West Long Branch, N.J. - Monmouth University music industry students from its student-run record label, Blue Hawk Records, performed and toured in Italy this summer. During the trip, students rehearsed and collaborated with students from the Italian Academy of Music and held live performances to sold-out audiences in beautiful medieval villages throughout the Abruzzo region.
Music industry professional and Chair of the Music and Theatre Arts Department at Monmouth University Joe Rapolla organized the tour with Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences Stan Green.
The trip came to fruition when Rapolla, who has touredacross Italy on numerous occasions, was invited to speak to students at Impulse Sound Music Academy based in San Valentino, a mountain town in the Abruzzo region last summer. The lectures were a huge hit, and Rapolla was invited back this summer — this time, with Monmouth University students.
“The academy invited Monmouth students to collaborate with their students and perform across the region in town centers (piazzas) and other beautiful medieval locations. Some of the students were invited by name based on the international visibility of the Music Industry program and Blue Hawk Records,” said Rapolla.
“The experience was successful on so many levels. Monmouth students had the opportunity to learn and perform outside of their familiar environment. They formed alliances, obtained an international perspective and were treated like celebrity guests of honor,” added Rapolla.
The Italian Music Academy sponsored the trip and provided accommodations and meals for the Monmouth University students.
"With business and industry continuing to grow and operate on a global scale, these types of experiences are invaluable. We were able to travel the world and create relationships through the very core of our passion — music,” said Mike Burke, a senior in the Music Industry program and president of Blue Hawk Records.
Students at Monmouth will continue to have this opportunity in the future. "We’ll definitely be going back to Italy. Also, in the spring of 2015, we’ll be launching an international music business course, which will have a study abroad component," said Rapolla.
The Music Industry program at Monmouth University prepares students for careers across media categories. Blue Hawk Records is an independent, student-run record label and music organization designed to provide practical experience for the students. Its mission is to equip students in the Music Industry program, as well as others in the University, with hands-on experience and familiarize them with the typical workings of different occupations in the current music industry.
To learn more about Monmouth University’s Blue Hawk Records and Music Industry program, visit: http://www.monmouth.edu/mvideo