Spring on the York College campus

Shawn D. Young, Ph.D.


Shawn Young started his career as a volunteer concert promoter, working for events that featured Petra, Michael W. Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman, dc. Talk, the News Boys, and Mylon LeFevre. After performing with the U.S. Army Band for five years and finishing his undergraduate work, Young served as Regional Learning Center Director for MARS Music, Inc. and field A&R representative for the company's record label. He has performed jazz, classical, folk, and rock over twenty years on the electric bass and trumpet. Selected performance credits include the U.S. Army Band, Fulgencio Medina, Kirk Henderson (The Edge), Bob Fitts, Jamey Aebersold, Michael Johnson, Steve Davidowski (The Dixie Dregs), Reality, Asbury Lane, blues-rock guitarist Glenn Kaiser, Celtic artist Bill Leslie, and jazz artist Todd Wright.

Before moving to York College, Young served as Director of Music Management at Clayton State University and held a previous faculty appointment in the contemporary music program at Greenville College, Illinois. His work with emerging artists provided an opportunity for him to observe how the record industry nurtures talent that developed within a college environment. Through collaboration with industry veteran Jorge Casas (Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine, Julio Iglesias, David Coverdale, Jimmy Page) he was able to advise student-artists such as Stephanie Smith (Gotee Records) and Augustana (Sony). Building on stage production and management experience gained at MARS Music, Young went on to manage the New Band Showcase stage at the internationally-acclaimed Cornerstone Festival and served on the advisory committee.

Young holds the Ph.D. (Michigan State University) and M.A. (Washington University) in American Studies and the B.S. in Music Industry Studies (Appalachian State University). He also earned a diploma from the United States Armed Forces School of Music. Young currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association (MEIEA).


  • Ph.D., American Studies, Michigan State University (2011)
  • M.A., American Culture Studies, Washington University, St. Louis (2004)
  • B.S., Music Industry Studies, Appalachian State University (1996)
  • Diploma, U.S. Armed Forces School of Music, Norfolk, VA, Music (1987)


  • Survey of Music Industry
    American Popular Music
  • History of Rock and Roll
    Publishing, Licensing, Copyright
  • Entertainment and Promotion
  • Music Industry, Culture and Development
  • Music Industry Research Methods


  • Communal Studies Association Outstanding Book Award (2016)
  • Gene Hatfield Scholar of the Year, Clayton State University College of Arts and Sciences (2013)
  • Communal Studies Association Research Fellowship, Communal Studies Association (2010)
  • MSU Graduate School Dissertation Completion Fellowship, Michigan State University (2010)

Recent Publications

  • “A Work of Art in the Age of Technological Disruption: The Future of Work in the Music Industry." Journal of the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association 18, no. 1 (2018): 73-104.
  • Gray Sabbath: Jesus People USA, the Evangelical Left, and the Evolution of Christian Rock. Columbia University Press, August 2015.
  • “Apocalyptic Music: Reflections on Countercultural Christian Influence.” VOLUME! The French Journal of Popular Music Studies, 2013.
  • “Hippies, the Counter Culture, and Rebellion in Advertising.” In Bob Bachelor (Ed.), We Are What We Sell: How Advertising Shapes American Life...And Always Has. ABC-CLIO, 2014.
  • “Elvis and the Making of America.” In Bob Batchelor (Ed.), Cult Pop Culture: How the Fringe Became Mainstream. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2011.


  • Member - Board of Directors, Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association (MEIEA)
  • Coordinator, Research Forum on Music Industry Studies - Music & Entertainment Educators Association (MEIEA)
  • Chairperson - Subculture, Midwestern Popular Culture/American Culture Association
  • Co-Chair - Popular Culture and American Culture Association
  • Officiating Judge - Cornerstone Music Festival New Band Showcase, Contemporary Lab Band Auditions, MARS Music Showcase


  • Assistant Professor, Clayton State University, Morrow, Georgia
  • Teaching Assistant, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
  • Instructor, Greenville College, Greenville, Illinois
  • Regional Learning Center Director, MARS Music Inc.