Shopping Cart
Your Cart is Empty
There was an error with PayPalClick here to try again
CelebrateThank you for your business!You should be receiving an order confirmation from Paypal shortly.Exit Shopping Cart

Rock Prairie Perfoming Arts Association



view:  full / summary

Executive Director and Advisor, Dr. Jeff Suarez being inducted into the UAA Hall Of Fame April 7th....

Posted by rppaa1 on March 18, 2013 at 3:00 PM Comments comments (404)

From The (Janesville) Gazette, Saturday, March 16th, 2013, Page 3A;


Beloit artist building local legacy



Saturday, March 16, 2013



If you go


What: United Arts Alliance Hall of Fame Awards ceremony


When: Sunday, April 7. Doors open at 2 p.m. with the awards ceremony at 2:30 p.m. Janesville musician, music educator and former Hall of Fame honoree Thelma Wilcox will speak. Refreshments will be served.


Where: Janesville Performing Arts Center, 408 S. Main St., Janesville.


Tickets: $5 each with reservations due by Monday, March 25. Tickets can be purchased in person at the JPAC box office or by phone at 608-758-0297.




David Lundahl

JANESVILLE — Beloit artist David Lundahl's work has been exhibited in 40 different states.Now, finally, he's about to get some local recognition.


On Sunday, April 7, the self-taught sculptor and photographer will be one of three Rock County residents inducted into the United Arts Alliance's Hall of Fame at the Janesville Performing Arts Center, 408 S. Main St.


Lundahl, 63, was pleasantly surprised when he learned of the acknowledgement. Despite displaying his artwork nationwide, the artist sadly admits less than a half dozen of his pieces have been sold locally over the years.


"It's pragmatism," he said, trying to explain why to a puzzled guest at his New Light Studios showroom in Beloit. "It (my art) is not useful like an automobile."


Nomination letters repeatedly acknowledged Lundahl's raw inventive and creative artistic talent.


Matthew Fluharty, one of Lundahl's former students at Beloit College and now a teacher at Washington University in St. Louis, wrote Lundahl and his life are all about making art.


"He is a prolific producer of art," Fluharty said. "His residing in Beloit brings Rock County a sophisticated artistic presence and involvement in world-class art."


Lundahl, a former Beloit Fine Arts Incubator board member, taught sculpture at Beloit College for several years. He now creates self-portraits—photographs—that are created completely with natural light, theater makeup, scarves and sometimes large mirrors to direct sunlight onto his face in certain patterns.


His innovative use of light earned him the national DaVinci Prize, and his works have been included in competitive entry shows such as the World Trade Center twin towers before 9/11, John McEnroe's Manhattan gallery and the Wisconsin Triennial.


In addition, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and San Francisco's Museum of Modern Art own examples of Lundahl's artwork in their permanent collections.


Lundahl has shown his work in competitive arts exhibits nationwide. Locally, he has been featured in the annual Beloit & Vicinity Exhibit at Beloit College and in the 2007 Taste of Culture that benefited the UW-Rock County Foundation.


Fluharty predicted interest in Lundahl's work would intensify after a Los Angeles filmmaker produced the documentary about Lundahl titled, "A Head of His Times. The film premiered at the Beloit International Film Festival where it won the Josh Burton Award.


PEN Center USA published an essay earlier this year on Lundahl's work in The Rattlin Wall literary magazine, and "Art of the Rural" is embarking on a long-term collaboration with Lundahl to share his work with a new generation of art audiences.


Greg Gerard of BIFF described Lundahl as art in motion in his nomination letter.


"He is in a constant state of creative process, and lives and breathes his art," Gerard said. "I know of no one in this area who lives the artist's life with the passion David does. His works make you see, feel, think, touch, taste and hear in ways you never have. He is an innovator of the highest order."


A chalkboard that notes ideas and signatures of studio guests hangs on the wall in Lundahl's showroom. It also reveals how important invention is to his creative process.


"I know others work with recycled materials, but I do something different with it,'' he said.


Lundahl creates welded, cast-iron, abstract art from salvaged pieces of piano foot pedals, wheels, decorative legs from stoves and old machinery parts he find at auctions and salvage yards.


