Theory/Composition

Ting Ho  Ting Ho
Professor of Music
Theory/Composition
Composition Program Coordinator
973-655-7221
hoti@mail.montclair.edu

Ting Ho, a New Jersey Distinguished Artist (1988), has received composing grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the American Music Center and Meet-the-Composer. He is the recipient of the Louis Lane Prize, and his works have been performed at Alice Tully Hall and Weill Recital Hall in New York City, and in concerts and new music festivals in the United States and Europe. Born in Chungking, China, he composed a two piano work that was featured in a Voice of America broadcast to the Orient. In 1991, Prof. Ho's composition Wild Geese Alighting was the required Chinese performance piece for children eight years old or younger at the Sixth Annual International Young Artist Piano Competition Featuring Chinese Music held in Washington, DC. Prof. Ho received his Ph.D. in music composition from the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester (NY). He is a new music specialist, adjudicator and consultant for numerous community and educational arts organizations and schools.


Ruth Rendleman
Professor of Music
Piano/Theory/Music History
Theory Program Coordinator
973-655-7208

rendlemanr@mail.montclair.edu

Ruth Rendleman was educated at the North Carolina School of the Arts, Manhattan School of Music, and Columbia University. She is a specialist in the performance of eighteenth-century music. She has been the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities for research and studies at the University of Maryland and has served on the faculty of the Aston Magna Performance Institute. She has performed as a solo artist and in chamber recitals throughout the New York metropolitan area. Her tours abroad have included performances in Korea, China (where she was artist-in-residence at the Shanghai Conservatory), and Australia. In the New York Times, Joseph Horowitz wrote that: "The performance showed force and fluency, consistently communicative. Her work had a firmness of design and continuity of emotion." Her interest in contemporary music led her to commission her colleague, Ting Ho, to write a piano sonata for her. She has received two major commissions from the N.J. State Arts Council for new piano works. Prof. Rendleman founded Montclair State's Preparatory Center for the Arts and Stokes Forest Music Camp. She has served as the music coordinator of the New Jersey School of the Arts and served on the board of the College Music Society. She also served as chair of the Committee on the Status of Women for the College Music Society.


Marcos Balter
Associate Professor of Music
Theory/Composition
973-655-7212

Born in Brazil and based in the US, composer Marcos Balter's works have been praised by the New York Times as "whimsical" and "surreal," and the Washington Post as "dark and deeply poetic." They have been featured worldwide at venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to Tokyo Bunka Kaykan. He has received commissions and fellowships from Harvard University's Fromm Foundation, and the MacArthur, Tanglewood/Leonard Bernstein and Guggenheim Foundations, as well as first prizes in several international competitions. He has been commissioned by the American Composers Orchestra, yMusic, Amazonas Filarmonica, Nadia Sirota (viola), Ryan Muncy (saxophone), Peter Evans (trumpet), Claire Chase (flute) and Svet Stoyanov (percussion) and others. Artists performing and recording his work include Spektral Quartet, xophone Quartet, ensemble cross.art. Recent collaborators include the rock band Deerhoof, Ensemble Dal Niente, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Chicago Composers Orchestra, Orquestra Experimental da Amazonas Filarmonica, and conductors Steven Schick, Federico Sardella, and Mathew Kasper. Mr. Balter holds a doctorate from Northwestern University where his main teachers were Augusta Read Thomas, Amy Williams, and Jay Alan Yim. He has also worked with many composers including Pierre Boulez, Elliott Carter and Kaija Saariaho.


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.


Crystl Baltazar   Crystl Baltazar
Adjunct Professor
Theory
Collaborative Pianist
Secondary Piano
Main Office: 973-655-7212
baltazarc@mail.montclair.edu

Pianist Crystl Sonomura Baltazar maintains the roles of both performing artist and educator. A native of Honolulu, Hawaii, she is a graduate of the University of Hawaii and holds doctorate from from the Eastman School of Music. As a collaborative arts specialist, she accompanies and coaches in many of the voice and instrumental studios in the department, as well as performing with faculty in recital. As a soloist, Ms. Baltazar won awards in the Young Keyboard Artist's Association and International Piano Recording Competitions. Also notable are collaborations in recitals with International Horn Competition Winner, Karl Pituch, and masterclass studies with Dalton Baldwin and Malcolm Bilson. She has performed in several concert series, as well as seasons with the Honolulu Symphony and Chamber Music Hawaii. Her teaching credits include Nazareth College and the New Jersey School of Arts. In addition, she freelances for various vocal, choral and chamber venues in the New York metro area.


