Musical Theatre Faculty

Department of Theatre and Dance

Faculty teaching in the Musical Theatre Program are based in the Department of Theatre & Dance and the John J. Cali School of Music.

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Musical Theatre Faculty

 Clay James Clay James, MFA
Associate Professor
Coordinator of Musical Theatre
John J. Cali School of Music
Department of Theatre and Dance
973-655-7341
jamesbr@mail.montclair.edu
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A native Miamian is a three-time recipient of the American Regional Theatre Award for Outstanding Direction and Choreography, recipient of the Moss Hart Award and the NHTA Award for Outstanding Choreography, and currently serves as Coordinator of Musical Theatre for Montclair State University – John J. Cali School of Music, Department of Theatre and Dance. For MSU he has directed and staged the NJ premiere of Parade, A Grand Night For Singing, Cabaret, And the World Goes Round, The Full Monty, A Bernstein Tribute, Crazy for You and Side Show among others. He has Directed and/or Choreographed for the St. Louis Muny Opera, Playhouse in the Park, Shores Performing Arts Center, North Shore Music Theatre, Kenley Players, Smithville Theatre, Jones Beach Marine Theatre, Resorts International, Walt Disney Productions, Mt. Washington Valley Theatre Company, Zeiterion Theatre, Flint Star Theatre, Westgate Dinner Theatre, Fiesta Dinner Theatre, Star Theatre of Taunton, The New Bedford Festival Theatre, The Pink Garter Theatre, and repeatedly served as Associate Choreographer for the Orange Bowl Halftime and Parade for NBC. As a performer he has appeared in over 40 productions on Broadway, Off Broadway, National Tours, Regional and Summer Stock. Clay's education and training includes a B.F.A. in Theatre (Acting/Directing) with a minor in Music (Vocal Performance) and an M.F.A. (Directing) from Florida Atlantic University. He is an active member in Actors Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild, The Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers and the National Alliance for Musical Theatre. Other choreographic and directing assignments include Industrials for IBM, FTD, Gulf and Western, American Parts Service, Children’s Resources and The City of Miami.


 Eric Diamond Eric Diamond, MFA
Chair, Department of Theatre and Dancer
Professor
Theatre, Musical Theatre
973-655-7343
diamonde@mail.montclair.edu
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Eric Diamond is a Professor of Theatre and Chairman of the Department of Theatre and Dance, as well as coordinator of the Musical Theatre minor. He has written and directed two original musicals produced by the department, Speak Easyand A Day in the Life. Eric earned his BFA in Music Composition from Penn State University, and his MFA in Musical Theatre from Temple University. Before coming to Montclair State, Eric spent over eleven years working in professional theatre in New York City. Off-Broadway he musical directed and/or composed music for Playwright's Horizons, The American Globe Theatre, The Acting Company, and on Broadway for George Abbott's musical play Broadway which played at the Royale Theatre. He was a member of ASCAP’s Musical Theatre Composer’s Workshop has spent two seasons at both the Williamstown Theatre Festival as resident composer and musical director, and at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland. He has musical directed departmental productions such as Pippin, Gypsy, Grease, Godspell, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, A Chorus Line and Fiddler on The Roof and has composed and arranged incidental and vocal music for productions such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Inherit The Wind, The Grapes of Wrath, and Nicholas Nickleby. Eric created the musical arrangements and orchestrations and played keyboards for The Best of Broadway, a College of the Arts musical production that traveled to the Ukraine and to Holland. He composed and arranged music for Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost at the University of the Arts’ Artsbank Theatre in Philadelphia.


Theatre Faculty

See Acting, Theatre Studies Faculty


Dance Faculty

See Dance, Dance Education Faculty


Music Faculty (Based in the John J. Cali School of Music)

Patrick Burns   Patrick Burns
Adjunct Instructor
Theory/Composition
973-655-7212
burnsp@mail.montclair.edu
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Patrick Burns (b. 1969) teaches courses in orchestration, counterpoint, and music composition as well as Theory for Musical Theatre 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.


 David Dabbon David Dabbon
Adjunct Instructor
Theory/Aural Skills for Musical Theater 
973-655-7212
dabbond@mail.montclair.edu
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David Dabbon is a composer/arranger in New York City and recently was part of Roundabout Theatre Company’s second Workshop of Tin Pan Alley Rag. David Dabbon is on staff at Pittsburgh CLO and his productions include work on: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat starring Shoshana Bean and David Osmond, Oklahoma, White Christmas, and The Full Monty. He was the arranger and conductor for the Richard Rogers Award ceremony, honoring Shirley Jones and the 2008 and 2009 PCLO’s annual Gene Kelly Awards. He worked for the Goodspeed Opera House revival of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. From 2006 to 2008, he was on the faculty at Pittsburgh Musical Theater, teaching music and tap classes to students interested in the arts. He earned a Master’s in Choral Conducting from Carnegie Mellon University studying with Dr. Robert Page and a Bachelor’s from the Hartt School of Music in CT in Musical Direction and Composition. Currently, David Dabbon is teaching Sight Singing for Actors, part of Pace University’s Music Theatre Program. He is the composer of the new musicalAmerican Family [Festival Winner] written with his collaborator Tom Bruett.


