The band Dial Tone performs.

Business and the Beat

Wednesday, March 8, 2023



Bright stage lights flash around as music fills the room. The crowd roars with excitement as the lights come up on Dial Tone. At the back of the stage, Henning Hanson ‘25 BSB strikes his drums as he begins their first song.

Hanson is an honors student at the Carlson School of Management, majoring in Finance and Nonprofit and Public Administration. Beyond his academics, he is the drummer of Dial Tone. Hanson performs alongside fellow honors sophomores Daisy Forester ‘25 BA and Cole Pivec ‘25 BS.

The trio met in their freshman year during Welcome Week, and have been friends since. While they were aware they all had musical experience, they had never thought about starting a band until this past fall. In September, they began practicing together.

“It just clicked,” said Hanson. “We already had the relationship in place, so playing is really easy. We know each other well, so it is easy for us to make music.”

Dial Tone started off primarily playing covers, but now they have shifted towards playing their own music, and are currently writing an album.

“Our music is alt-rock, inspired by the music that's come out of Minneapolis over the past 50 years, telling the story of being a young adult in such a complicated world, especially post-COVID,” said Hanson.

Dial Tone has performed over ten times since they began last fall, and they are growing quickly. They recently made it past the semifinal round for Battle of the Bands, and will be performing at Spring Jam in April for the final round.

“It’s really funny because when we started off, this was around December, we said a show a month would probably be good for us. And now we have around eight shows just in February,” said Hanson. 

While performing eight shows in February alone, Dial Tone also gained over 400 followers on social media. One of their most recent performances was at the Green Room, a professional venue in Minneapolis.

Outside of his full-time honors student status and role in Dial Tone, Hanson is involved with AKPsi and Ski Club. While balancing everything is difficult, Hanson is able to squeeze in necessary time to find success with the band.

“I love watching him do something he’s so passionate about,” said Camden Pomeranz ‘25 BSB, a good friend of Hanson. “I’m so proud of him and the work he and the band are putting in. They all clearly love what they’re doing and that’s the most exciting thing in the world.”

With a minor in Corporate Environmental Management, Hanson hopes to pursue sustainability in business in his future. He also hopes to continue his passion for music. 

“Music has always been a chance for me to relax and have fun, so I hope to keep using it as a creative outlet in addition to whatever else I'm doing,” said Hanson.

However, Hanson has discovered that his career in business and passion for music are more interlinked than he thought.

“When we started playing together, I thought this was just going to be a fun hobby that was completely separate from studying business, but I’ve realized how connected music and business are,” said Hanson. “It is such a cool process, building a brand and creating marketing materials like logos and meeting with different venue managers and studios to figure out profit splits. It is like running a startup, which I had no expectation of, but it is so much fun.”