He also created a process he calls acrilage.


"I took paint, poured it on glass, let it dry, cut it out and applied it to paper," he said showing off a framed piece.


Lundahl, who expresses both the pains and joys of being human through his art, takes pride in giving back to the community.


After First Congregational Church of Beloit was destroyed by fire in 1998, Lundahl salvaged some of the debris and used it to create a copper sculpture, "Phoenix" that he gave to the church to be hung in its reconstructed building.


"It is a powerful reminder of the church rising again from the adversity of its fire and hangs prominently in the church today," wrote the Rev. Nels Kendell Nordstrom of First Congregational in his nomination of Lundahl.


But nominator Michael Kay, Ph.D., of Beloit might have summed up Lundahl best.


"He contributes to Rock County through his art, volunteering, teaching and most of all through his strong sense of surviving in spite of obstacles and bringing beauty and innovation to the world."


Here are details about the other United Arts Alliance Hall of Fame 2013 honorees drawn from material submitted by people who nominated them:


Barbara Mathews


Mathews, Janesville, has contributed to the community through her art, teaching, and profession as a beautician.


Mathews is self-taught painter and a member of the Wisconsin Watercolor Society, the Janesville Art League, Wisconsin Regional Art Association and the Wisconsin Regional Artist Alliance. She has received awards from these and other art assciations over the years. She volunteers for Artsfest, the Wisconsin Regional Art Program, Friends of Noah's Arftic Artfest, Tallman Festival and other art-related causes.


Mathews helped develop the Mercy Hospital program that gives free wigs to patients who have lost their hair from medical treatments. The salon she owned at the time was the source for ordering, cutting and styling of the wigs, a practice that continues to this day and helps patients throughout Rock County.


Mathews teaches a weekly art class in Janesville and offers art instruction each June on Washington Island in Door County.


Traveling is one of Mathew's passions, and she partnered with a local travel agency to create painting adventures to other countries.


Jeff Suarez


Suarez, Janesville, has impacted the musical arts in Rock County as an educator, director, performer, board member and coordinator of a variety of arts endeavors.


In 1998, he began teaching at Beloit College, where he taught music theory courses, private French horn lessons and music composition lessons and directed multiple ensembles, bands, and the Help Yourself youth choir. He continues to teach there today.


Suarez became an assistant professor of music in 2002 at UW-Rock County, where he formed an orchestra, restarted the big band and brought new life to the school's music program. He was promoted to associate professor in 2009, a position he still holds today.


Suarez took over direction of the Rock Prairie Concert Band and founded the Rock Prairie Chamber Orchestra, the Rock Prairie Big Band, the Rock Prairie Jazz Combo and a pep band and co-founding the Rock Prairie Youth Orchestra.


He has given free public performances of his own music compositions and others' music as well as public lectures on music topics. Suarez wrote the lyrics for and composed the music to the UW-Rock County school song, "Go, Rattlers, Go."


Suarez has served as Walk-In Messiah music director; local church choir director; Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra personnel/production manager and principal French horn player; Spotlight on Kids music director; and French horn player with Brassa Nova, the Janesville Choral Union and other groups throughout Rock County.


Suarez was a board member of Theatre Unlimited and directed a show for the organization in 2011. He served as the UW-Rock County representative to the United Arts Alliance for one year and was board vice president of the newly formed Turtle Creek Chamber Orchestra in 2012.


Thanks to;


Congratulations to Dr. Jeff on this great honor!! You muchly deserve it for everything you've meant to us at the RPPAA and area music and arts!

Another Member of Rock Prairie passes into the Next Musical Chapter...

Posted by rppaa1 on March 12, 2013 at 11:40 PM Comments comments (25)

Don Hoague, long-time Tuba/ Brass player for the U-Rock Community/ Rock Prairie Concert/ UW-Rock County Concert Band has passed away at the age of 93 on March 7th.

Don also provided his brass playing skill to the now defunct, and close to our history, Janesville Municipal Band.

