Behind The Music

10 things to know about Monmouth’s student-run record label.

  1. Blue Hawk Records is a student club that was formed in 2013 under the guidance of Joe Rapolla ’90M, chair of Monmouth’s Department of Music and Theatre Arts and director of its Music Industry program.
  2. Its mission is to give students, regardless of major, hands-on experience running a current-day music label.
  3. The students do everything—from finding the talent and recording the songs to branding the label’s artists and marketing and distributing the final product.
  4. The label released its 10th studio album—aptly titled Hang Ten—in April.
  5. Every record release is celebrated with a student-produced concert featuring artists on the new album.
  6. Performers that have recorded with Blue Hawk Records include students, alumni, and even faculty. Hang Ten features a cut from The Professors, whose members include Rapolla, Specialist Professor George Wurzbach, and adjuncts Erik Romero, Mark Muller, Bob Boyd, and Jay Sweet.
  7. All albums are recorded at Lakehouse Recording Studios, a world class studio in Asbury Park where Monmouth students take classes.
  8. You can purchase and stream Hang Ten on all major digital platforms (e.g., iTunes, Amazon, Spotify) and check out past albums at
  9. Blue Hawk Records has an international following: Its artists toured Italy in 2014 and the label has sales in seven countries.
  10. Former members have gone on to careers at Sony Music and Warner Music Group.