Christi Peace
February 27, 2015

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On March 6, a documentary chronicling the story of the New Jersey band, The Professors, will be screened in Dreyfuss 125.

Band members include the Florham Campus’ own Gary Radford, chair of the Department of Communication Studies, on vocals and guitar. Other members are Nick Romanenko on bass guitar, Marie Radford on keyboard, Joe Sanchez on horns, Jennifer Zahorbenski and Meg Radford on vocals, Peter VanEmburg on drums and Larry Katz on saxophone.

The Professors will perform a short concert following the film screening, which is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m.

The documentary follows the journey of the rock band since its beginnings in 1995. Radford, along with Nick Belkin and Robert Kubey, both professors at Rutgers University, brought the group together.

In the documentary, Radford candidly explains that they had tried to think of a better name than “The Professors,” but could not.“But that’s who we were; we were three professors. And [the name] stuck ever since,” Radford says.

Kubey goes on to explain in the film that one of the ideas of the band was to “play with the stereotypic image and notions about what a professor is.” He wanted to break out of the preconceived idea people would have of them by playing music that would “knock the socks off people.”

Radford mentions in the film that the group soon expanded by three more members, including Jennifer Lehr, who is the current associate dean of Becton College at FDU. Radford says that, once the extra members were added, “we actually became a real band at that point.”

Throughout the next several years, band membership constantly changed. Professors and students from schools such as Rutgers and Rider University contributed everything from vocals to guitar, drums and even harmonica.

The Professors included Christopher Caldiero, associate professor of communication studies at FDU, from 2006 to 2008, according to the band’s website,

In the film, Radford describes the constant coming and going of members as an “amazing kind of pandemonium.”

Through it all, Radford was there, with Romanenko describing him in the documentary as “the spiritual leader of the band.”

The group has recorded three studio albums of original music, entitled “Just in Case You Call This Music Crap,” “Zombie* Treachery” and “Learning Curve.” Their albums include songs such as “Peer Review,” “A Geek’s Life” and “Crisis of Confidence,” some of which were written by Radford.

The band, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, has performed at FDU and many other locations throughout New York, New Jersey and other states, according to its website.

The band has even performed at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, which is a famous music venue that has featured artists such as Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi.

In an email, Radford described the film - called “The Professors’ Project” - as examining “how a group of academics can operate in a rock and roll environment, while still remaining true to their scholarly roots.”

This page last updated February 28, 2015 by Gary Radford.
Many thanks to Kurt Wagner, Marie Radford, and Jon Oliver.