General Education

Val Azzoli
Adjunct Professor
Rap/Rock
973-655-7212


Ashkan Behzadi
Adjunct Professor
Introduction to Music
Main Office: 973-655-7212

Ashkan Behzadi is an Iranian composer residing in New York City. He is a graduate of McGill University in composition and music theory where he studied with Chris Paul Harman, Brian Cherney and Philippe Leroux. Prior to this he also earned a bachelor's degree in architecture from Tehran University. Ashkan’s music has been performed by various ensembles internationally, including Divertimento Ensemble, neuverBand ensemble, Exaudi, Wet Ink, Talea Ensemble, le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (NEM), Esprit Orchestra and also featured on such festivals as Mozarteum Dialogues Festival, Creative Dialogue VIII, Manifeste 2014 at IRCAM, CIRMMT New music series, the New Wave Young Composers festival in Toronto, The American Academy at Fontainebleau and Domain Forget new music programs. He has won 2015 ACF Showcase competition, the Prix de Composition at Fontainebleau in 2013 and SOCAN Foundation awards 2012 and 2013. Ashkan is currently pursuing his doctoral studies in composition at Columbia University with Georg Friedrich Haas.


Robert Butts   Robert Butts
Adjunct Professor
Introduction to Music
Main Office: 973-655-7212
buttsr@montclair.edu

Robert Butts is the conductor of the Little Opera of New Jersey (Westfield) and the Baroque Orchestra of North Jersey. He has served as conductor with the Skylands Youth Symphony and the Highland Park Recorder Society and Chamber Orchestra. His work with the Highland Pak Recorder Society earned him the 1996 DeMarsh Award from the American Recorder Society. With the Baroque Orchestra of Boonton he presents an annual Vivaldi Festival featuring chamber and orchestral works by Vivaldi and his Venetian contemporaries. He led concerts at the 1999 and 2001 Boston Early Music Festival. He has conducted the Philharmonica de Stat Botosani orchestra in Romania and performances of Verdi's Il Trovatore and Rigoletto with Opera Constatna. He was guest conductor for the Philharmonic Society of St. Petersburg, Russia. His compositions have been published and he has won awards at the Leo Traynor competitions. He has contributed reviews and articles to Opera News, Classical New Jersey, American Music, Continuo, American Recorder, and Lute Society Quarterly. He served as pre-concert lecturer for the New Jersey Symphony Amadeus Festival at NJPAC and Princeton's Richardson Auditorium. He lectures regularly throughout the metropolitan area. He studied conducting at Juilliard School and received musicological training from MSU and the University of Iowa.


Joe Coco
Adjunct Professor
Rap/Rock
Main Office: 973-655-7212
cocoj@montclair.edu
Joe Coco - Website

Joe Coco is a prolific songwriter, musician and visual artist. He has performed from New York’s Folk City, L.A.’s Troubadour, Switzerland’s Atlantis Club, Sicily’s prestigious Capo D’ Orlando Blues Festival, to Rome’s Teatro Sistina. He has produced 675 songs and 45 albums since 1979; many of his songs reflect a strong social conscience. His has opened for B.B. King, Commander Cody, John Hammond and Leon Redbone, pitched songs to Barbara Streisand, Judy Collins, Loretta Lynn, and Glen Campbell, and appeared as a principal soloist in the rock opera Tommy by The Who in 1998-99, singing and playing harmonica on Eyesight To The Blind in the Italian national production's 22 city tour. Coco’s albums Hindsight (with Roger Wayne Parr), Scarlet Road and Blues House - A Blues Opera (with Michele Lotta) are in Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His work is also in many other collections including the W.C. Handy Foundation (Memphis) and the Smithsonian’s Folklife Center (DC). His achievements in the visual arts include an MFA degree from Rutgers University in 1986 and 70 solo exhibitions throughout the world.


