Through diverse and lively discussion, professor and music program director, Brian Torff held an animated presentation to teach students about American pop music on Tuesday Feb. 27. Torff is a very well known bassist and composer. The event itself was held in the Loyola Hall commons where students and Torff gathered for dinner and conversation.
This program is one of many held by Resident Assistants in attempt to bring their communities together. Senior Liam Fama, an RA in Loyola Hall, was the one to organize and run the event.
“The main idea behind it was to get students to gain a broader theory of music – to grow in their appreciation of it, and to also hear from one of our professors about his unique profession,” said Fama.
The night began with a low attendee turnout, but that didn’t stop the dinner and presentation. Torff sat down and casually ate with the students in attendance. He then proceeded to ask them a series of questions, getting to know who they were, while provoking many of the students to think about important topics within our University – like the debate over the school’s core.
After dinner, Torff and his audience gathered around the television of Loyola Commons for the official presentation. Torff first discussed his musical career, talking about the different aspects of music he’s learned from his time in the industry, such as composing and playing various instruments.
Torff even showed clips of two of his band’s songs from the University’s Christmas special. He spoke about the music he wrote for the event and its relevance. Torff focused on how he likes this kind of music, being that it’s very collaborative and a way to work with those around him.
As the event finished up, Torff answered a few questions and comments from the students. One of them asked about his songwriting process. He responded that a lot goes into creating a song, but he relies greatly on literature. He mentions how he recently gained inspiration from Bruce Springsteen’s memoir “Born to Run.”
The event was very informative, but it was also a nice and informal way to allow students to accustom themselves to a member of the faculty. Even if one never takes his class, it gave students the chance to get to know another member of our Fairfield teaching community.
“It’s very important that we, as faculty, engage with students in different ways and not always in the formality of a classroom, but just as people conversing and exchanging ideas,” said Torff.
“I’ve done this before and I really enjoy it because it’s informal and impressive to really get to know students in this way, because I don’t always get to do that in a classroom,” he added. “I hope it’s great for them because it’s terrific for me.”
Overall, the American pop music dinner was a fun and engaging experience and provided residents with the ability to engage with a professor outside the classroom in a relaxed and entertaining environment.