 

Elizabeth Brown
Composer-in-Residence
Main Office: 973-655-7212
brownel@mail.montclair.edu
Elizabeth Brown - Website

MSU Composer-in-Residence Elizabeth Brown combines a successful composing career with an extremely diverse performing life, playing flute, shakuhachi (traditional Japanese bamboo flute), and theremin in a wide variety of musical circles. Her music, shaped by this unique group of instruments and experiences, has been called luminous, dreamlike and hallucinatory.
Brown's music has been heard in Japan, the Soviet Union, Colombia, Australia, South Africa and Vietnam as well as across the US and Europe. A Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, she has received grants, awards and commissions from Orpheus, St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble, Newband, the Asian Cultural Council, the Japan/US Friendship Commission, Meet the Composer, the Electronic Music Foundation, the Cary Trust, and NYFA. She has been Artist-in-Residence in locations from the Hanoi National Conservatory to Grand Canyon National Park. She has two solo CDs: Elizabeth Brown: Mirage (New World) and Blue Minor: Chamber Music by Elizabeth Brown (Albany). This season includes numerous performances of A Bookmobile for Dreamers for live theremin, recorded soundscape and video, Brown's fourth collaboration with artist Lothar Osterburg. She will appear as flutist with the American Symphony and the New York City Ballet Orchestra, and often performs both traditional and contemporary music for shakuhachi. Brown is a native of Alabama and a graduate of the Juilliard School.


 Patrick Burns Patrick Burns
Adjunct Professor
Theory/Composition
Main Office: 973-655-7212
burnsp@mail.montclair.edu
Patrick Burns - Website
www.myspace.com/pjbmusic

Patrick Burns (b. 1969) teaches courses in orchestration, counterpoint, and music composition at the Cali School, and also teaches instrumental music in the Caldwell-West Caldwell Public Schools. His compositions for symphonic band are performed by bands of every level throughout the country. The United States Army Band, "Pershing’s Own", has performed his music in Washington, D.C. and at Carnegie Hall. His music has also been performed at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago. He has been featured as guest conductor and clinician with public school, community, university and honor bands in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia and has recorded and, as director of Imperial Brass, has concertized with world-renowned brass artists Philip Smith, Warren Vache, Roger Webster and Chris Jaudes. Patrick’s music has appeared on Bandworld magazine’s Top 100 list of band compositions twice and is published by G. Schirmer, Daehn Publications, FJH Music Company, Wingert-Jones Music and TRN Music Publisher. The Instrumentalist and School Music News have also printed favorable reviews of Mr. Burns’ band music and The Classical New Jersey Society Journal has praised his chamber music. His music can be heard at his websites.


Charles Corey
Adjunct Professor
Theory/Aural Skills
Harry Partch Institute
Main Office: 973-655-7212
coreyc@mail.montclair.edu

Charles Corey is an American composer holding degrees in Music Composition and Theory from the University of Pittsburgh (Ph.D.) and Montclair State University (M.A., B.Mus.). Among his teachers are Robert Aldridge, Trevor Björklund, Patrick Burns, Dean Drummond, Eric Moe, Mathew Rosenblum and Amy Williams. His approach to composition exploits and subverts the relationships that exist between different tuning systems; the results of this process range from pieces that use standard tuning systems in unique ways to works that involve multiple tuning systems working in concert.  His compositions are known for their unexpected, evocative harmonies and their strong dramatic arcs.  His music has been played by a variety of performers including Cikada Ensemble, IonSound Project, Iktus Percussion, entelechron, and Relâche, and his writings have been published in several languages. Charles is the Director of the Harry Partch Institute at Montclair State University.  His current research involves the microtonal compositions of György Ligeti and the total-theater works of Harry Partch.


Daniel DiPaolo
Adjunct Professor
Theory
Main Office: 973-655-7212
dipaolod@mail.montclair.edu


Darren Gage
Adjunct Professor
Theory/Aural Skills
Main Office: 973-655-7212
gaged@mail.montclair.edu


 

Joshua Groffman
Adjunct Professor
Theory/Composition
Main Office: 973-655-7212
groffmanj@mail.montclair.edu
Joshua Groffman - Website

Joshua Groffman has written works for orchestral, vocal, and chamber ensembles, electronic media, theater, and film. His works have been performed by groups including the American Composers Orchestra, Ensemble Laboratorium, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Delaware Valley Chorale, Duo 231, Indiana University Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, and selected for performance at the Aspen Music Festival, June in Buffalo, SEAMUS National Conference, Florida State University New Music Festival, Cal State Fullerton New Music Festival, the CUNY POP! Conference, and the 60x60 VoxNovus East Coast Mix. He earned his undergraduate degree from Cornell University (music and history) where he studied composition with Roberto Sierra and Steven Stucky and piano with Xak Bjerken and Malcolm Bilson. Groffman earned his MM and DMA degrees from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he studied composition with Sven-David Sandström, P.Q. Phan, Claude Baker, Aaron Travers, and Don Freund and computer music with Jeffrey Hass and John Gibson. As a music theorist, he maintains an active schedule of research and conference presentations and has served as an Associate and Coordinating Instructor in the theory department at the Jacobs School of Music.