Kate Cosco
Adjunct Professor
Introduction to Jazz
Main Office: 973-655-7212
coscoc@montclair.edu

Kate Cosco is an in-demand freelance pianist and teacher in the NYC metropolitan area. She received her undergraduate music degree at Indiana University and her master’s degree in jazz piano at the University of Memphis. She has performed often with well-known recording artists; retaining a notable job as traveling keyboardist with the world famous Four Tops. Other concert appearances include Smokey Robinson, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, The Temptations, Little Anthony and the Imperials, The Coasters, The Duprees, Ben E. King, The Chiffons, Lesley Gore, Peggy March, Michele Lee, Jerry Van Dyke, Charo, Jack Sheldon, Billy Swan, Clint Holmes, Thelma Houston, Michael Crawford, and Billy Eckstein. Under the direction of Alan Balter and Memphis Symphony Orchestra she performed with featured artists such as Mercedes Ellington, and Bill Conti. Her credits include Tony and Tina’s Wedding and the Big Apple Circus. In addition to playing with her own groups in the NYC jazz scene, Kate currently retains residencies at the Hotel Giraffe and Robert at MAD Restaurant in Manhattan and plays locally at Unity Church.


Steve DeLuca
Adjunct Professor
Rap/Rock
973-655-7212
delucas@montclair.edu

Drummer and educator, Steve DeLuca has been playing drums for thirty-five plus years. He began as a teen playing for his high school big band, was the recipient of various awards, and soon thereafter began playing professionally. In addition to various jazz, rock, and musical theater performances, Steve plays with the wedding/special event band Platinum. For the past eleven years, he has been the general music teacher and choir director at Maywood Avenue School in Maywood, NJ teaching 4th through 8th grade.  In 2010, the Maywood Board of Education bestowed upon him their Teacher of the Year award. Steve is the author of several educational articles about drumming, music history, and philosophy, that have been published in Modern Drummer magazine and Tempo magazine, as well as being a presenter at the 2015 NJMEA Conference. He is a private drum instructor and has taught percussion, theory, and song writing at the Glen Ridge Performing Arts Camp for the past several years. He received his BA in jazz performance from Temple University and his MA in Music Education from Montclair State University.


Robert Grohman
Adjunct Professor
Introduction to Music
Main Office: 973-655-7212

Pianist Robert Grohman has been praised for his artistry and musical sensitivity. New York Times music critic James Oestreich wrote of his most recent Carnegie Hall performance, “Robert Grohman stood out among the players.” Other recent performances include an appearance as soloist with the Vienna International Orchestra, where his original cadenza for Mozart’s Concerto, K.467 was hailed by conductor Robert Lehrbaumer as “the best cadenza for this concerto that I have ever heard.” Other engagements include a performance on Chicago’s WFMT Radio to two appearances in Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall. Mr. Grohman received his DMA from Rutgers University, winning the Irene Alm Memorial Prize for excellence in scholarship and performance among other awards. He recently presented his paper, “Not the Slightest Reverberation – Did Mozart’s fortepiano lack knee levers?” at the Historical Keyboard Society of North America.  His studies took him to Mannes College of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, NJPAC, the University for Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, and Northwestern University, where he earned both a BM and a BA in Math cum laude.  He is also on the faculty at the MSU Preparatory Center for the Arts, the Lindeblad School of Music, and teaches at Rutgers University.


David Kingsnorth
Adjunct Professor
Introduction to Music
Main Office: 973-655-7212
kingsnorthd@montclair.edu

Double bassist David Kingsnorth received his M.A. in Music from Montclair State University, studying with Linda McKnight and twice winning the Cali School Writing Award. He holds bachelors degrees in Mathematics and Music from the University of California, Berkeley. He is an active performer in both the jazz and classical music genres, having performed with Oscar Brown Jr., Richard Wyands, Frank Jackson, New Jersey Ballet, and the Summit Symphony.


