Musical Theatre

 Clay James Clay James
Assistant Professor
Musical Theatre
Program Coordinator
973-736-7341
jamesbr@mail.montclair.edu

Director and choreographer Clay James teaches musical theatre in MSU's Departments of Music and Theatre/Dance. He came to Montclair in 2005 after serving as head of musical theatre for the Department of Theatre Arts at the University of Miami. He has also taught at Florida Atlantic University, Miami Dade Community College and New World School of the Arts. His directing and choreography credits include the St. Louis Muny Opera, Playhouse in the Park, Shores Performing Arts Center, North Shore Music Theatre, and Walt Disney Productions, among many others.


Stephen Oosting  

Stephen Oosting
Associate Professor of Music
Voice Program Coordinator
Voice
Musical Theatre
973-655-7927
oostings@mail.montclair.edu

Tenor Stephen Oosting has been hailed as an interpreter of Britten and Bach, Strauss and Mozart, Puccini and Wagner. He has had a long career in opera, where he has sung more than forty leading roles, and in concert work, where he has appeared frequently as an oratorio soloist and recitalist. In addition he has been a frequent champion of new music premiering works for numerous composers. His concert appearances include those with the Aspen Festival, the Madeira Bach Festival, the Vermont Mozart Festival, the Basically Bach Festival, and with the New York Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony an the Rochester Philharmonic. He has recorded for RCA, Newport Classics, and the Albany labels (the first recording of the American composer Stephen Albert's orchestral song cycleInto Eclipse). Prof. Oosting holds a doctorate and a performer's certificate from the Eastman School of Music, and a Master's from Michigan State University. He is also the current NJ State Governor of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.


  Lori McCann
Assistant Professor
Voice
Musical Theatre
973-655-6983
mccannl@mail.montclair.edu

Soprano Lori McCann holds a B.M. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, M.A degree from San Diego State University, and D.M.A. and Artist Diploma from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. She has performed extensively in the United States and abroad appearing in opera, oratorio, and recital. She has been featured with the Berliner Kammeroper and the Neue Opernbühne (Berlin, Germany) and with the Virginia Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Opera Company of Brooklyn, Whitewater Opera, Sorg opera, Shreveport Opera, and Pacific Chamber Opera in the U.S. Her roles have included the Governess (Turn of the Screw), Fulvia (Ezio, Händel), Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Countess (Le nozze di Figaro), Fiordiligi (Cosí fan tutte), Mimi (La Bohème), The Fox (The Cunning Little Vixen), Giulia (La scala di seta, Rossini), Iphigénie (Iphigénie en Tauride, Gluck), Mary Warren (The Crucible, Ward), Jessie (Mahagonny-Songspiel, Weill), Second Lady (The Magic Flute), and Amor (Orfeo ed Eurydice, Gluck). Her repertoire includes Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem; Mozart's Requiem, Vesprae solemnes de confessore, and Regina Coeli; Händel's Messiah and L'allegro ed il pensieroso; Bach's Magnificat, Mass in B Minor, and St. Matthew Passion; and Debussy's La Demoiselle élue; as well as world premieres of oratorios and works by many other composers. She has taught throughout the world and maintained teaching studios in several metropolitan areas including San Diego, Cincinnati, New York City and Berlin. Prof. McCann is the current President of the New York City Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and serves on the Board of Directors for the New York Singing Teacher’s Association.


