Abbey accolade for Alison is a salute for music industry role
- Credit: Archant
A champion of independent British music has been honoured for her work.
Alison Wenham received the honorary master’s degree of the arts from the University of Hertfordshire in recognition of her commitment to the independent music sector.
Alison, from Pirton, launched the Association of Independent Music from her daughter’s bedroom to try and shield smaller labels from the growth of multinational labels and rise of the internet.
Her organisation has gone on to help foster and support labels that helped some of the biggest acts in the world, such as the Arctic Monkeys, Adele and The Prodigy.
“I’m very flattered, it’s a very special homecoming because I have been doing business outside of Hertfordshire for 40 years,” she said after the ceremony at St Albans Abbey.
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“It makes my homecoming very special.
“The University of Hertfordshire has one of the best music business management courses in the country and I’m proud to support it by lecturing.”
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She set up the organisation in 1999, with just a phone, a pen and a blank piece of paper.
Over the last 16 years the 61-year-old has guided AIM through a growth in membership and influence.
Today, from modest offices in Chiswick, this non-profit association supports 850 members, which represents around 28 per cent of the UK market. Members include large independent labels, small start-ups and solo artists releasing their own music for the first time, as well as publishers, studio owners and producers.
AIM helps its members to grow by providing them with training, tools and advice. It also lobbies government departments to ensure new policies and legislation protect the interests of the indie sector.
Alison began working in the music industry after leaving Hitchin Girls’ School. Before setting up AIM, she was founder and long-time managing director of the classical label Conifer Records.
She is also a special music advisor to the British Council and plays an active role in other industry organisations.
She has featured in Billboard’s Top Women in Music list every year, and in 2010 was honoured with an OBE for services to the creative industries.