May 21, 2024

Do you need a new taste in music? Are you looking for some great tunes to check out? Then what better place to look than at our own Wittenberg faculty!

Here’s what some of our department heads have to say about what the best music out there is:

Education Professor, Brian Yontz: “When I listen to music I have two moods: I either like to imagine myself on a boat in the Caribbean with a cocktail in my hand—cue Jimmy Buffett; or I like to imagine a myself sitting lakeside in northern Canada—cue Rush. I want to thank my fellow chairs, Dr. Dudek and Dr. Parker who introduced me to these two great musical giants!”

English Professor, Lori Askland: “I listen to the old school 70s/80s pop stuff I grew up with (Prince, Joni Mitchell, Ray Charles, Paul Simon, Dolly Parton, Al Green, Tom Petty, Leonard Cohen, Aretha Franklin, Madonna), but I also love classical—right now, I really dig Yo-Yo Ma playing Bach on his cello. I really tend to favor women artists: Lauryn Hill’s album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is a longtime favorite, and a group called Pink Martini (big band / swing), k.d. lang, Billie Holliday, Belinda Carlisle, Janelle Monae. A student a few years ago wanted to talk about Beyonce’s Lemonade, so I listened to it many times and think it’s pretty amazing.”

Philosophy Professor, Nancy McHugh: “This summer I went to see Primus in Columbus. They are a band I’ve seen live many times and still like seeing. Lately I have been listening to Marion Hill, Dead Prez, Nick Cave, Jill Scott, L7, Bad Brains, David Bowie and Patti Smith a lot. BTW [By the way], when I was in college I helped my friends start the music magazine Alternative Press (AP).”

Health, Fitness and Sport Professor Steven Dawson: “I guess because of where I grew up and my age I’m partial to classic rock (The Who, Clapton, Hendrix, Bowie, Billy Joel, Zeppelin, Joe Walsh, Queen, Genesis, Springsteen, Stones and, of course, the Beatles to name a few), but I also listen to Motown, blues and Tony Bennett.”

Psychology Professor, Stephanie Little: “True to the psychological phenomenon, the Exposure Effect, I have developed an appreciation for various music styles from being exposed to them, including classical from my parents and playing the viola and recorder for many years, salsa from volunteering in South American and country from attending graduate school in Nashville. I also really enjoy musicals.”

Math and Computer Science Professor, Adam Parker: “My tastes range from old Motown classics to “Roots Rock” to straight up Punk. But, I am most attracted to what might be called “College Rock” from back when I was in school. My favorite band is the Pixies, and I like bands such as Husker Du, Dinosaur Jr., Guided by Voices, the New Pornographers, Spoon, etc. Generally loud, kinda dissonant music that my parents would dislike. I also have a soft spot for what might be called “British Post-Punk”. Bands like Joy Division, New Order, Erasure, The Cure, The Smiths. In particular, you should check out “That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore” by The Smiths, which I believe was written about the humor stylings of Education Department chair Brian Yontz.”

Sociology Professor, Keith Doubt: “Jazz”

An Anonymous Geology Professor: “I like, what was called back in the day, album rock. This is basically classic rock, but not the stuff you hear on the radio. For every famous classic rock song, there is an album or CD with a bunch of other excellent tunes. Some of my favorite groups are Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, the Allman Brothers, Joe Walsh and Stevie Ray Vaughn, but the list goes on-and-on.”

Physics Professor Elizabeth George: “I love many different types of music, but what I listen to the most is jazz – all types of jazz, from Louis Armstrong to Thelonious Monk and beyond. One of my favorite contemporary jazz musicians is pianist Fred Hersch (who grew up in Cincinnati), and I’m also a big fan of New Orleans-style brass bands.”

Music Professor, Erik Zinter: “The fact is, I don’t listen to a lot of music outside of my profession. I am immersed in music all day at work that when I have down time, or traveling to and from work, I prefer silence. I rarely listen to music when I have free time. When I do, anything but Country or Heavy Metal will work.”

Communications Professor, Jim Collier: “I like jazz, I like blues, I like good bluegrass, but my go-to music is what you would call alternative…I have twelve or thirteen really lengthy [Spotify] playlists, so what I listen to, there it is.” – Dr. Collier strongly encouraged students to check out his Spotify playlists.

What do you think about our professors’ music taste? Is it to die for, or would you die of boredom listening to it? The faculty had fun telling the Torch about their taste in music, and hopefully you enjoyed learning a little more about your professors.

1 thought on “Witt Professors Listen to a Variety of Genres

  1. I’m surprised artists like Alicia Keys, Jill Scott, Indi Arie, etc aren’t mentioned yet Beyonce (lol) is. Janelle Monae’s cool, but she’s a relatively new artist. It’s like the person’s modern references are only the biggest pop star, and one of the cool recent artists who’s gotten media attention.

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