Musician Sees Cultural Potential of RU

Rutgers is more than just a boot camp for the nine-to-five world that awaits students after graduation. In fact, for many the university setting can be an enriching cultural breeding ground that can lead them to the top.

And according to Michael Mossman, a professional musician and member of the Rutgers music department faculty, the University hosts "the best musicians here" at a price that can't be beat.

Mossman, a teaching assistant in the process of completing his master's degree, is 26 years old and has already played with the likes of Count Basie and the rock group STYX and played backup in commercial jingles. But his biggest feat, so far, is his involvement in the jazz band Out of the Blue - OTB - which just recently put out its first album.

In addition to Mossman, two other University alumni play in OTB. They are drummer Ralph Peterson and pianist Harry Pickens.

Mossman, who spoke at an academic forum at the Chi Psi fraternity lodge on the College Avenue campus last night, came to Rutgers to be close to New York City, which he said he considers to an important place to be near because of the musical opportunities it can offer.

Mossman indicated that audiences tend not to explore different kinds of music and said this can be very limiting. He said he feels that students can expand themselves by listening to other kinds of music. When you attend a concert you "can always get up and leave," but at least you opened your mind, he said.

Mossman said that life on College Avenue tends to stay here, and he suggested students should "see something that is real instead of going to the Melody." He added there are many fine concerts regularly held on the Douglass campus and many of these performers are the "cream of the crop."

He also gave a high rating to the student organizations like the Rutgers Jazz Ensemble which is "quite good," he said.

Dean Holstein
Rutgers Daily Targum
November 21, 1985