And the award goes to...alum Dan Muckala


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Photo by Chris Speed
Dan Muckala, writer, performer and Belmont alum, entertains at the annual Curtain Call concert, where he was given the Curtain Call Award

Dan Muckala is this year’s recipient of Belmont’s prestigious Curtain Call Award.

Muckala is an award-winning producer and performer whose talents have spread to numerous genres. This year’s Curtain Call Award concert and ceremony was Sept. 6.

Previous recipients include Josh Turner, Denver and the Mile High Orchestra, and Jill Phillips. The Curtain Call Award is given to a School of Music graduate who has made their mark on the music industry.

Muckala grew up in Minnesota where he studied jazz and classical music. He moved to Nashville in 1990 attended Belmont University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in commercial music composition.

Dr. Jeff Kirk, head of commercial music department described his former student as a fabulous, wonderful, and talented young man who shined in the classroom.

“He had potential early on and that special something that set him apart from other students,” Dr. Kirk said.

Upon graduation, Muckala formed a band, Mukala, adapted from his name. Muckala’s first album was released on Essential Records. During his time with the band, Muckala perfected his songwriting skills. The songwriting talent expressed in Muckala’s work opened the door to a publishing deal with Brentwood Benson Music and later Word Publishing.

His songs have been recorded by some of the biggest names in the music business including: Mercy Me, Leanne Rimes, and Nick Lachey.

After extensively touring, the band dismantled and each member went on to pursue solo projects. His big break came in 2000.

Muckala became more involved behind the plexi-glass producing, engineering, and programming for an eclectic range of talent. CeCe Winans, The Afters, Newsboys, Mandy Moore, and Nsync are included on Muckala’s list.

Most recently, Muckala launched MonoMode, a subdivided label under Provident/Sony/BMG Label Group. The debut project from MonoMode, “Don’t Get Comfortable,” by recording artist Brandon Heath is slated for release nationwide Sept 19.

Muckala’s advice to Belmont’s students is, “be teachable and listen to the input of those who’ve gone before you, have a hunger for learning and thirst for wisdom.”

According to Dr. Kirk,

“Belmont is absolutely thrilled he is an alum, Dan’s a great example of the hard work and dedication it takes to make dreams a reality.”




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