Here is Don's Obituary from Sunday, March 10th, The (Janesville) Gazette;

January 13, 1920 - March 7, 2013

Donald C. Hoague, 93, of Janesville, passed away Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Rock Haven Nursing Home. Donald was born in Janesville on Jan. 13, 1920, the son of George and Ella (Nightengale) Hoague. He graduated from Janesville High School where he was active in band and orchestra. He later attended the University of Wisconsin short course. He married Irene E. Schulthess on July 3, 1954. He had been a member of the National Guard Band when he served with the 121st Field Artillery. Donald was employed for 40 years at Parker Pen Company, where he was active with the United Rubber Workers Union, having served as its president for several years. Throughout the years, Don was very active in musical groups and played in the Parker Pen Band, the Janesville Municipal Band, the U-Rock Community Band, the Rock Prairie Concert Band, the Janesville Senior Center Band and with a five piece German Band. In addition to playing and listening to music.

Don enjoyed home remodeling, gardening, camping and traveling. The traveling times he was especially fond of during his life, includes being a chaperone for the Janesville High School band, when they traveled to the Worlds Fair in New York in 1965 while his daughter was a member of the band; camping trips to Europe and Alaska; rafting the Colorado River; and he and Irene‘s 25th wedding anniversary trip to Hawaii.

Surviving are his wife, Irene; two children, Gerald Hoague of Middleton, WI, and Virginia (Anil) Aggarwal of Redwood City, CA; one brother, Vilas (Shirley) Hoague of Janesville; two sisters, Geneieve Brunhoeffer of Milwaukee, WI, and Betty (Keith) Oldfield of Janesville; five grandchildren: Todd (Denise) Koltes of Sun Prairie, WI, Cindi Lee (Alex) Zuran of Phoenix, AZ, Craig Koltes of Minneapolis, MN, Laurie Hoague of Eau Claire, WI, and Kevin Hoague of Madison, WI; four great-grandchildren: Zachary Zuran, Alexander Zuran, Andrew Zuran, all of Phoenix, AZ, and Thomas Koltes of Sun Prairie, WI; many nieces; and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one son, Jack R. Hoague; five brothers: Kenneth, Raymond, Robert, Russell and George; and two sisters, Harriet and Ella May.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, March 13, 2013, at HENKE-CLARSON FUNERAL HOME, 1010 N. Wright Rd, Janesville with Pastor Richard Lehmann officiating. Burial will be in Milton Lawns Memorial Park. Visitation will be from 10 until 11 a.m. Wednesday, at HENKE-CLARSON FUNERAL HOME.

We at the Rock Prairie Performing Arts Association express our deepest sympathies to Don's family and friends.

You will be missed by all of us here.

JPAC Run-Out! coming to the Janesville Performing Arts Center in Janesville!

Posted by rppaa1 on February 27, 2013 at 3:05 PM Comments comments (4)

From the Janesville Convention and Visitors Bureau Events section of their web site (;


JPAC Run Out!, a Concert featuring the UW-Rock County (formerly the Rock Prairie) Concert Band


March 6, 2013

7:30 PM


Janesville Performing Arts Center

408 S Main St

Janesville, WI 53545

Web: UW Rock County


Admission is free, but a $2 donation is suggested. For further details, please call Jeff Suarez at 608-758-6565 ext. 737.


The UW-Rock County Concert Band (formerly the Rock Prairie Concert Band) continues the 2012-2013 concert season with the first of its run-out concerts aimed at more performances in different venues throughout the greater Rock County.


This concert, under the direction of Jeff Suarez, UW-Rock County associate professor of music, will include new music by Michael Sweeny and Robert W. Smith, as well as other selections by Leonard Bernstein, W. Francis McBeth and other composers. Band members include UW-Rock County students and area musicians.

A New Year, New Names, and a New Look at RPPAA.ORG...

Posted by rppaa1 on January 18, 2013 at 11:50 PM Comments comments (4)

With 2013 comes changes for some of our groups, reestablishing their ties more closely with UW-Rock County in the New Year.

What won't change is our commitment to our audiences and our players. We will remain a community-based set of groups driven to provide the best entertainment for a nominal charge.

