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March 13, 2009
Vol. 50 No. 17

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Faculty band plays Atlantic City 'Profapalooza' concert

Some Susquehanna faculty members gave a new meaning to school house rock last weekend.

At the House of Blues in Atlantic City on Friday, March 6 several professors who make up the band called Faculty Lounge performed at Profapalooza.

Faculty Lounge features Patrick Long, assistant professor of music; David Imhoof, assistant professor and chair of history; Laurence Roth, associate professor of English and Jewish studies and Coordinator of the Jewish Studies Program; and Terry Winegar, professor of psychology and dean of the School of Natural and Social Sciences.

"We toyed around with a lot of other silly professor and educationally-oriented names but thought this one was generic enough to work," Imhoof said. "A very sort of jazzy virtuosic thing is what you'd expect from a faculty band."

However, the band's collective tastes stray far from lounge music. Imhoof described their genre of music as garage pop: "Simple, fast, loud, fun. We tend to be fairly ironic in a lot of things we do."

Two other faculty bands performed at this event: the Stockton Faculty Band from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and Dangerboy from Colgate University in New York.

These three scholarly rock bands came together in the fall of 2007 when an article about faculty rock bands appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education, a leading journal of academia.

"Plenty play music, but not as many play rock music," Imhoof said of other faculty bands.

"We stayed in contact with some of the bands and had joked about a 'profapalooza,'" Imhoof said." We thought it would be hilarious to have a gathering of professor bands."
Imhoof gave the most credit for making this happen to the Stockton Faculty Band, which has been together for 20 years and plays older music than Faculty Lounge.

"They started using some of their contacts and convinced the House of Blues that it would be a good idea," Imhoof said.

Imhoof added that the other band, Dangerboy has a style of music that is more similar to that of Faculty Lounge.

"Overall, it was a very great experience for a lot of reasons," Imhoof said. "It's not everyday a band like us gets to play at the House of Blues."

The performance brought out a decent crowd that grew significantly over the course of the night, for which Imhoof again credited the Stockton Faculty Band.

The Stockton's ten-piece band chartered buses and gave away tickets to students.
Imhoof said, "The people who worked there were phenomenal."

At the end of the show all of the bands played the Rolling Stones' "Honky-Tonk Women," dragging it out to introduce all of the performers.

"We're three different kinds of bands, and we all did what we do well," Imhoof added. "We try to have a good time and bring everyone with us, and I think we did."

All proceeds from the 'profapalooza' event went toward student scholarships at the three universities.

"We take very seriously what we do here. Playing loud, fast music brings benefit to us and people involved at the institution," Imhoof said.

Faculty Lounge's set list's ratio of original songs to covers is generally about half and half, depending upon the venue.

Roth writes most of the songs, though Imhoof and Winegar have contributed as well.

The band released an Extended Play (EP) in 2004 and continues to write regularly.

"We got to know each other because of common academic and social interests and discovered we all like music and had played it in various ways," Imhoof said. "We always joked about the fact that we don't get out much. We all like music and thought that maybe the best way to engage in live music would be to do it ourselves."

The members started playing together in August 2002. "We pretty quickly decided that if we were going to be a band, we needed to play live," Imhoof said. "So we booked a gig in Charlie's Coffeehouse after students had left, so we might only fall on our faces in front of our friends."

"By the time we played live for the first time in December of 2002, Winegar had only been playing bass for six weeks or so, and we had been together for about a semester," Imhoof said. "That first gig actually came off well. It was there that people began to have what became a common response to seeing us: 'Wow, they're not that bad.'"

According to their Web site, they have played a variety venues including Riverfest, an exclusive engagement for people at the YMCA, the Kind Cafe, Morey's Pier in New Jersey and a number of other places around the Selinsgrove area.
Imhoof said Long was the most capable of the group, "which is funny because he's as far from a typical drooling drummer as you can be--he's trained classically."

Roth began playing the guitar as a teenager and played in bands in Los Angeles in college and afterward, according to Imhoof. "He's done the most work that's close to what we try to do, that is, he played in big clubs in LA and in front of record scouts."

Winegar, the band's bass player has been playing guitar privately for more than 20 years.

Imhoof provides the band's vocals and plays the keyboard, and although he played in bands in high school and college, he considers himself to be easily the least talented musician of the bunch.

"But I've taken lots and lots of tambourine lessons," he said.


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