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School of Music

Faculty and Staff

Mary Luehrsen

Title: Professor of Practice in Music Leadership and Advocacy
School of Music
Email: luehrsen@mailbox.sc.edu
Mary Luehrsen photo

Mary Luehrsen is director of public affairs and government relations for NAMM, the National Association of Music Merchants and Executive Director of the NAMM Foundation.  Since 2001, Luehrsen has directed NAMM’s government relations and advocacy efforts and guides the organization as a international leader for music education. In addition, she directs the 120-year old organization in policy and advocacy issues that impact global music product businesses.  Luehrsen is the NAMM Foundation’s inaugural executive director since its formation in 2006.  The NAMM Foundation focuses on supporting music research, and philanthropic and public service programs that advance music making opportunities for people of all ages and abilities. The Foundation’s various signature programs – Best Communities for Music Education, President’s Innovation Awards, SupportMusic Coalition, Talking Up Music Education podcast and the Coalition on Coalitions – exemplify Luehrsen’s focus on rallying talents and energies of people and organizations to advance opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to know the joys and benefits of making and learning music.   

Luehrsen created and developed NAMM’s GenNext and Music Education Days programs that host thousands of university music faculty, students and music educators at the annual NAMM Show to inspire career options in music, connections with the music industry and advance opportunities for music learning.  These programs now serve over 5,000 education and nonprofit stakeholders at the annual NAMM show in January in Anaheim, CA. Luehrsen also created the NAMM Foundation’s Nonprofit Management Institute held at the NAMM Show that supports and trains leaders and staff of over 300 music service organizations with goals to strengthen their effectiveness.  In 2005, Luehrsen established the development of NAMM’s Washington DC Advocacy Fly-in that trains NAMM business leaders from around the country in pro-active advocacy for music education on the federal, state and local levels. In the ten years prior the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act in 2015 (ESSA), 


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