Running Start Spotlights

Damien Crutcher

February Interview

Damien Crutcher, Alum, BM 1990
How would you describe your professional identity in a sentence?

Currently I am a conductor, assistant pastor, and a music educator on a mission to bring quality arts programs to kids in Detroit
Can you summarize your current entrepreneurial projects in a sentence or two?
Currently I am the CEO and cofounder of Crescendo Detroit, a non profit corporation. Crescendo is an El Sistema inspired program that builds character in kids using the arts.
How has your career, project, or intiative been growing and developing since you graduated? Since last year? What are your next steps as you go forward?
I graduated from MSU in December 1990. After a successful career as a music educator and conductor I felt that it was time to make a difference in the city that I live in and have all of my life. We are currently doing what non profits must do; increase donor base, readjust business plan, get the word out and make sure that we are impacting the kids in the Dexter Davison neighborhood in Detroit.
How did the College of Music prepare you to embark on your career?
My time at MSU was very special. I grew not only as a musician but as a person. My mom passed away my fisrt semester at State and my professors went out of their way to help me get through the process. That experience taught me how to persevere through difficult times! My musical training was exceptional and that has always kept me on the forefront of my profession

What do you think are the most important skills to have as a 21st century musician? As an entrepreneur?

As a 21st century musician I believe that we should be excellent music makers, caring individuals, able to build long lasting relationships and have the insight to know that we cannot do everything ourselves. My conducting professor at Michigan always says that he lives by this quote; “if you want something done well have someone else do it!”

What words of wisdom do you have for prospective MSU students?

Relationships are key!