Scott Davenport Richards   Scott Davenport Richards
Associate Professor
Composition
Musical Theatre 
973-655-2099
richardssc@mail.montclair.edu
Scott Richards - Website

Scott Davenport Richards holds a BA degree from Yale University and MFA from New York University Tisch School of the Arts. He is a recipient of the Jonathan Larson and Frederick Loewe awards. His works bridge many different forms of music and drama. In spring 2008, Charlie Crosses the Nation (music, libretto, orchestration), was performed by the New York City Opera as part of the VOX festival of new opera and A Thousand Words Come to Mind (written with playwright Michele Lowe) opened at The Zipper Theatre. A Star Across the Ocean, a work for four voices and orchestra, was premiered by the Montclair State University Symphony in 2007, featuring Tony Award-winner Chuck Cooper. His works for children include a number of commissions from Theatreworks USA: Corduroy (music, lyrics, orchestration), Sundiata! The Lion King of Mali (music, lyrics, orchestration), Island of the Blue Dolphins (orchestrations) and Junie B. Jones (orchestration). His play-scores have been heard at resident theatres around the country including The Public, The Old Globe, The Alliance, and Madison Repertory Theatre. Highlights include the world premiere of Lee Blessing’s Cobb featuring Oscar Winner, Chris Cooper and Delroy Lindo at The Yale Repertory and the U. S. premiere of Nikos Kazantzakis’s Christopher Columbus at the New Federal Theater. As an actor, Mr. Richards originated the role of Sylvester in the original Broadway production of August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.


 Peter Gillis Peter Gillis
Adjunct Professor
Voice
Musical Theater
Main Office: 973-655-7212
gillisp@mail.montclair.edu
Peter Gillis - Website

A voice the Ottawa Citizen has called “golden,” Canadian tenor Peter Gillis holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Juilliard School. His performance history is extensive, including regular engagements at Italy’s Festival Dei Due Mondi, his Carnegie Hall debut with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and appearances at the Kennedy Center with the Washington Opera.  Among other venues have been the Opera Company of Boston, the Opera Orchestra of New York, the Lenox (MA) Music Theatre Group, Milwaukee’s Skylight Opera Theater, and the Spoleto USA Festival in Charleston, SC. Canadian performances have included several Celtic Colours International Festival appearances, concerts with Symphony Nova Scotia, and a national tour of Canada with folk luminary Rita MacNeil. He has sung Tom Rakewell in Opera Nova Scotia’s The Rake’s Progress. Dr. Gillis also holds degrees from Westminster Choir College and Indiana University at Bloomington. Part of the MSU faculty since 2004, he has taught at universities throughout the Metro New York area and maintains a private studio in Great Notch, NJ.  Adjudicating activities have included the Nova Scotia Music Festival, the New Glasgow Music Festival, the New York Singing Teachers Association’s Young Professional Competition at Steinway Hall, and the Master Teachers Series at Dalhousie University and Acadia University.


Siobhan Kolker   Siobhan Kolker
Adjunct Professor
Voice
Musical Theatre
Main Office: 973-655-7212
kolkers@mail.montclair.edu
Siobhan Kolker - Website

Siobhan Kolker’s career includes work in opera, musical theater, plays and staged readings, oratorio, song recital and musical comedy improv. New York credits include the New York International Fringe Festival, Verse Theatre Manhattan, One World Symphony and numerous readings of new musicals and plays. She has appeared in the Kennedy Center’s Sondheim Celebration (A Little Night Music; Merrily We Roll Along); performed with the Ohio Light Opera, Washington National Opera, and for ten seasons with the Baltimore Opera, where she appeared both on the mainstage and in their educational outreach program. Favorite theater roles include a critically acclaimed Julie (Carousel) in Maryland. She was also a member of D.C.’s musical comedy improv troupe, Now This! Leading operatic performances include the title role in Massenet's Chérubin, Serpina (La Serva Padrona), Diane (Actéon – Charpentier), Nancy (Albert Herring) and Meg Page (Falstaff), Venus (Orpheus in the Underworld), and Miss Jessel (The Turn of the Screw). She holds a Bachelor of Musical Arts degree in Voice and History from the University of Michigan and a Master of Music from the Peabody Conservatory. She is a member of the New York Singing Teachers Association, Actors Equity and the American Guild of Musical Artists.