With the change in name for some of our long time groups, comes a bold new website. Designed to garner further attention to our groups, RPPAA.ORG will continue to add items of interest and videos and media from current and past performances, both as Rock Prairie and now UW-Rock County again.

We encourage those of you viewing this new freshened site page, and attending our events in the past and future, to become more involved as we are open to involvement from musicians and fans of music.

Thank You for all of your interest and we look forward to greater things in this upcoming new year! 

A Homecoming of sorts, and the closing of another Rock Prairie chapter in our groups history...

Posted by rppaa1 on December 30, 2012 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (28)

      As some of you may know by now, some of our groups in the Rock Prairie family will be making a change come 2013 that will be like going back in time.

2013 will usher in a new, yet retro moniker as our Chamber Orchestra, Concert Band, and Big Band will fall farther under the University of Wisconsin - Rock County banner.

What this means is this;

(1) The Rock Prairie Concert Band will revert back to its old moniker of the UW-Rock County Concert Band; This name harkens  back to the bands inception near the opening of the U-Rock Campus in the mid to late 1960's (see everything old is new again).

(2) The Rock Prairie Chamber Orchestra will be renamed the UW-Rock County Chamber Orchestra.

(3) The Rock Prairie Big Band will evolve further into the stage band from its dance/ swing band origins and become the UW-Rock County Jazz Band. The campus once maintained this band in years past as well, but the group fell under the Rock Prairie moniker after it was resurrected in the mid-1990's.

The groups that will remain under the Rock Prairie banner will be the Rock Prairie Youth Orchestra and the Rock Prairie Jazz Combo.

It should also be emphasized that the Rock Prairie Performing Arts Association will remain the group supporting the all of the groups musical directions and fund raising, working in the background, albeit with a bit more assistance, from the UW Center School we have called home since the beginning. To this we are eternally grateful and thank the University for their continued support, no matter what form it takes.

This is also the time to remind everyone reading this latest post that the RPPAA is still looking for musicians and enthusiasts of our music forms to join with us on our board to aid in future endeavors, now with increased University of Wisconsin - Rock County backing. Your opinion matters and we would like to here your ideas.

A special Thank You goes out to Dean Carmen Wilson, UW-Rock County's current guiding force, and an accomplished musician in her own right. We at the RPPAA Thank You for your attendance at our events and your continued and now increased interest in us and all of the other UW-Rock County-based music, theater, and arts departments.

Thank You for reading and Happy New Year from all of here at the Rock Prairie Performing Arts Association!

We look forward to bringing you an even more exciting 2013!

"Side Man" at UW-Rock County to Feature jazz era music provided by the Rock Prairie Big Band

Posted by rppaa1 on October 21, 2012 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (22)

University Theatre Presents "Side Man", Thursday, November 1st, Friday, November 2nd, and Saturday, November 3rd, 7:30 p.m. start time each night at Kirk Denmark Theatre, UW-Rock County Category

$3 students, $7 adults. For advance tickets, call Business Services at (608 758-6565 ext. 100

Don't miss the directorial debut for the campus for Zac Curtis, UW-Rock County's new assistant professor of communication and theatre arts. Side Man is a memory play by Warren Leight that was the winner of the 1999 Tony Award for Best Play. This deeply tender play follows the tumultuous life of a jazz musician's family from the early 1950s through 1985, an era when jazz declined with the advent of rock-n-roll. Set in smoky nightclubs and the family's New York City apartment, the play is narrated by Clifford, the son of an alcoholic mother and self-absorbed jazz trumpeter Gene Glimmer a so-called side man because he is a musician who can blend in with the band or star as a solo performer.

Featuring music from the Big Band era forward in jazz history provided by the Rock Prairie Big Band


UW-Rock County to Present Collage Concert

Posted by rppaa1 on September 29, 2012 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (30)

From the UW-Rock County Events Press Release Page (


JANESVILLE- The UW-Rock County music department will present its second annual collage concert on Wednesday, October 10, at 7:30 p.m. in the Kirk Denmark Theatre on the campus of UW-Rock County at 2909 Kellogg Ave.

