Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

American pop culture through musical lens

Jeff Suarez, Kirk Denmark Theatre Rock County campus, Describing music’s aristocratic past. March 22, 2024 (Bleron Grajçevci)

At the Kirk Denmark Theater of UW-Whitewater’s Rock County campus, a presentation on the historic evolution of American music and pop culture was given by Jeff Suarez, associate professor of music in Rock County.  

The March 21 presentation covered the vast history of American music, from its Anglo-European opera past to the African origins of jazz and ragtime. Students were impressed with Suarez’s knowledge of American music history as in one hour, he went from the opera beginnings of American Music to Elvis Presley and the Beatles’ invasion.

Suarez teaches a variety of music classes in the Rock County campus, and when asked by the Fairhaven Lecture Series if he was willing to do a presentation, he gladly accepted as he was able to use this as an opportunity to spread his knowledge of music to the students of Rock County.  

“Where did TikTok come from? It came from opera,” Suarez said. 

This connection was intended to show the general entertainment connections from each of different music eras, how even in the days of opera, the men were just rowdy as festival-goers today.

Jeff Suarez, Kirk Denmark Theatre Rock County campus, Describing Pop music’s origins from opera. Mar 22, 2024 (Bleron Grajçevci)

“I feel it’s super important to be able to learn from a professor that has the background like Jeff Suarez,” said Joseph Brown who attended the presentation. 

Despite Brown’s preference for the 2000s and beyond, he was happy to learn about artists of the past and artists he has seen live such as Elton John and the Beach Boys. 

Attendees of Mr. Suarez’s lecture, Kirk Denmark Theatre Rock County campus. March 22, 2024 (Bleron Grajçevci)

“I really liked how he did with his presentation. I would definitely go back and see one of his again. I didn’t think I’d personally like the presentation and walking out of it, I gained a lot more appreciation for music in the 20s, 30s, and 40s.” 

Despite the small attendance at Rock County, Jeff Suarez gave a positive and informative feeling to students as he gladfully showed off his passion for American music and pop culture.

Jeff Suarez, Kirk Denmark Theatre Rock County campus, Discussing the American split from British musical influence. Mar 22, 2024 (Bleron Grajçevci)
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About the Contributor
Bleron Grajçevci
Bleron Grajçevci, Campus Journalist

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  • M

    Mustafa MiminiApr 1, 2024 at 6:58 pm

    Excellent informative display!