Celebrities, Musicians, and Legislators to Gather to Dedicate New Building for John J. Cali School of Music

Montclair, NJ -- The new building for Montclair State University's John J. Cali School of Music will be officially dedicated on Wednesday, January 20 at 11 a.m. when celebrities, musicians, legislators, community representatives and donors join University President Susan A. Cole to "cut the ribbon" and invite guests to tour the facility.

The odyssey to this occasion began in 2006 with a $5 million gift from the John J. Cali Family and Foundation to provide scholarships to music students and to establish a full time professorship.

A longtime resident of Montclair, John Cali is a talented musician in his own right who earned his way through college by playing the saxophone in swing and jazz bands. He is co-founder of Cali Associates with his brother Angelo Cali, now deceased, and childhood friend Edward Leshowitz (both Angelo Cali and Edward Leshowitz were Montclair State graduates).

"Apart from my business career, music has been a lifelong passion and I am deeply touched that my family chose to associate my name with what I consider to be one of finest university music programs in the country," said Mr. Cali. "My wife Rose and I have watched Montclair State evolve over the years into an excellent liberal arts university with a strong and sustained commitment to the arts in general and music specifically," he added. Mrs. Cali is a graduate of Montclair State and has been a member of the University's Board of Trustees since 1991.

"The Calis have long been major supporters of the arts and their contributions to the music school have inspired other support and enabled us to create this modern new facility that will be a training ground for master musicians for generations to come," said Cole.

The January 20th ceremony will include a program of music by Montclair State students, a special media tribute to John and Rose Cali, and remarks by President Cole and others in attendance.

An adaptive re-use project, the new Cali School building transforms a former residence, Chapin Hall, built in 1928 in the Spanish Mission style, and joins it with the new facility -- a seamless pairing of the original architecture with the new structure. The building provides 53,000 square feet of space for the University's highly regarded music program and includes the major features of a conservatory environment including teaching laboratories, rehearsal halls, practice rooms, teaching studios, a music therapy suite, and the 240-seat Jed Leshowitz Recital Hall, named in honor of Edward Leshowitz's deceased son Jed.

The need for superior acoustics required the design team to overcome several challenges posed by the building's existing tight floor-to-floor heights and older mechanical systems. Practice rooms and teaching studios are designed as a "box within a box" for acoustic isolation from other rooms. Innovative HVAC design accommodates the low floor-to-floor height (9'8") of the existing building for superior soundproofing and optimal humidity and temperature control.

Exterior renovations to the building reorient the main entrance to face College Avenue, a major thoroughfare on campus, rather than the quadrangle, where the original entry was located. The new fa├žade offers a picturesque interpretation of the original Spanish Mission Style and provides a formal gateway to the campus.

With the delivery on August 31, 2009 of 59 new Steinway pianos, Montclair State University's John J. Cali School of Music 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.

Already known for its outstanding and diverse faculty and program, the new facility will position the John J. Cali School of Music as one of the desirable destinations for future musicians and music educators.

Released: January 12, 2010