This concert will involve nearly all of the department's music groups ranging from the Rock Prairie Concert Band, the Rock Prairie Chamber Orchestra, the Rock Prairie Big Band, the Rock Prairie Jazz Combo, the UW-Rock County Chamber Singers, the UW-Rock County Concert Choir, and the UW-Rock County Jazz Singers, and some scenes from the UW-Rock County theater department, among others. These groups will perform in quick succession, sometimes with interesting segues and some musical surprises. Admission is free, but a $2 donation is suggested. For further information, please contact Jeff Suarez at (608) 758-6565, extension 737.


Long-Time Rock Prairie Member Passes Away...

Posted by rppaa1 on September 22, 2012 at 10:35 PM Comments comments (78)

It is with great sadness that one of the longtime RPPAA members passed September 5th, 2012. Bob Johnson, longtime trombonist with the Rock Prairie Concert Band, Big Band, Chamber Orchestra, and Jazz Combo, among many other groups throughout the Southern Wisconsin, Northern Illinois, and others in the region, passed away in his hometown of Beloit on Wednesday, September 5th, at the age of 82.

Here is the obituary from the Beloit Daily News;

Robert Byron Johnson, 82, of Beloit, WI, died suddenly at Beloit Memorial Hospital on September 5th, 2012. Born in Boone, Iowa, Bob was the son of the late Herbert H. Johnson and Jeannette Reid Johnson of Janesville, WI.

Bob graduated from Janesville High School in 1948. He received his Professional Engineering license after pursuing a civil engineering degree at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. His main athletic focus was track. He held records for the broad jump (22ft, 9.5 in) and 200 yard dash (20.2s) set at the WIAA Sectional Track Meet on May 15, 1948. Advancing his illustrious activities, he was a member of Phi Delta Theta and also of the W-club, lettering in track, and captain of the UW-Madison track team. After college, he served in the United States Army as an officer/engineer in the Korean War. While in the Army, he medaled in the Chicago relays. After his military stint, he became a member of the American Legion Post #449.

Bob and Joanne married on June 12, 1962, in Plainfield, WI. He worked at Beloit Corporation as a civil engineer for 30 years in Beloit, Pinerolo (Italy), Valladolid (Spain) and New Delhi (India). After retiring from Beloit Corporation, he worked full time for AquaTec, Inc. until 1995.

During his lifetime, he worked as a semi- professional musician in many local bands (Beloit, Janesville, Milwaukee) until a few weeks before his death. His love for the trombone began in third grade and grew to encompass big band and swing, Dixie, jazz and concert bands. He was constantly promoting musical activities and sharing concert recordings with friends and family.

Bob is survived by his wife of 50 years, Joanne Elaine Johnson; one child, Arik F. Johnson and grandson, Ira DeGlopper; son-in-law, Jacob DeGlopper; sister, Marilyn J. Nelson of Cedar Rapids, IA; brother, Tom (Ann) Johnson of Hickory, NC; brother-in-law, Robert (Mara) Coon of Madison, WI; sister-in-law, Shirley (Clark) Walker of Tullahoma, TN; uncle, Morry (Elinor) Reid of Glen Ellyn, IL; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and brother-in-law, John H. Nelson. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, September 9, 2012 in the River of Life United Methodist Church, 511 Public Avenue, Beloit, WI with Reverend David P. Carlson officiating. Interment will take place at Linwood Park Cemetery in Boone, Iowa.

Visitation will be from 1:00 p.m. until the time of service Sunday in the church. Daley Murphy Wisch & Associates Funeral Home and Crematorium, 2355 Cranston Road, Beloit, WI, assisted the family with arrangements.

Memorials may be given in his name to the United Methodist Church.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Bob will be sorely missed by all of us here in all of the RPPAA groups. Our condolences go out the Bob's wife Joanne and son Arik and the rest of the Johnson family.

Rest In Peace Bob, we will see you soon on the other side. May you provide music upstairs for all to enjoy there as much as we enjoyed you here.

ThankYou for all of the good music and memories,

All your friends and fellow musicians of the RPPAA