Ryan Pratt
Adjunct Professor
Music in Film
Main Office: 973-655-7212
Ryan Pratt - Website

Ryan Pratt completed the D.M.A. in composition at Columbia, where he is currently a lecturer in Music Humanities. His dissertation: Composition in Relative Intonation details an improvisational approach to form and microtonality, for which he invented a musical interval conversion device. While at Columbia, Ryan studied under George Lewis, Fred Lerdahl, Tristan Murail, Richard Carrick, and Fabien Lévy. Stemming from a background in percussion, his compositions tend to evade meter as well as intentional motivic and developmental narrative. His works favor the inner exploration of the unique sonic structures inherent to the instruments involved. Recent compositions have been premiered by New Thread Quartet, Wet Ink Ensemble, Ensemble Pamplemousse, and Yarn/Wire, in addition to a few soloists who have performed his pieces around the country and abroad.


Gregory Rossetti
Adjunct Professor
Introduction to Music
Main Office: 973-655-7212
rossettig@montclair.edu


Jarritt Sheel
Adjunct Professor
Music in Film
Main Office: 973-655-7212
Jarritt Sheel - Website

Jarritt Sheel is a doctoral student in the Music & Music Education Ed.D. program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Influenced by a variety of popular music genres; Soul, Blues, Hip-Hop, Rock, Jazz and Reggae, as well as the dynamic works of DuBois, Baldwin, Randall Allsup, Maxine Greene, Cornell West, Stephen Brookfield and Steven Preskill, Jarritt’s research centers on the intersections of collage, technology, critical theory, preservice music teacher preparation, and Hip-Hop’s impact on the music education classroom. He is a graduate of Florida A&M University (B.S. Music Performance), Northern Illinois (M.M. Jazz Studies), and Teachers College (Ed.M. Music & Music Education). For the past fifteen years he has taught within high school band programs, and college level music education courses in the great states of Florida, Illinois and now New York City. He is a professional musician (trumpet) and uses his research to broaden the minds and musical experiences of music students and educators.


Amanda Scherbenske
Adjunct Professor
Rap/Rock
Main Office: 973-655-7212


Samuel Thomas
Adjunct Professor 
World Music
Main Office: 973-655-7212
thomass@montclair.edu


Joseph Turrin   Joseph Turrin
Adjunct Professor
Music in Film
Main Office: 973-655-7212
turrinj@montclair.edu
Joseph Turrin - Website

Joseph Turrin is active as a composer, orchestrator, conductor, pianist, and teacher. He studied composition at the Eastman School of Music and the Manhattan School of Music. His works have been performed by the New York Philharmonic, St. Martin-in-the-Fields Academy Orchestra. Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society, Baltimore Symphony, Gewandhaus-orchester (Leipzig, Germany), Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Turrin has appeared as a conductor with the Pittsburgh, Baltimore, New Orleans, Detroit, and New Jersey Symphonies; he has performed as a pianist on many recordings and as orchestral pianist for the New Jersey Symphony. His compositions for film and theater include scores for Alan Alda's film A New Life, Little Darlings, Weeds (with Nick Nolte), Tough Guys Don't Dance(Directed by Norman Mailer), Verna-USO Girl (with Sissy Spacek and William Hurt and nominated for 3 Emmy Awards), Nightmare on Elm Street 3, Kingdom of Shadows (narrated by Rod Steiger), Broken Blossoms(1919 silent film classic directed by D.W. Griffith, starring Lillian Gish) and for the restoration of the silent film classic Sadie Thompson. Other silent film classics that he has scored include, Diary of a Lost Girl, Intolerance andThe Hunchback of Notre Dame. His work in musical theater includes performances on Broadway with Michael Feinstein as well as the score forFrankie, with a libretto by Broadway legend George Abbott.


Nancy Vanderslice
Adjunct Professor
Introduction to Music
Main Office: 973-655-7212
vanderslicen@montclair.edu


Sunmin Yoon
Adjunct Professor
World Music
Main Office: 973-655-7212
yoonsu@montclair.edu