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Headshot of Professor Joe Rapolla with the Great Hall in the background

Prof. Rapolla Presents at Association of Popular Music Conference

Joe Rapolla ’90 MBA, chair of the Department of Music and Theatre Arts, director of the Music Industry program, and advisor of the University’s student-run record label, Blue Hawk Records, recently presented at the 2024 Association for Popular Music Education (APME) Conference held at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA, June 5-8. This year’s conference theme was “Come Together: Considering the Past, Present, and Future of Popular Music Education.”

In his presentation, Rapolla showcased the innovative strides made by Blue Hawk Records by delving into the conceptual framework, dynamic activities, and real-world outcomes of the student-run record label. The talk, which was delivered to an audience of K-12 and higher education educators, academy directors, and entrepreneurs, demonstrated how schools might develop and benefit from establishing a similar program.

“I was thrilled, though perhaps not entirely surprised, by the positive reception to the vision behind Blue Hawk Records and its transformative impact within our acclaimed Music Industry program,” said Rapolla, reflecting on the enthusiastic response garnered at the conference.

The Association for Popular Music Education (APME) is an all-volunteer music education 501(c)(3) non-profit organization supporting connections between the music classroom and the stage. APME was created to advocate for popular music education and its advancement as a discipline. APME held its first conference in 2013. Since then, the organization has held annual national conferences to celebrate, critique, and explore teaching, learning, researching, creating, and performing popular music. The conferences welcome people with interests in higher education, elementary and secondary schools, researchers, industry professionals, and performers.