The NAMM President’s Innovation Award Returns to Bring Students to The NAMM Show

Elizabeth Dale

The NAMM Show returns June 3-5 in Anaheim, California, and will provide new and exciting opportunities for emerging industry professionals and veterans alike to connect, learn, and grow their businesses.

Between the return of some of NAMM’s beloved programming and the premier of never-before-seen experiences, The NAMM Show is the destination for professionals in all stages of their careers and the NAMM President’s Innovation Award (PIA) is returning to offer students seeking a career in the industry an opportunity to attend.

The award “honors college students who demonstrate excellence in the field of music,” with winners having “proven dedication to pursuing a career in music to include the areas of music performance, music education, media, sound engineering/audio, event technology, production, administration, management and/or marketing along with product creation and innovation.” The selected awardees must be enrolled in a college or university music or music business program and receive a one-time cash award to support the travel needs and expenses of attending The NAMM Show.

Once in Anaheim, awardees will participate in some of the many professional development opportunities at the show and will have unique access to music products, pro audio, and entertainment technology exhibits in addition to concerts, special events, and networking sessions.

NAMM and The NAMM Foundation are proud to announce this year’s awardees. Congratulations to Ashton Gentry (Berklee College of Music), Jamieon Jamison-Gilmore (South Carolina State University, Orangeburg), Eric Hitt (University of North Texas), Autumn Mallard (Stephen F. Austin State University), Daniel Messersmith (Capital University), Senaida Ng (New York University), Aiyanna Evelyn Riley (Stephen F. Austin State University), and Kevin Edward Spence (University of Colorado Denver).

We spoke with Messersmith about earning the PIA, who said that a trip to The NAMM Show is a part of the Music Technology curriculum at Capital University.

While the college-sponsored trip was canceled this year due to the postponement of The NAMM Show until June, Messersmith remained determined not to miss his opportunity and applied for the award:

“I haven’t ever been able to attend a NAMM Show, settling for hours upon hours of coverage on YouTube. I look forward to the networking opportunities, the exposure to the future of music technology, and immersing myself in The NAMM Show environment and its creative attendees,” says Messersmith. He also hopes to expand on his traditional education by deepening his knowledge of the industry, including the “promising technology of the future and services that have been created in response to the increasingly popular dynamic of remote collaboration.” Messersmith is also looking forward to the presentations and educational opportunities to help him reach his career goals.

Messersmith offers a bit of advice for the next generation of students looking to earn the PIA. “Try to gain experience in all areas. While students may not have job experience that is considered a ‘career’ on their resumes, they can certainly fill the page with student organizations, internships, and community service projects.”

For more information on the President’s Innovation Award, please visit and for more on attending The 2022 NAMM Show, please visit /thenammshow/2022/attend.