In Rush, we trust

This fall, Canadian rock band Rush is coming to town in the form of a new class to be offered at Tiffin University.

The course, “Rush: Progressive Rock and Modern Society,” is to explore the musical and cultural issues of the 1970s and ’80s, according to course instructor and Director of Commercial Music Nathan Santos.

Santos proposed the course and is designing the curriculum for the 2014-15 academic year.

He said students in the special topics course are to analyze progressive rock, along with its musical elements, lyrical themes, historical, social and cultural content and its significance within the development of popular music styles.

The 15-week course, for three credit hours, already is filling up, he said.

The course is centered on the music and styles of Rush, which was inducted this spring into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.

Santos said students are to look at the style changes the band went through over the years and how bands withstand changes to continue to create music.

“It is a good lesson for our students who are pursuing a career in the music field,” he said. “The band played an important part in our culture and heritage and the commercial music industry.”

Rush is the focus of the course, but also a starting point, he said.

Other topics include literature, philosophy, politics, technology, songwriting, biographys, life on the road and album covers.

Santos has been teaching at TU since 2012, mostly music history.

“I love integrating the historic moments in music history, but making them relevant to serve the students,” Santos said. “I want to take the information students already know and bring out a connection. I want them to still remain passionate about history and not dismiss it.”

Santos said he was given the chance to come up with a culture class.

“I had always thought a course focused on (Rush) would be a neat idea, (but) never had the chance to do it,” he said. “There is a constant need to provide newer courses.”

Santos said he hopes to draw

new students to the department and program.

“People can get a better idea on what we do and what is offered,” Santos said. “Our department is continuing to grow. It is exciting to be able to offer a course like this. It is a good place to be.”

Santos said he tries to teach music is communication.

“Rush is trying to communicate a message,” he said. “We want to take that and look at where we are today and how we got there.”