Madison Dorsett’s passion for the French horn began in the 7th grade. Now in her fourth-year at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, Dorsett is able to hone her craft as a music performance major. She’s also completing a music industry minor, which involves exciting professional opportunities in the music industry.
In 2020, Dorsett collaborated with a school of music classmate to form the school’s first Undergraduate Student Advisory Board (2020-21). The board was created to bridge communication between faculty and students and has proven critical in a remote setting. Dorsett, who developed a proposal for the organization and its operation, shared the concept with inaugural dean of The Herb Alpert School of Music, Eileen L. Strempel.
Strempel was impressed by Dorsett’s proactive approach and entrepreneurial spirit during this challenging time. When a member of her newly formed board of advisors mentioned a summer internship opportunity at Full Stop Management, Strempel had the perfect candidate to recommend.
“One of the goals of the dean’s board of advisors is to connect our talented students with opportunities that prepare them for careers in the global music business in Los Angeles and beyond,” said Strempel.
Dorsett was excited to be selected for the opportunity at Full Stop Management, which allows her to not only expand her music industry knowledge, but also learn how to build, represent and market artists. “I’m working alongside people I know will impact the next generation of musicians or even the entertainment industry as a whole,” said Dorsett. She also found it empowering to have a voice at the table as the only Black, Indigenous, Person of Color (BIPOC) within her cohort.
As an intern, Dorsett oversees day-to-day scheduling and budgeting for a variety of projects, a significant learning opportunity given her limited experience in finance. In addition to her work with Full Stop Management – which represents globally renowned clients including Lizzo, Harry Styles, Gwen Stefani and others – Dorsett is also an intern with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. She hopes her work with both organizations will expand her understanding of how to best build musical brands from the ground up.
In her first year at UCLA, Dorsett was inspired by percussionist Kristen Klehr, who visited the School of Music as a horn masterclass guest. There she learned that Klehr not only freelanced as a percussionist, but also ran an organization called The Den Collective. This inspired Dorsett to consider a path forward as a musician and an arts administrator.
Following graduation in spring 2022, Dorsett plans to continue performing and focusing on her work at the non-profit she helped create called Chromatic Brass Collective, which includes UCLA alumni. She currently serves as the Chromatic Brass Collective’s vice president of operations with a mission of building a community for BIPOC female and gender non-conforming brass players from across the country. Dorsett hopes the group will be a space where BIPOC women can feel a sense of belonging in these spaces. “We want to give them this platform in order to really be seen in this community,” said Dorsett, who aspires to establish a “new normal” in the music industry.
“I just want little Madison, Madison the 7th grader starting the French horn to say, ‘I’m proud of you.’ I want her to say, ‘Yeah, we did it! We’re doing it. We’re killin’ it out here!’ That little Madison is thousands upon thousands of little girls who want to make an impact and be part of this new movement, this new phase of representation and understanding. Not just in our own musical community, but anywhere in the world and in any field.”