Louis D’Amico ’73

Drums of Thunder

Louis D’Amico ’73 graduated Montclair State University with a degree in music education.  During his years at Montclair he took many art classes in the art building, enriching his appreciation for the arts. Louis states that during his time in the building, “the artistic sensibilities that I honed at that time became an important foundation for my music career, in terms of creating more impactful performance and production, and enhancing the overall appreciation of the music.”

One of Louis’ fondest memories at Montclair State involved Dr. Ward Moore who was the Director of the music department. Louis had the privilege of being asked by Dr. Moore to be a timpanist for the State Symphony for which Dr. Moore conducted. It was a professional symphony orchestra based on campus and funded by the State to do modern works. They performed in Memorial Auditorium two to three times a year and the opportunity to play along side his faculty members was joy beyond measure.

Many faculty members affected Louis’ life but one of the most impactful was Mr. William Shadel. His professor was a perfectionist and demanded the same perfection of his Concert Band. It was that quality standard that he demanded every single day that shaped Louis’ own style as a music educator, even today. 

Louis’ advice for aspiring music teachers is, “To know who you are teaching. You are not only teaching a young person to sing or play an instrument, but must know how to inspire their hearts and minds, and also to educate their parents, and sometimes your administration, as to what is needed for meaningful support and ultimately for a successful music program. “

Louis D’Amico currently oversees Hillside School's Drums of Thunder percussive ensemble and was recently honored by the State Senate and General Assembly for his success. Adding to his accolades, Louis will be receiving a proclamation from the town of Montclair on March 28th. He will also receive the honorary alumni award on May 3rd from the John J Cali. Music Department where he was a member of Phi Mu Alpha. He attended the 10th anniversary of the John J. Cali Music School and left with this statement, “God Bless John J. Cali and his wife Rose. What they have helped to create will be a true legacy for young musicians, music educators, and the University as a whole. I will always be grateful for Montclair State and the Town of Montclair that has always been so good to me. It is home.”