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Perry Hemmingsen.

Perry Hemmingsen will soon book shows at theTwin Cities campus Whole Music Club.

Music with a message

Scholarship recipient hopes to create an outlet for socio-political punk rock

From M, summer 2006

Professor Rockmeister has come to the U. At least a fifth of it has. The Wabasha, Minnesota-based rock band includes University freshman Perry Hemmingsen, who plays bass. "We dabble in everything," the computer science major says. "Jazz, hard rock, experimental--we're all over the place." Hemmingsen believes music can create change: "It's one of the biggest forms of media to influence people. It's a way to get people interested in stuff that will make society better." Professor Rockmeister has already recorded the soundtrack to an educational video, and Hemmingsen one day hopes to start a record label for socio-political punk rock. A Bentson Family Scholarship has helped Hemmingsen pursue music production--a long-time aspiration of his. Eventually he plans to mix computer coursework with music theory classes. Plus, not having to work to cover tuition has allowed him to volunteer at the Whole Music Club in Coffman Union, complementing his studies with real-world experience. Next year, he'll be booking shows there. The scholarship comes with more than financial support. Benefactor Larry Bentson, '43, invites recipients to outings such as movies and barbecues. "That he has an interest in the students means a lot," says Hemmingsen. "It's kind of like having another family--someone you can rely on if you have questions about college or anything else."