TCNJ Magazine - Winter 2017

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27 education," Pearson says, "than what these artists have said about their teachers." Jacqui Ivey has watched the evolution of Trenton Makes Music with particular interest. She was born and raised in the city, and in 2009 she and her husband, Sterick, opened the Conservatory Mansion on East State Street. For Ivey, Trenton Makes Music represents an unprecedented effort to document a long and rich chapter in the city's cultural life. "I don't know if anyone, to date, has captured the signifi- cance and the contribution to the music industry from the Trenton area in a way that this project has done," Ivey says. At the core of Trenton Makes Music is a pair of podcasting courses that Pearson and Nakra began teaching in the fall of 2014; Pearson's focused on content and storytelling, Nakra's on production and technology. The two dozen students in their classes work together to produce podcasts about Trenton musicians that will become part of the Trenton Makes Music website, Gabe Salazar, a junior interactive multimedia major from Hillsborough, New Jersey, secured a research role last summer under the Mentored Undergraduate Summer Experience program. He wrote scripts for podcasts, and last fall he enrolled in Pearson's Trenton Makes Music course, in which he researched Jewish music in Trenton. "I never realized the Jewish community had such an in-depth and complex musical history," Salazar says. "This project really opened my eyes to a lot of musical genres that I found really interesting." Salazar also worked on a podcast about Trenton's punk music scene in which Randy "Now" Ellis played such an outsize role. A former bar band drummer (and WTSR deejay) who quit his job as a mailman to become a full-time promoter at City Gardens, Ellis booked the Ramones, Parliament Funkadelic, Kurtis Blow, Nirvana, Sinead O'Connor, Black Flag, the Dead Kennedys, and a thousand other bands during City Gardens' heyday in the 1980s and early 90s. He's also the central figure in director Steve Tozzi's 2014 documentary about the club, Riot on the Dance Floor. These days he's the proprietor of Randy Now's Man Cave, a record store in Bordentown, New Jersey, where he grew up. As far back as the 1960s, Ellis says, Trenton was every bit as much of a music town as Asbury Park. "There was so much great unrecognized talent," he says. "I don't know why we didn't get the break that Asbury got." Salazar's classmate Christopher Hingston Tenev, a sophomore electrical engineering major from Princeton Junction, spent last summer recording and editing interviews with Trenton musicians. In October, he co-produced the Trenton Makes Music theme song with its author. "I think it's a good project geared toward generating awareness about something people ought to be aware of," Tenev says. "People's awareness of music, and people's investment in music, really have an effect on the way communities operate." Sarah Dash appreciates that effect as much as anyone. As a young girl growing up in Trenton, she witnessed the profound impact of music within her own communities. She saw it when she sang in her church choir and later when she and Hendryx would rehearse with their earliest vocal group, the Del Capris, in the basement of Junior High 5 (under the eye of Thomas Grice, their appointed chaperone). Upon her return to Trenton, she's seen it yet again, in the celebration of a musical community that aspired to greatness beyond the borders of her hometown, and in the work of a pair of committed professors and their students who are recording that greatness for all the world to see and hear. Christopher Hann is a freelance writer and a former senior editor at New Jersey Monthly. He wrote the cover story about 49ers President Al Guido '03 in TCNJ Magazine's Fall 2016 issue. Middle of nowhere In the 1980s and early 90s, this beat-up former car dealership was home to a punk zeitgeist.

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