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DelVal to Offer New Rock ’N’ Roll Elective

Nov 08, 2017

DelVal to Offer New Rock ’N’ Roll Elective

Credit: Delaware Valley University. Emma Conard ’18 participating in Classic Rock, an Honors course Stephen Tow taught at DelVal.

Stephen Tow is working on booking a lineup of musicians for the spring, but it’s not for a music festival. Tow is planning a new music history elective at Delaware Valley University. 

DelVal will offer an elective called “Critical Issues in American History (LA 4116),” which will cover rock ’n’ roll history, for the spring 2018 semester. Students in the course will have the chance to Skype with music legends as they learn about music history.

The three-credit course, taught by Tow, will cover the entire period of rock ’n’ roll. Tow, the author of “The Strangest Tribe: How a Group of Seattle Rock Bands Invented Grunge,” made connections with musicians during his time as a music writer and has been using those connections to enhance students’ experiences at DelVal. 

In spring 2017, Tow offered Classic Rock, an Honors elective. Students in the course listened to a selection of songs each week and discussed them. After testing the course through the Honors program, Tow is now opening the opportunity up to the larger student body with the new, general elective. 

Tow’s lineup for the new course has tentatively been scheduled. He is planning to have famous musicians chat with the class through Skype next semester to answer questions and possibly play for the students. The tentative lineup includes:

  • Rogers Stevens, Blind Melon (scheduled to visit class in person)
  • Dean DeLeo, Stone Temple Pilots
  • Roger McGuinn, the Byrds
  • Judy Dyble, Fairport Convention
  • Lenny Kaye, Patti Smith Group (scheduled to visit class in person)
  • Kevin Whitworth, Love Battery (Seattle grunge era band)
  • Rob Morgan, Squirrels (Original Seattle punk rockers)

Space in the course is available on a first come, first served basis. 

Watch a video featuring a student who took Tow’s Classic Rock course