HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – After a months-long national search that yielded hundreds of applicants, the city of Huntsville has named its first Music Officer.

Matt Mandrella made his way to Huntsville by way of Memphis, Tenn. where he worked as a marketing and projects manager for Elvis Presley’s Graceland. He is an Alabamian though hailing from Mobile and went to the University of South Alabama.

He will advocate for the city’s growing music sector and help oversee music-related strategic planning initiatives and economic opportunities.

“Matt brings a wealth of knowledge about all sides of music entertainment, from performance to revenue generation,” Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said. “More importantly, he understands building and maintaining a successful, diverse music ecosystem will benefit our community for decades to come.”

On Monday, Mandrella attended his first meeting with the nine-member Huntsville Music Board, who work to help cultivate a vibrant music economy in the city.

“We’re certainly very excited to have Matt on board and look forward to collaborating with him to move our music initiatives forward,” said Mark Torstenson, chairman of the Huntsville Music Board. “The pandemic presented challenges to seeing live music, but it’s given our committees extra time to plan and develop strategies. With a Music Officer now on board, good things are ahead for our music community.”