico State campus such as the Warped Tour’s Ernie Ball Stage, Katrina Benefit (featuring Sublime Revisited) and New Orleans Benefit (featuring The Expendables). Chico Indie Fest I and II (2005, 2006) featured national artists Maxeen, Communique, Division Day and Narwhal at multiple venues throughout Chico. Throw in bi-annual high school Battles of the Bands and Chico rocks to the sound of Wild Oak Music Group.
2007 was a banner year for Wild Oak Music Group. They added a new EP duplication package to their professional quality duplication services they already offer. They began Wild Oak Artist Management to assist local artists in professionalizing their business practices, learn more about music marketing and conduct valuable career planning. Finally, they began WOMG Business Soundtracks, a service pairing customized CD compilations of Chico regional music with local businesses.
2008 - 2009
The first WOMG event of the semester was the aptly named Heaviest in Chico and featured three local punk and metal groups. The lineup consisted of Suspicious Activity, Armed for Apocalypse, and 2008 Cammie winner Blood of Cain. The event was on October 10, 2008 at the 1078 Gallery in Chico, California.
On October 15, 2008 at Beach Hut Deli in Chico, Ca Wild Oak Songwriters Guild held a Kickback Showcase. The show featured several local singer/songwriters along with Mike Vitale.
The Songwriters Guild held a competition on November 12, 2008 at Woodstocks Pizza in Chico, Ca. Songwriters competing for a slot in the eventual Songwriters Guild Showcase and an opportunity to be recorded on a CD compilation project included Anthony Savedra, Luke Byron, and Mandy Dobbelmann.
On November 14, 2008 at the 1078 Gallery in Chico, Ca WOMG hosted the first of its biannual High School Battle of the Bands; The Ultimate Showdown. The competing bands represented three different local High Schools: We/Simian from Chico High School, Rotting Gnome and Are We Dead Yet? from Pleasant Valley High School, and Iron Fish, Next Friday, and competition winners Writ from Paradise High School.
On December 10, 2008 at Woodstocks Pizza in Chico, Ca the Songwriters Guild presented a showcase. The event had five performers Kenny Williams Jr. and Mike Pascale, Kyle Williams, and the three Songwriters Guild Competition winners Anthony Savedra, Luke Byron, and Mandy Dobbelmann.
Other events in the Fall of 2008 included the recording of a Songwriters Guild Compilation. Only the Fearless was recorded by the Remote Audio Recording class of Chico State, at Chico State, and featured music by Anthony Savedra, Jeanette Hawkins, Kenny Williams Jr. and Mandy Dobbelmann.
The first concert event of the Spring semester was Rock Solid, a rock themed show presented at the 1078 Gallery on March 6, 2009. The show featured three local acts, The Secret Stolen, Red Giant, and WOMG managed Broken Idols.
On April 3, 2009 at the 1078 Gallery in Chico, Ca WOMG hosted the second of its biannual High School Battle of the Bands; The Epic Duel. Bands competed from Pleasant Valley High School and Chico High School in Chico, Paradise High School in Paradise, and Corning High School in Croning and the winner faced off against Fall 2008 winner Writ. Bands included Are We Dead Yet?, Se7en 30 Hill, From this ground, We Simian, and Perfectly Ill.
The Songwriters Guild hosted a competition on March 10, 2009 at Woodstock's Pizza where contestants battled for slots on the This is Home, This is Eclectic CD project.
On April 11, 2009 at the 1078 Gallery in Chico, Ca Wild Oak's Hip Hop Collective hosted a showcase of their entire arsenal of talent from rehearsed local performers to first timers. The following acts performed during the show: DJ Hi-Fi, A-Tony, Matticulit, Sick Bird, Nomadic, Inzain, Tybox and Tsunami, Lynguistikz and Alyriki, Eye-Que, P.AND.A, and Dusted Phoniks. The show also included a freestyle session with all the members of the Hip Hop Collective set against live drums and guitar.
Wild Oak Music Group and Sierra Nevada Brewery presented the Songwriters Guild end of the year showcase on April 20, 2009 at the Sierra Nevada Brewery in Chico, Ca. The lineup consisted of Belles and Whistles, Briana and the Gokays, Kenny Williams Jr., Kyle Williams and, Pat Hull and his Band.
To end the school year with a band WOMG embarked on Chico Music Fest, a four venue, one night music event that took place on May 9, 2009 including the following shows: The HIP-HOP show at Lost on Main had the following acts; Linguistics, Eye-Que, P.AND.A, Dusted Phoniks, and One Block Radius. The REGGAE show at The Graduate Had the following acts; Jah Warrior Shelter Hi-Fi and Windstrong, Natural Roots, and Boss 501. The ROCK show at 1078 Gallery had the following acts; Stolen Babies, Nothing Left, and Esoteric. The FOLK show at Cafe Coda had the following acts; Alpine, Zach Zeller, Luke Byron and the Delivery Boys, Catlike Reflexes, and Clouds on Strings.
Outside of their live shows WOMG released another Songwriters Guild Compilation entitled This is Home, This is Eclectic. The CD included music from Ben Beckman, Luke Byron, Clouds on Strings, Martin McLean, and Don Ashby. The Business Soundtracks division also released two compilations during the semester, a feat that was unprecedented. Designed, coordinated and executed by Gered Brown and Bryan Howarth, the first album, Jambalaya, was created for Chico Bike and Board featuring artists from The Motorists, Broken Idols, and Andrea Desmond. The second album,Peace of Mind, was created for Santy's Massage Parlor and included music by Soulifted, 10,258, and Prozak's Beat Factory.
