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Kean University Professor to Have His Composition Installed in Laptops Distributed to Developing Countries

UNION, N.J. – Robert Rocco of Lake Hiawatha, N.J., professor of music at Kean University, donated his Grand American Rhapsody composition for inclusion in the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project. OLPC provides low-cost computers to children in developing nations.

“It is an educator’s dream because we have the opportunity to affect many children across the world in so many ways,” Rocco said. “It is amazing to me that my composition will reach, and perhaps inspire, children in remote areas of the world,” Rocco added.

In addition to Rocco’s contributions, several pieces of music selected by Dr. Richard Boulanger, professor of music synthesis at the Berklee College of Music, are uploaded into the laptops as examples of how history and culture may be shared.

Rocco was also the first person in 1984 to compose music for Max Matthews’ Electronic Drum, the pioneering computer-assisted instrument. The two met at AT&T Bell Labs, where Rocco managed databases and Matthews was director of the Behavioral and Acoustic Research Center. Rocco’s composition Enchanted Duet was performed by guitarist John DeChiaro at Carnegie Hall in 2006.

For more information about Rocco, please visit his Web site at www.bobrocco.com. For more information about OLPC, call 1-877-70-LAPTOP (2786) or visit http://laptopgiving.org.