Jennifer McGill, President of PCG Artist Development

~Jennifer McGill spends most of her day every day coaching great performances from the talented young people on her roster~

You can’t learn what Jennifer knows in a book; it comes from this incredible life experience that Jennifer has, and so few others do.”

— Bernard Porter, veteran Music City Executive

NASHVILLE, TN, UNITED STATES , July 6, 2023/ — It is a big part of Jennifer McGill’s job description as President of PCG Artist Development to spot young talent and help nurture them toward success. All day, every day, including most weekends, McGill plows through the dozens of emails and texts she receives from singers, songwriters, producers, publicists, agents, and managers who all queue up hoping for her expert feedback.

She’s also always got her eyes and ears open for something unique that will separate that young, inexperienced talent and give a clue to what they might become with the kind of expert coaching and direction Jennifer and her team can offer.

Mostly, it’s the young singers, many of them teenage girls from small towns and big cities across North America, who somehow make their way into Jennifer McGill’s orbit. Maybe they’ve won their hometown talent show or been told by a music teacher or choir director that they show exceptional promise.

The vast majority of these talented young performers who dream of singing in the spotlight have no clue that they’ve landed in the inbox of one of the most qualified people on the planet who can help prepare them for their closeup. Because, earlier in her life, she was where they all dreamed to be.

At ten years old, Jennifer McGill beat out thousands of other hopefuls to become one of the stars of “The All-New Mickey Mouse Club.”

Many of today’s biggest stars tried out for the show but didn’t make the cut. Kirsten Dunst, Ben Affleck, Ryan Phillippe, Brittany Murphy, Jessica Simpson, Nick Carter, and Sara Bareilles were all passed over for a role in The Mouse House.

Jennifer McGill did. The brave, perky, and talented pre-teen grew up on camera and sang, danced, and acted her way through the first half of the 1990s on the wildly popular Disney Channel series. Despite a filming schedule that largely kept her from attending public school, McGill was named valedictorian of her on-set school of 11- to 15-year-olds.

Jennifer’s new life as a Mouseketeer included shooting a daily hit TV show at Disney MGM Studios in Florida (where park visitors would watch the cast members at work), dozens of sold-out tour stops and mall appearances, and a constant parade of celebrity in-studio guests. Michael Jackson was a fan, and a cross-section of 90’s stars made guest appearances on the show, including New Kids On The Block, Hulk Hogan, Christie Brinkley, Boys II Men, Reba McEntire, Whoopi Goldberg, TLC, and many others. Both Donald Trump and Reverend Jesse Jackson visited the Mouseketeers on camera.

Jennifer was one of the first cast members hired, appearing in the unaired pilot and on every show episode. “The All-New Mickey Mouse Club” was a Must-See TV show for a generation of young viewers, with new episodes airing every evening. She performed at President Clinton’s inauguration, was introduced at the star-studded event by Will Smith, and stood beside the stage after her set with Celine Dion and Vanessa Williams to watch Kenny Loggins—heady stuff when you’re just hitting puberty.

When new members did join the cast, it usually fell to Jennifer as a senior cast member to mentor the “newbies,” foreshadowing her behind-the-scenes work today. Talented newcomers, including Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Ryan Gosling, and Keri Russell, all received their first national exposure on the show.

“I learned so much at such a young age and at such a high level with a national TV show. We sang, danced, did skits, live performances in the parks, we even did a short mini-drama series within the show called “Emerald Cove,” so we learned dialogue, camera blocking, how to protect our voices, everything,” says McGill who stays in touch with many of her former Mouseketeer castmates. “We shared a very unique bond at a very impressionable age.”

The All-New Mickey Mouse Club’s final episodes aired in 1996, just in time for Jennifer to graduate from Dr. Phillips, the award-winning, internationally recognized Visual and Performing Arts Magnet high school in Orlando. McGill was voted the most popular student in her senior class. “I went to two different proms with Joey Fatone from N’Sync, which got covered by People magazine. Weird, huh?”

McGill then attended New York University’s Tisch Schoool of the Arts on her Mouseketeer earnings. McGill turned down a major label recording contract after college. “I don’t want to sound ungrateful. They wanted to make me a pop star but left little to nothing in my control. I wasn’t a kid anymore. I wanted to have some input into my life and career choices”. Instead, Jennifer hit the road and performed professionally worldwide for the next decade across North and South America, Europe, and Asia.

After settling in Nashville, McGill met PCG Worldwide CEO Bernard Porter, who encouraged her to put her life skills to work, helping young people receive the knowledge and skills they need to have a legitimate shot at an entertainment career. “You can’t learn what Jennifer knows in a book; it comes from this incredible life experience that Jennifer has, and so few others do,” said Porter, a veteran Music City executive who has worked with Jason Aldean, Jerry Lee Lewis, Joe Diffie, and many others.

McGill now spends her days happily behind the scenes helping others to climb the mountain she’s already been to the top of. That means a mix of personal one-on-one work with clients in Nashville studios and rehearsal spaces, lots of Zoom mentoring, and phone and email consultation. Jennifer will head out on a different kind of tour later this year to work with the top students at local music schools across America on what she’s calling the “Nashville Roadshow, powered by PCG.”

McGill also organizes the annual “PCG Summer Bootcamp,” where young artists come to Nashville for intensive training in what she refers to as “the science of artist development,” which encompasses everything from vocal presentation to songwriting fundamentals, stage performance technique to music business strategies and digital media and marketing.

Attendees will receive hands-on, learn-by-doing instruction from a team of seasoned professionals led by McGill (her faculty includes country music hitmakers Pam Tillis and Bryan White) and others who can help budding performers find their way through the often confusing and seemingly insurmountable barriers to a career in entertainment. The next PCG Artist Boot Camp is July 24-25 in Nashville. You can find out more here:

At Bootcamp, Jennifer and the other mentors will offer firm but kind guidance to young people and often to the parents who guide them from a lifetime of experience.

“It’s like that Liam Neeson movie ‘Taken’ where he says, “What I do have are a very particular set of skills that I have acquired over a very long career.’ That’s me too! I have a very particular set of skills.”

And she’s got a certain Mouse to thank for them.

Burke Allen/ Shaili Priya
Allen Media Strategies
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PCG Summer Bootcamp 2023 – July 24th and 25th

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