Because WOMG's CEO Professor Paul Friedlander retired in the spring of 2012, the name Wild Oak Music Group was replaced with The School of the Arts Productions and the role as CEO was filled by Professor Anita Rivas. The name change was inspired by the combination of the Theater Arts department and the Music department at CSUC in 2012. Although the group has changed their name and image, they still maintain their old mission to “support and promote local and regional popular music.”
- Artist Management
The artist management department chooses bands and artists to work with who would like assistance with their career development. This includes press kits, show bookings, and promotion. In Spring of 2009 Artist Management has taken four local artists under their supervision; Andrea Desmond, Broken Idols, Esoteric, and Kyle Williams.
- Arts & Graphics
Arts 7 Graphics is charged with the task of developing and creating all of the visual art seen by the public including the logo, online banners, handbills, and posters of events and services.
- Business Affairs
The purpose of this department is to make sure that all of the financial books are up to date. All income and expenses must pass through Business Affairs first.
- Business Soundtracks
Business Soundtracks division, added in 2007, focuses on connecting the community with its local musicians in an attempt to build a bridge between the two. This allows the business to grow, as well as a great way to promote the artist. Designed, coordinated and executed by Gered Brown and Bryan Howarth, WOMG released a business soundtrack for Chico Bike and Board and Santy's Massage in Spring 2009.
- Concert production
The WOMG Concert production department organizes various concert showcases throughout the CSU, Chico school year. They book bands to play at various venues throughout the City of Chico. They manage the overall production of entertainment, lights, sound, security, hospitalities, and concessions at WOMG concert events
Marketing is responsible for marketing all shows and events for Wild Oak Music Group. They are also in charge of creating a company brand image through various marketing projects. In charge of going out to the community to survey in order to collect the data that is needed to put out successful shows.
- Media Relations
Media Relations is responsible for contacting and making solid connections with all forms of local media about Wild Oak events and projects; this includes local newspapers, radio, and television. Media Relations gets the word out about Wild Oak through all forms of coverage and promotion. With Media Relations, Wild Oak is able to bring its events to the attention of the Chico community.
- Oak Leaf CD Duplication
Oak Leaf CD Duplication, added in 2007, acts as a key promotional tool for both WOMG affiliated artists and other members of the surrounding area in need of this service. Oak Leaf specifically offers a cheap, reliable way for artists to make professional copies of their music.
- Outreach, Audience Development, and Distribution
Outreach/Audience Development/Distribution Department is dedicated to creating a larger loyal audience for Wild Oak Music Group. Those within this department are in the Chico community and on the streets giving its members information. Outreach also gathers information from the audience to benefit them at our events.
- Photo & Video
Photo & Video collaborates with every department to help develop a respectable visual representation of what Wild Oak Music Group is involved in. From making music videos for featured artists, to filming live shows, the camera is always rolling, while the photo department creates lasting images that reflect the history being created for not only a record label, but an entire music scene.
- Songwriters Guild
The Songwriter's Guild is a division of Wild Oak dedicated to enhancing the overall quality of songwriting in Chico. They hold weekly meetings for local songwriters to share music in a friendly atmosphere. The Songwriter's Guild also organizes competitions and showcases in order to get our musicians' music heard by the community. In the fall of 2008 Songwriter's Guild successfully completed a compilation which included music by Kenny Williams Jr., Mandy Dobbelmann, Anthony Sarvedra, and Jeanette Hawkins.
- Hip Hop Collective
Hip Hop Collective is a common place where producers, lyricists, and hip-hop heads alike will be able to come and share their work, projects, and ideas with others. Born out of the Songwriters' Guild, the Hip Hop Collective serves those who compose hip-hop by way of emceeing, beat production, turntablism, or beat boxing. Future projects will include the production of a Hip Hop Collective Mix tape, as well as showcase performances at a variety of Chico venues. Meetings consist of recording and collaborating on new music with other artists, learning techniques of recording, meeting with fellow producers to share work with, freestyle sessions, and weekly discussions regarding the future of hip-hop in Chico.
The talent department is similar to the position of Artists & Repertoire. This is primarily the task of finding talent for all Wild Oak shows. This also includes continually accepting songs from artists to be submitted to Wild Oak Music Group for affiliated artist program and business soundtrack department. The department works closely with artist management and the business soundtrack department.
The Web Department manages all of WOMG’s online content. The list of websites used by Wild Oak includes; wildoakmusicgroup.com, chicomusiccloud.com, a Facebook group, a Twitter account, a YouTube account, and a Myspace account for Songwriter's Guild.
- Chico Music Fest
The department of Chico Music Fest is responsible for the planning and execution of the annual Chico Music Fest. This year Chico Music Fest will take place on Saturday May 9 and will include a total of 12 artists playing at 4 different venues. The director of promotions for Chico Music Fest is the face of Wild Oak seen by the outside businesses. This position has the sole responsibility of raising funds for CMF. These packets are taken to corporate and local businesses to get money/merch from these businesses. Depending on how much money they donate, they're able to receive billboard space, banners, poster space, and other types of advertisement.