Amanda M. Sweet ’94 chose Shenandoah University because she was interested in becoming a professional singer. And, in 1994, Sweet graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in performance and voice. However, after being a performer for a few years she began to gravitate toward the publicity side of the entertainment business.
Sweet became a marketing and public relations specialist, and she now has more than 15 years of experience and was named one of MusicalAmerica’s Top 30 Professionals of the Year for 2019. Before founding Bucklesweet, a Washington, D.C. media firm, in 2008, she held senior management positions at prestigious record labels including Telarc International and Heads Up, both subsidiaries of Concord Music Group, as well as Atlantic Records. Bucklesweet specializes in helping performing arts clients and art institutions create media plans, boost tour promotions, network and reach new audiences through social media platforms.
The firm has signed and represented a diverse client base, including Company E; opera singers Kristine Opolais, Jennifer Rowley and Lucas Meachem; Turtle Island Quartet; legendary rock drummer and composer Stewart Copeland; organist Cameron Carpenter; and Third Coast Percussion. Sweet has also represented major performing arts institutions including The Blues Foundation; Washington Performing Arts; University Musical Society, American Pianists Association; Steinway & Sons; Levine Music; Strathmore; and festivals such as Bravo! Vail; Virginia Arts Festival; and Women’s Voices Theater Festival.
In addition to work, Sweet regularly speaks with students and young artists about the music industry and how to create comprehensive media strategies. Most recently, she has been a guest speaker at the DeVos Institute of Arts Management, American University’s Kogod School of Business, the Manhattan School of Music and Strathmore’s Artist-in-Residence. Sweet believes being able to share her knowledge with others through speaking engagements is the most rewarding part of her career.
Shenandoah gave Sweet an understanding of the arts and a basic musical knowledge that she would need not only as a professional singer, but also as a public relations specialist.
Sweet’s advice to students is: “Learn business and finance as well!”