The Workday Diaries: Infusing Music into the Weekday

Year after year, Shure Incorporated is chosen as one of the Best and Brightest Companies to Work For. You might think that working for a company that makes microphones preferred by some of the biggest names in music would be enough to earn that title, and for some of us it is, but that’s just one aspect of the corporate culture that makes working here so great. Over the next several months, I’ll be highlighting many of those aspects, in the words of Shure Associates themselves, in this series: The Workday Diaries.

A Musical Culture

It should come as no surprise that a company that makes microphones is a magnet for musicians. Many who work at Shure are musically inclined in one way or another. It’s an arrangement that is mutually beneficial: the musicians get a chance to earn a living while feeding their passion, and Shure benefits from having associates with real-world experience with the products. While music is not our whole business, it’s certainly a major part of it, and our work-life culture reflects that in many ways.

Endorser Performances

Shure has a diverse portfolio of artist endorsers that our diligent Artist Relations team manages. Every once in a while, those artists stop by our corporate headquarters for a tour and, sometimes, they treat Shure Associates to a private concert in our beautiful theater.

“In Artist Relations, we’re lucky that we get to go out to shows all the time and interact with our artist endorsers. A lot of people who work here, however, don’t get to see their products in the hands of the people who use them. It’s cool for us to bring in some of the artists so that the Associates get to see them using the gear that they’ve spent their days making.” —Brooke Giddens, Artist Relations Specialist

“It’s a great opportunity to show our endorsers that there are a lot of people in this building who appreciate what they do but don’t get to go to shows often. It’s also a great opportunity for the artists to get in front of people who might not know their music; they might gain a fan or two.” —Cory Lorentz, Manager of Artist Relations

“I’m lucky that I work in a group that allows me to go out and meet customers, but when you get to see our endorsers and musicians come in and perform, it brings the process full circle.” —Chad Reid, Software Category Director

“It’s not a distraction from the workday; it’s much more important than that. These are artists who are using Shure gear. They’re talking about Shure products. They’re part of Shure itself. In their performances, we see the end result of all the work we do here.” —Brad Siwek, Global Marketing and Sales Support Specialist

Shure Artist Endorsers Straight No Chaser perform in the S.N. Shure Theater in 2013

Eat to the Beat

Each summer, Shure has an internal summer concert series known at Eat to the Beat. Once a month, Associates are invited to eat their lunch outside to watch their colleagues play music in the courtyard. To prepare for these concerts, Associates form bands and get the opportunity to rehearse in our state-of-the-art recording studio.

“Because Shure is so closely associated with music, the company encourages people to play and experience music at work, which I think is wonderful. For a long time, I had been urging my department to form a band. I hadn’t play guitar since I was a teenager, but I was convinced (and coerced) by my folks in finance that, if there was going to be a finance band, I had to be a member of it. And it’s been a lot of fun! When I try to describe to people outside of Shure that I’m going to a corporate meeting with colleagues in a professional recording studio where we’re going to play rock music, people are just incredulous. The finance band includes five Associates at all levels of the corporate ladder, yet we come together as equals in the band and have a lot of fun.” —Jim Ahlborn, Senior Vice President of Finance and CFO

“It’s great to see the people who make the products actively using them. I’m not a musician myself, so I play the applause. I think the performances help build a sense of community that’s unique to Shure.” —Julie Snyder, Senior Corporate Librarian and Archivist

“Shure has been very thoughtful and kind in endowing the building with the facilities necessary to rehearse for these musical performances. We have a studio which is used primarily for testing mics and other corporate recording projects, but it’s also an ideal place to use for rehearsals. It’s a beautiful, world-class studio that we get the opportunity to practice in during lunch. Not many companies, I imagine, have that luxury.” —Sam Drazin, Associate Product Manager

Senior Director of Strategic Planning Stephen Kohler shreds on Van Halen over lunch

Senior Director of Strategic Planning Stephen Kohler shreds out some Van Halen over lunch

The Rose L. Shure Memorial Classical Concert

In late winter or early spring, we bring the music indoors to the S. N. Shure Theater for a classical recital. This year, the name was changed to commemorate our late Chairman of the Board and avid classical music lover, Mrs. Rose L. Shure.

“The classical recital is definitely a labor of love for me. I’m very proud that it has continued on since its 2012 beginnings, and I’m so appreciative of the support that it receives from the executive staff. It’s such a wonderful way for our Associates to showcase some of their many talents. Between Eat to the Beat and the recital, it’s clear that there’s a range of musical talent here that neither event alone fully demonstrates. At Shure, music is appreciated, and musicianship is celebrated; it’s one of the many reasons I love working here!—Ryan Laverty, User Experience Designer

“It’s just unbelievable the amount talent that is in our building. It’s so cool to be able to attend a recital during work and actually see you coworkers’ talents that you don’t normally see during the workday.” —Nicole Masri, Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist

“Recently, the Shure Choral Society was re-established to perform in our classical concert. It’s a choir that’s open to anybody and everybody at Shure. You won’t be turned away if you can’t read music. They just focus on creating the positive musical experience of coming together to perform with with your coworkers. You don’t have to be a trained singer with a music degree to come rehearse and perform with the group; the more, the merrier.” —Justin Boller, Applications Engineer

Associates (from L to R) Melanie Koskamp, Matthew Koschak, Matthew Morrow, Sam Drazin, and Rob Klegon perform percussion piece "Head Talk" by Mark Ford

Associates (from L to R) Melanie Koskamp, Matthew Koschak, Matthew Morrow, Sam Drazin, and Rob Klegon perform percussion piece “Head Talk” by Mark Ford at the 2015 Classical Concert

Closing Thoughts

It’s very clear that music is an important part of the culture at Shure. It’s something that’s supported at all levels of the organization. Even our very own President has been known to play French horn with our brass ensemble from time to time. Making music together is certainly a team-building exercise that unites many of us here at Shure. And the best part is that it’s open to all.

Not everyone here makes music. Next time, I’ll explore another aspect of our culture: intramural sports!

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Cheryl Jennison DaProza

Cheryl Jennison DaProza

Cheryl is a Media Relations Specialist at Shure with previous experience in the customer service department. She is also a professional singer involved in several tribute, cover, and original bands in the Chicago metro area. In what little spare time she has between work and music, she can be found reading or hanging out with her parrot. Cheryl’s favorite mic is the KSM8 and her Twitter handle is @TheUnsungDiva.

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