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Pac Ave Records helps students learn the business of making music 

Pac Ave Records is Pacific’s own student run record label, responsible for creating some of Pacific’s musical events and developing student talent for the music industry. Students collaborate in various roles and projects to produce original music from classical jazz to R&B.  

Pac Ave was initially a student-run record label program that disbanded each semester, but in 2012 the organization became the university’s first permanent label, housed in Pacific’s Conservatory of Music. Professor Joshua Smotherman currently serves as the permanent faculty adviser and chief operating officer.  

“We focus on giving students the skills to get a job in the music industry when they graduate,” Smotherman said.  

The business of music

Pac Ave is a two-semester course required for music industry studies majors that offers a variety of areas students can focus on, allowing them to explore every facet of the industry.  

Students can study the legal side of the industry, marketing, publishing, and of course, art and production. These roles all contribute to Pac Ave’s main goal: working with artists to produce original music. Once recording sessions, audio mixing and mastering are completed, the product is approved by the artist and published. 

Students also distribute and market the music once it’s released on Spotify and other social media platforms. 

“We’re not really out to make a profit. We’re just here to release good music,” Smotherman explained. “Students come in and they get real-world experience by just doing the things that need to be done to curate music.” 

Leadership and teamwork

Giving students the means to independently produce their own music and albums strengthens their skills. 

“I learned a lot about leadership and how to communicate effectively with your team and how to collaborate,” said music industries studies major, Mia Miller ’26.   

Mia and her crew held events where they collaborated with artists, helped with sound checks, and even planned the food and decorations.  

“My favorite thing about Pac Ave is the people in it and the fact that we can collaborate really well and that its student run, I think it’s really important. It can lead you to any real-world experiences,” said music industry studies major Zalika Campbell ’26. 

The Conservatory of Music continues to invest in the record label as it develops some of Pacific’s most creative energy.  

“I would say just the networking part of it is what I love the most,” Smotherman said. It’s like students come in as freshmen and they’re strangers, but by the time they graduate and they’re seniors going out into the work world. They’ve created a family, and they leave Pacific with that family intact.” 

Learn more about Pac Ave Records by following on Instagram

Learn more about music industry studies.

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