For decades, the music of Pink Floyd has been influencing and inspiring generation after generation. On Friday, March 4, homage was paid to this iconic band in the Bottle Hill Room, by way of The Professors.
Communication studies majors know Gary Radford as their Literary and Communication Theory professor, but any fans of The Professors might first recognize him as the lead guitarist and vocalist for the band, of which is he is the only remaining original member. The Professors, active since 1995, consists of Radford’s wife, Rutgers professor Marie (keyboards); their daughter Meg (vocals and guitar); Nick Romanenko (bassist and backup vocals); Peter VanEmburg (percussion and vocals); and Jenn Zahorbenski (backup vocals). Last Friday’s performance also featured a guest vocalist, Alysia Slocum, of Philadelphia’s Temple University. Zahorbenski and Slocum joined the project by way of Meg Radford. Bassist Romanenko joined the band back in 1998, while drummer VanEmburg was recruited via a New Jersey musician’s site, and joined shortly after an audition.
The Professors have performed many times at the College at Florham, mainly at events for the communication studies department. However, this latest performance, entitled “From The Piper at the Gates of Dawn to The Final Cut: The Music of Pink Floyd,” was unlike any other. As the title suggests, The Professors’ set consisted entirely of Floyd’s best and most well-known songs, spanning their musical career from their debut album “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn” until their twelfth studio album “The Final Cut,” the last album to feature founding member of the band and lyricist Roger Waters.
The evening was a success, with Fairleigh Dickinson students and Floyd fans present in the audience, as well and the friends and family of The Professors. The night began with the first set of songs from “Animals,” “Meddle” and “The Dark Side of the Moon.” The set was followed by a brief intermission, and then a second set, which featured songs from “A Saucerful of Secrets,” “The Wall” and “Wish You Were.”
Typically, members of The Professors perform classic rock covers and some originals at their gigs, and at times even more contemporary fare such as songs by The Killers or The Bravery. According to Gary Radford, however, it has been a longtime ambition to play an all Floyd show.
“I’ve always wanted to play an all Floyd show…it’s a lifetime dream,” said Radford. The night’s program featured Gary Radford’s ticket stub from a Floyd concert in England in August 1980, and pictures of The Professors at other performances. Radford said that the program was “made with love.”
As far as the future of The Professors, Meg Radford, a junior at Rutgers University, says the band will continue playing at weddings, in coffee houses and many more times at FDU. “I love the vibe here, it’s [the Bottle Hill Room] a casual venue, students walking by can just come on in,” she said. Her father agreed. “We love playing here,” he said.