  Matthew Hough
Adjunct Professor
Theory/Composition
Main Office: 973-655-7212
houghm@mail.montclair.edu
Matthew Hough - Website

Matthew Hough is a composer, guitarist, professor and music theorist currently living in Brooklyn, New York. His achievements as a composer include commissions from Iktus Percussion, Yarn/Wire, Loadbang, Red Light New Music and the Freeport, New York school district. He has received awards and grants from New Music USA, the Sally Mead Hands Foundation, Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Minnesota Orchestra and the New York Youth Symphony. Hough's work as a guitarist includes six years with the band Zs, which he co-founded in 2000. He has also performed with the Wet Ink Ensemble, Argento Chamber Ensemble and the Dither Guitar Quartet. His writing has appeared in the journal Guitar Review and the Ear To Mind Newspaper. Hough holds a DMA in composition from the Manhattan School of Music (2012), where his primary teachers were Reiko Fueting and Nils Vigeland. In addition to his work at Montclair State, Hough has taught at Columbia University, New York University, Manhattan School of Music and Wagner College. His music is published by Hough House.


Marla Meissner
Adjunct Professor
Theory/Composition
Preparatory Center for the Arts, Director
973-655-4443
meissnerm@mail.montclair.edu

Marla Meissner has been awarded degrees from Ithaca College (B. Mus), Montclair State University (M. A.), and New York University (Ph. D). Her training includes electronic music composition studies with Peter Rothbart; acoustic music composition with Ting Ho and Ruth Schonthal; saxophone studies with David Henderson, Steven Mauk, and Daniel Trimboli; music theory and analysis studies with Lawrence Ferrara, John Gilbert, and Marc Holland. She recently completed an extensive study of the music of the Delaware or Lenape Indian. Her compositional output includes an eclectic variety of electronic, electroacoustic, and traditional compositions for various types of instrumental ensembles as well as film soundtracks, theater music, and rock and jazz compositions. Her music has been performed in various venues including Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall and New York City's Angelika Film Center. Her first CD, Selections from the Kaleidoscope, was released in 1999. She is also an active music administrator serving as the Director and Coordinator of Music Theory for the Preparatory Center for the Arts of Montclair State University.


Eric Olsen   Eric Olsen
Adjunct Professor
Theory/Aural Skills 
Main Office: 973-655-7212
olsene@mail.montclair.edu
Eric Olsen - Website

Eric Olsen (M.M., Jazz Studies, Indiana University, M.M., Piano Performance, Indiana University, B.M. in Piano Performance with an Organ Minor, Syracuse University) is distinguished as both a classical and jazz pianist, organist, composer, and conductor. Mr. Olsen is Music Director and Organist at Union Congregational Church in Montclair, where he has conducted numerous major works with chamber orchestras, featuring musicians from the New Jersey Symphony. He has composed classical works for chorus, piano, and organ, and jazz works for various ensembles. He has performed as a classical and jazz pianist at Carnegie Hall, Birdland, the Knitting Factory, and overseas in France, Germany, New Zealand, and India. Mr. Olsen has recorded six classical albums and four jazz albums, and has worked with many outstanding jazz and classical artists, including Eliot Zigmund, George Garzone, Glenn Davis, Ed Cherry, David N. Baker, Bucky Pizzarelli, and Kevin Maynor. His latest recording is Dyad, a duo album with saxophonist Lou Caimano. Paquito D’Rivera, Grammy winning saxophonist and composer, says of Dyad: "Caimano and Olsen go back and forth through the too often forbidden borders between Classical and Jazz, with the ease of a couple of North-Mexican coyotes crossing the Rio Grande." Mr. Olsen has been a featured soloist with the Livingston Symphony, the Central Jersey Symphony, and the Orchard Park Symphony. He has been a featured jazz performer at the AT&T, Berk’s, and Asbury Park Jazz Festivals.


Amy Reich   Amy Reich
Adjunct Professor
Theory
Main Office: 973-655-7212
reicha@mail.montclair.edu

Amy Reich studied composition with William Thomas McKinley at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. She received a Ph.D. from Harvard University where her principal teachers were Earl Kim and Leon Kirchner. Her works have been performed by the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, the Cleveland Chamber Collective, Dinosaur Annex, Josquin Cage and presented by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Chamber Series and Composers in Red Sneakers (of which Ms. Reich was a founding member). Ms. Reich has received grants from Meet-the-Composer, the Massachusetts Council on the Arts, the American Harp Society and Harvard University. She has also been the recipient of a fellowship to the Tanglewood Music Center.


‌ ‌  Martin Sedek
Adjunct Professor
Aural Skills
Main Office: 973-655-7212
sedekm@mail.montclair.edu

A choral musician for over a decade, Sedek completed his Master's degree in Music at MSU's Cali School of Music in 2009 and is pursuing a Ph.D. at Rutgers University. He is on the choral and theory faculties at the Cali School of Music, where he serves as assistant conductor for choirs and visiting professor of theory and aural skills. Sedek is also an award-winning composer of choral and orchestral music, and MSU's University Singers have premiered his music in Kasser Theater, the Cathedral Basilica in Newark, Providence, RI, and the choral ensemble Vocal Accord gave his work She Walks in Beauty its European premiere this past summer as the group toured Austria & Italy. Martin also sings professionally throughout the New York-New Jersey area and maintains a private teaching studio.


Joseph Turrin   Joseph Turrin
Adjunct Professor
Composition
Music in Film
Main Office: 973-655-7212
turrinj@mail.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.