Gregory J. Dlugos
Adjunct Instructor
Conductor/ Musical Director
Musical Theatre
973-655-7212

Greg Dlugos, a graduate of Hartt Conservatory of Music, has worked extensively on Broadway and has served as conductor, associate conductor, musical director, pianist and keyboardist for numerous shows. Within the last five years he has been engaged by the Broadway productions of Young Frankenstein, Fosse, Thou Shalt Not, Chicago, Nine, The Blonde in the Thunderbird and In My Life. Between steady engagements, he has performed as Conductor or Keyboardist for Beauty and the Beast, The Phantom of the Opera, The Drowsy Chaperone, The Producers and The Wedding Singer among others. As a composer he has written industrial music forIBM, American Airlines and McNeil Labs. As an arranger, orchestrator and dance arranger he has worked with personalities such as Betty Buckley, Antonio Banderas, Elaine Paige and Chita Rivera. He also serves as an organist for Sunday services in New Jersey.


Peter Gillis   Peter Gillis, DMA
Adjunct Instructor
Voice
Musical Theatre
973-655-7212
gillisp@mail.montclair.edu
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With a voice the Ottawa Citizen called “golden,” tenor Peter Gillis has performed extensively in the US, Canada and abroad. Praise from the New York Times for his Ottavio at a Juilliard Opera Center production of Don Giovanni led to his European debut at the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy. Many festival appearances have followed, often under the direction of Gian Carlo Menotti. Of his CD Cape Breton Tenor, the Halifax Chronicle Herald wrote, “A superbly modulated voice, healthy and well-trained…superior vocal armament.” The Herald called his CD, A Cape Breton Tenor Christmas “a hoard of subtle treasures.” His Canadian performances have included Celtic Colours International Festival appearances, concerts with Symphony Nova Scotia, and a tour of Canada with Rita MacNeil. He performed with Opera Nova Scotia (Tom Rakewell - The Rake’s Progress), Opera Company of Boston, the Opera Orchestra of New York, Spoleto USA Festival in Charleston, SC, Milwaukee’s Skylight Opera Theatre, and the Washington Opera at the Kennedy Center (Brighella - Ariadne auf Naxos). The Nova Scotia native made his Carnegie Hall debut in Mozart’s Vesperae Solennes de Confessore (Orchestra of St. Luke’s) and returned to Carnegie Hall to solo in Bach’s Magnificat and Mozart’sRegina Coeli. An active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, he has adjudicated the Halifax Music Festival, the New York Singing Teachers Association’s Young Professional Competition at Steinway Hall, and has been part of the Master Teachers series at Dalhousie University. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Juilliard School. His apprenticeship was with the Santa Fe Opera.


Siobhan Kolker   Siobhan Kolker
Adjunct Instructor
Voice
Musical Theatre
973-655-7212

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. In 2002, she appeared in the Kennedy Center’s Sondheim Celebration (A Little Night Music; Merrily We Roll Along). Other regional credits are three seasons of leading and supporting roles with the Ohio Light Opera, chorus with the Washington National Opera and 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) at Toby’s Dinner Theatre 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). Recent roles with Opera Vivente of Baltimore include Venus in Orpheus in the Underworld and Miss Jessel in The Turn of the Screw. Siobhan 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 also serves on the voice faculties of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy and Turtle Bay Music School in Manhattan. She is a member of the New York Singing Teachers Association, Actors Equity and the American Guild of Musical Artists.


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


 Stephen Oosting Stephen Oosting, DMA
Assistant Professor of Music
Coordinator of Vocal Performance
Voice
Musical Theatre
973-655-7927
oostings@mail.montclair.edu
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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 cycle Into 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.