 Helen Yu Park Helen Yu Park
Adjunct Professor
Voice 
Musical Theatre 
Main Office: 973-655-7212

As a Juilliard graduate, Mezzo Soprano Helen Yu Park’s career was based in the United States for fourteen years performing a variety of mezzo roles in opera, oratorio and musical theatre with numerous companies across the country. Ms. Park’s singing has been described: “effortlessly generated the largest sounds on stage. The mezzo drought may be ending.” (New York Times), and performances of Lady Thiang in the King & I were described: “Helen Yu (Park) makes her rendition of Something Wonderful worth the price of admission.” (Boston Herald), “the King’s No.1 wife, walks away with the honors for singing as well as acting. This time it’s Helen Yu (Park)…” (Toronto Star). Ms. Park made her New York debut with the New York City Opera singing the role of Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro followed by Rosina (Barber of Seville) and Suzuki (Butterfly). Metropolitan Opera debut followed in Wagner’s The Ring Cycle along with her Broadway debut as Lady Tiang in the show The King & I. Additional credits include singing Maddalenan (Rigoletto), Stephano (Romeo et Juliette), Flora (La Traviata), Dorabella (Cosi fan tutte), Nancy (Albert Herring), Taven (Mireille), La Zia Principessa (Suor Angelica), Lola (Cavalleria rusticana), Mallika (Lakme), Cenerentola, and Enrichetta in
I Puritani.


Jan Prokop   Jan Prokop
Adjunct Professor
Voice
Musical Theatre
Main Office: 973-655-7212
prokopj@mail.montclair.edu

Jan Prokop has sung to rave reviews throughout the United States, Europe, South America and the Middle East. Her performances have included concerts, oratorios, operas, musical theatre and cabaret. She has performed in cabaret with jazz pianist Frank Ponzio in Manhattan and released a CD of their performances called I Thought About You. Jan also maintains a private voice studio in Manhattan. Jan's concern about the state of the arts in our current educational climate led her to become a trustee of Arts Horizons, a non-profit organization that touches the lives of over 30,000 children each year by bringing the arts into schools in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. As a teacher and singer, Jan is deeply interested in the quality of the singing experience and vocal instruction. She is active with the New York City Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS-NYC), a professional organization that is dedicated to the highest standards of singing through excellence in teaching and the promotion of vocal education and research. After earning a Master of Music degree at the University of Illinois, Champagne-Urbana, Jan received her Doctorate of Music from Indiana University.


Michael Rider   Michael Rider
Adjunct Professor
Voice
Musical Theatre
Main Office: 973-655-7212
riderm@mail.montclair.edu

 

Michael C. Rider is a voice teacher, coach and performer with a specialty in music theater techniques and the development of the belt voice. His students have been seen in New York City on and off Broadway. His students also perform as leads in regional theatre companies around the country and have also been seen around the world in Wicked(Tokyo), Broadway Bound Revue (Beijing), Beauty and the Beast and Last Five Years (Hong Kong). He has also worked collaboratively at the piano with performers for cabarets at The Duplex and Don’t Tell Mama’s in NYC and at several venues in Hong Kong. He has served as a music theater clinician at the Beacon School in New York and for the North East Theatre Festival for the EDTA (Educational Drama Teachers Association). Michael has appeared on stage in both opera and oratorio works by Mozart, Britten, Rossini, Handel, Haydn and Puccini. He has appeared in Guys and Dolls,Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor DreamcoatEvitaAnything Goes,BrigadoonOliver!, and The Music Man. Michael is an alumnus of Westminster Choir College of Rider University (MM) and Penn State University (BM). He is also an active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), Music Theatre Educators Alliance (MTEA), New York Singing Teachers Association (NYSTA) and the National Opera Association (NOA).


