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Pictured is Pioneer Records Star Shayna. Photo by Jordan Kullen.





Gain Hands-On Experience in the Recording Business 

Pioneer Records is a student-led record label in the Rowland School of Business at Point Park University. Founded in 2014 by students in the Sports, Arts, and Entertainment Management degree program, Pioneer Records is a learning laboratory that provides undergraduate and graduate students with real-world music industry experiences and opportunities to work directly with recording artists, studio engineers, venue managers and other industry professionals. The Sound Vault is Pioneer Records' new headquarters on Point Park's campus with a conference room and rehearsal/jam space. 

Through their involvement, students gain direct work experiences in:

  • A&R (artists and repertoire)
  • Marketing
  • Operations
  • Public relations
  • Booking

This innovative and engaging academic approach challenges students to grow intellectually and professionally, while providing strong foundational knowledge about the entertainment business and music industry.

Each fall, students select an artist to be the next “Pioneer Star.” The label partners with Red Caiman Media Studios, an advanced commercial recording facility located in downtown Pittsburgh, to produce a professional EP featured at an album release party at Stage AE. Read about Pioneer Records' 2023-24 Pioneer Stars and new headquarters in this story.

"The impetus behind Pioneer Records came out of student feedback indicating a strong interest in understanding the business model of a creating a successful record," said Steve Tanzilli, J.D., dean of the Rowland School of Business.

"We want students to come away from the Pioneer Records program with a thorough understanding of what it takes to bring a successful record to the consumer, and at the same time, as educators, we want our students to have an opportunity to see what a career in the recording business is really like," Tanzilli said.

Follow Pioneer Records:

Students have the opportunity to help produce music videos for our Pioneer Stars. Below is a music video created for 2022-23 Pioneer Star Bryana Appley.  

About Red Caiman Media

Red Caiman Media's mission is to provide a creative and inspiring environment in which artists can develop and produce great music.

Location of Red Caiman Media

The studio offers recording, mixing, mastering, graphic and web design and CD duplication/manufacturing services for its clients along with state-of-the-art equipment and highly experienced engineers, producers and musicians.

"Making a successful record takes more than just being a talented musician. Multi-platinum recording artists are the product of a lot of hard work, long hours and dedication, much of which happens after the song is actually recorded," explained Naus.

The studio is owned by Jesse Naus, a professional recording engineer/producer and instructor in Point Park's SAEM department.


Paid Apprenticeship Opportunities

Pioneer Records offers the following four apprenticeship opportunities:

  • Operations director
  • Multimedia director
  • Marketing/publicist/promotions manager
  • Booking/sales manager

In these positions, students gain hands-on experience in the areas of booking talent, managing studio logistics and photo shoots, creating press kits and CD covers, coordinating media requests, social media promotion and more.

For more information about apprenticeship opportunities with Pioneer Records, contact Ed Traversari at or 412-392-4742.

Pioneer Records News & Features

Learn More

For more information about Pioneer Records, visit or contact SAEM Professor Ed Traversari, MBA, at