 LeAnn Overton LeAnn Overton
Adjunct Instructor
Vocal Coach
Musical Theatre
973-655-7212
overtonl@mail.montclair.edu
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LeAnn Overton has enjoyed a busy freelance schedule since moving to New York in 1992. Currently on the faculties of the Cali School and the Manhattan School of Music, Ms. Overton has also served on the faculties of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, the Chautauqua Voice School, the New York Actor’s Studio, the Mannes School of Music, and the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University. She has worked as a musical director/coach for several opera companies and summer festivals including Oberlin in Italy, Vocal Arts Symposium of Colorado Springs, Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca, Italy, Cincinnati Opera, Tulsa Opera, and in NYC, Opera Northeast, West Side Opera and Brandenburg Opera. In addition to her coaching and teaching, Ms. Overton works at the Metropolitan Opera and New York Philharmonic as a surtitle operator. In the fall of 2005 she recorded the CD Race for the Sky with soprano Lisa Holsberg featuring the music of Richard Pearson Thomas. Ms. Overton has collaborated on several occasions with Alexander Technique Instructor Bill Connington on classes specifically for singers.


Scott Davenport Richards   Scott Davenport Richards, MFA
Assistant Professor
Musical Theatre
Composition
973-655-2099
richardssc@mail.montclair.edu
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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.


Michael Rider
Adjunct Instructor
Voice
Musical Theatre
973-655-7212
riderm@mail.montclair.edu
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Michael Rider is a voice teacher, coach, performer and musical director in New York City and specializes in the development of the belt voice as well as repertoire coaching and development for auditions and performance. Michael’s music direction includes 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Music Man, Once on This Island, Rent, Sweet Charity, Bye Bye Birdie, hair, Evita, Peter Pan, Pippin, Blood Brothers, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, Anything Goes and Side Show among others. He is an alumnus of Penn State University (BM) and Westminster Choir College (MM) and is an active member of the National Association of teachers of Singing, Music Theatre Educators Alliance, the New York Singing teachers Association and the National Opera Association.


Stephanie Samaras   Stephanie Samaras
Adjunct Instructor
Voice
Musical Theatre
973-655-7212
samarasalles@mail.montclair.edu
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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 of Grease!), 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 andSeinfeld writer), Mark Weiner (Weinerville Cable TV), Hiram Kasten (Seinfeldcharacter) and the late comedian Dennis Wolfberg.


Peter Stewart   Peter Stewart
Adjunct Instructor
Voice
Musical Theatre
973-655-7212
stewartp@mail.montclair.edu
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Baritone Peter Stewart has created many new works in collaboration with composers. He has toured extensively in Europe, Australia, Asia, and North America with Philip Glass and Robert Wilson in Einstein on the Beach, Monsters of Grace, The White Raven, and La Belle et la Bete, and has joined the Philip Glass Ensemble at the keyboards in Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqqatsi, and Anima Mundi. Mr. Stewart has also created roles and recorded many new operas for Gavin Bryars/Robert Wilson, Julius Hemphill, Anthony Braxton, Meredith Monk, Fred Ho, Harry Partch and Hans Werner Henze, among others.


Anastasia Swope   Anastasia Swope
Adjunct Instructor
Voice
Musical Theatre
973-655-7212
swopea@mail.montclair.edu
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Soprano Anastasia Ellanna Swope's appearances have included recitals of art songs in New Jersey and Indiana, participation in a Women Composer's Symposium, and a performance on the High Mountain Orchestra's Hobart Manor Series. She collaborates regularly with members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in concert, performing a variety of repertoire from Britten to Vivaldi, from Fauré to Rutter. She has sung under the batons of Zdeneck Macal, Robert Spano, and Joseph Flummerfelt, with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. She has collaborated with pianist Ana Cervantes in the presentation of Braiding the Tresses: Weaving Poetry and Passion into Song, called "a superb recital, memorably flawless, and what an evening of art song should strive to be. . ." (Classical New Jersey). She initially pursued a major in classics at the University of the South, but her B.A. ultimately became a double degree in Latin and music. She holds a Master's Degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College, where she studied with Lindsey Christiansen and Glenn Parker.


Valerie Van Hoven   Valerie Van Hoven
Adjunct Instructor
Secondary Voice and Piano
Musical Theatre
973-655-7212
vanhovenv@mail.montclair.edu
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Valerie van Hoven has studied music at the Hartt Conservatory, and SUNY Purchase. Valerie earned a BA in music education from Montclair State University and a graduate certification from the American Center for the Alexander Technique. For nine years a music teacher in the Randolph, NJ public schools, she now operates her own studio in Denville, NJ where she teaches piano, voice, and the Alexander Technique. Valerie has given workshops in voice and the Alexander Technique at Wagner College on Staten Island, Montclair State University and has assisted workshops at the Juilliard School in NYC. She has appeared as Lorraine inSteppin' Out, Rosabella in The Most Happy Fella, and Eliza in My Fair Lady in regional theater. She has been involved in more than 40 shows as musical director and played piano in the orchestra for many others