David Sabella-Mills

David Sabella-Mills
Adjunct Professor
Voice
Musical Theatre
Main Office: 973-655-7212
David Sabella-Mills Website

Widely recognized as a master-teacher in musical theater, contemporary commercial voice techniques, David Sabella-Mills is also President of The New York Singing Teachers Association (2008-2014), and has been awarded NYSTA’s Distinguished Voice Professional Certification.  He starred on Broadway in the 1996 revival of CHICAGO, and off-Broadway in Kiss and Make Up (NY Int. Fringe Festival), Hexed in The CityFoxy,Watch Your Step, and So Long 174th Street. Regionally, he has appeared in A Little Night MusicSeesawGodspellThe Gingerbread Lady, and The Lisbon Traviata, among others. As a counter-tenor, Mr. Sabella-Mills is the winner of several prestigious voice competitions including the Luciano Pavarotti International Voice CompetitionMetropolitan Opera Eastern Regional Auditions, and the New York Oratorio Society Competition at Carnegie Hall. His opera credits include the title role of Giulio Cesare with the Virginia Opera (recorded for Koch International), L’ incoronazione di Poppea (Utah Opera) and Die Fledermaus (Lincoln Center). Mr. Sabella-Mills toured internationally for many years with the legendary “La Gran Scena” opera company, and has been principal soloist at both Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in works including Bach’s B-Minor Mass, Handel’s Messiah, and Peter Schickele’s comical Three Bargain-Counter Tenors.


Stephanie Samaras   Stephanie Samaras
Adjunct Professor
Voice
Musical Theatre
Main Office: 973-655-7212
samarasalles@mail.montclair.edu
Stephanie Samaras - Website
Stephanie Samaras is a pioneer in applying healthy classical technique to the training of voices in the pop field. Her lecture and video, Classical Training Applied to the Pop Voice, has been presented at the First International Congress of Voice Teachers in Strasbourg, France, and also at the National NATS convention in Los Angeles. Professionals from the world of Broadway - among them directors Tommy Tune and Jeff Calhoun, and the casting agencies of Hughes/Moss and Johnson/Liff - send singers to work with her. Her students have included Tony Award winner Scott Wise (who acknowledged Stephanie in his acceptance speech), Broadway performer Evan Pappas (star of My Favorite Year and Parade), Patrick Swayze and his wife, actress Lisa Niemi, soap star Ricky Paull-Goldin (Another World, Days of Our Lives and also star of the Broadway revival ofGrease!), Jennifer Garner (Ally McBeal and Alias), Vanessa Ferlitto (CSI New York), and others whose faces are familiar from the TV screen. She has also worked with Carol Leifer (comedienne and Seinfeld writer), Mark Weiner (Weinerville Cable TV), Hiram Kasten (Seinfeld character) and the late comedian Dennis Wolfberg.

Lars Woodul
Adjunct Professor 
Voice
Musical Theatre
Main Office: 973-655-7212
woodull@mail.montclair.edu

Lars Woodul’s acclaimed performances in classical and contemporary roles have included Mercutio (Romeo & Juliette) with Opera Northeast, Masetto (Don Giovanni) with Ft. Worth Opera, Germont (La Traviata) with Springfield Regional Opera; and Renato (Un Ballo in Maschera) and The Director (Les Mamelles de Tiresias) as a fellow at the Israel Vocal Arts Institute. He sang in Dellaira's The Secret Agent and as Dr. John Dee in the premier of Bruce Wolosoff’s Madimi with the Center for Contemporary Opera and as Horace Tabor (The Ballad of Baby Doe) with Chelsea Opera. He created the roles for the world premiers of Marc Blitzstein’s Sacco and Vanzetti with the White Barn Theater and David Soldier’s musical adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s A Soldier’s Story with the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra. He has performed solo recitals for the Trinity Wall Street Concerts at One series, sung in concerts at Merkin Hall, the Bohemians Club, and the New York Composers’ Concerts, toured North America with Karlsrud Concerts, and performed as a principal artist with the International Zarzuela Festival. He is a graduate of the Yale University School of Music and earned his D.M.A. degree at SUNY—Stony Brook.