News Highlights. . .
MSU Chorale in Verdi Requiem with NJ Symphony
The MSU Chorale will perform the Verdi Requiem in January 2010 with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Neeme Järvi. This work, operatic in its expressive intensity, is anticipated to be an unforgettable concert experience. In both intimate solo passages and towering choral settings, Verdi’s melodic gifts are unsurpassed. For the full article, click here.
59 New Steinway Pianos Delivered to Montclair State
With the delivery on August 31, 2009 of 59 new Steinway pianos, Montclair State University’s John J. Cali School of Music has earned the distinction of being named an “All-Steinway School” by Steinway & Sons. The new designation means that the Cali School joins a roster of over 100 prestigious institutions—including The Juilliard School, the Curtis Institute of Music, the Yale School of Music, and Vassar College—as an All-Steinway School. For the full article, click here.
Student Wins PICTURES 2009 Student Composition Contest
Thomas Oltarzewski, a senior at the Cali School of Music, was awarded a Grand Prize in the New Jersey Arts Collective (NJAC) state-wide Student Composition Contest, Pictures 2009 on Sunday, April 26 at the Montclair Art Museum in Montclair, NJ. A native of Toms River, Tom studies composition with Robert Aldridge, tutors students in theory, and is in the MSU honors program. Students were asked to write a piece for percussion quartet inspired by the painting, "Queensborough Bridge," by artist Elise Driggs. The judges chose four Grand Prize winners and one Honorable Mention winner from a large pool of entries by students from across New Jersey. For the full article, posted last spring, click here.
People Spotlights . . .
In summer 2009, ROBERT ALDRIDGE was Composer in Residence at the Brevard Music Festival (NC) for the fourth consecutive year. Conductor Keith Lockhart led a performance of Aldridge's Violin Concerto which was broadcast on National Public Radio, the first live broadcast in the history of the Brevard Music Center.
In May 2009, Adjunct Prof. ROBERT W. BUTTS conducted Puccini's Tosca for Opera at Florham at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, NJ. The production starred VALERIE BERNHARDT and was directed by LORRAINE ERNEST and Prof. Butts. In June, he conducted a semi-staged performance of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro with the Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey at the College of St Elizabeth in Morristown.
Oboist MARSHA HELLER performed the Bach Concerto for Oboe and Violin with Robert Zubrycki, violinist, and the Queen's Chamber Band on Bach's birthday (March 21) at the Moravian Church in New York City. She played for Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks on the Intrepid, out on the Hudson River, with the NY Pops.
Percussionist STEVE JOHNS toured Germany with singer JESSYE NORMAN, performing concerts in Munich, Frankfurt, Berlin, and Cologne in June. In July, he played in Paris with saxophonist SONNY FORTUNE.
Voice professor LORI MCCANN gave the Poster Paper Presentation at The Voice Foundation's 38th Annual Conference of her joint research with colleagues at Teachers College, Columbia University entitled: Vocal Pedagogy: A Longitudinal Look at Vocal Development in June 2009. In July she was a guest artist at the Barcelona (Spain) Festival of Song, performing a concert of Spanish Zarzuela and Art Song. She also taught for five weeks as an invited professor of voice at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria.
Director of Bands TOM MCCAULEY appeared as a guest conductor at the New York Summer Music Festival in July 2009. He presented a clinic titled, "Eliminating the Non-Verbal Chatter" to the New Jersey Music Educators Association Summer Workshop in August. He also submitted a chapter for the second edition of Teaching Music Through Performance in Band, Vol. I.
Visiting voice specialist STEPHANIE SAMARAS presented masterclasses at the University of Milwaukee in spring, 2009. In the summer, she presented her annual Elderhostel class on "The History of Broadway musicals in the 20th Century." She also performed her one woman revue Gershwin Galore and did an operetta highlights performance with the New York Light Opera Quartet in Vermont for the public and students of the class.
In March 2009, adjunct professor JOSEPH SMITH appeared with baritone Gregg Baker in Carnegie Hall as part of the concert Honor the Voice. In May, he presented a piano recital at the American Cathedral in Paris. He has also published articles in Piano magazine (England).
KAREN D. GOODMAN, Professor and Coordinator of Graduate Music Therapy Studies , co-presented her clinical work on the use of poetry therapy and music therapy in a substance abuse setting with Diane Kaufman, M.D., Senor Psychiatrist, UMDNJ -Behavioral Healthcare Systems. Their presentation, titled "Cracking Up and Back Again: Transformation Through Music and Poetry" was presented at the 8th Global Conference: "Making Sense of Health, Illness and Disease" at Mansfield College, Oxford, UK, July 2-6, 2009, and has now been published in an E-book through Inter-Disciplinary. Net : A Global Network for Dynamic Research and Publishing.
This summer tenor PETER GILLIS, Visiting Specialist in Voice, made his Opera Nova Scotia debut as Tom Rakewell in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress. On September 4,2009, his CD, A Cape Breton Tenor Christmas, garnered two award nominations from the industry association Music Nova Scotia, in both the classical and inspirational categories.
Adjunct jazz trombone faculty member ALAN FERBER performed in the August world premiere performance of the Asphalt Orchestra, a new ensemble created by "Bang on a Can" and backed by Lincoln Center. The ensemble earned rave reviews at the "Out of Doors Festival" at Lincoln Center. Alan was commissioned to arrange Bjork's Hyperballad for the event. In addition, Alan has recorded with eight-string guitarist Charlie Hunter, drummers John Hollenbeck and Owen Howard, saxophonists John Ellis and Jon Gordon, and cellist Jody Redhage.
KERILYN BECKER accepted an internship at Metropolitan Jewish Hospice in Brooklyn (NY). She has been working at Shorefront Geriatric Center at Coney Island.
Juniors JONATHAN GROSZEW and ANTHONY BITAR attended Brevard Music Festival (NC) this summer.
Violinist TINA HUANG attended Tanglewood Music Center in July and August.
Junior composer THOMAS OLTARZEWSKI was awarded first prize in the Annual Montclair Art Museum competition for new musical works which are based on paintings in the collection.
CHRIS OPPERMAN and MATTHEW BROWN were selected as outstanding composers (graduate and undergraduate) for the 2008-09 year. The selection was made by the Cali School Composition faculty.
Composition alumnus PATRICK VALENTINO attended Brevard this summer.