picture of Cali School



Anthony Mizzocchi

Anthony Mazzocchi
Director, Cali School of Music
Professor of Music
Chapin 144


A GRAMMY® nominated music educator, Anthony Mazzocchi has performed as a trombonist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, New Jersey Symphony, San Diego Symphony, San Diego Opera, Riverside Symphony, in various Broadway shows, and in numerous recordings and movie soundtracks. His TEDx talk — “What Can a Trombone Choir Teach the World About Collaboration and Leadership?” — can be seen here.

Tony has served as faculty or as a frequent guest lecturer at The Juilliard School, Carnegie Hall, Manhattan School of Music, New York University, and Mannes College of Music. He has taught students from K-college, and has served as an educational consultant for arts organizations and universities across the US, Canada, and Australia. His books have been adopted by the NYC Department of Education, and utilized as educational resources at Carnegie Hall, Orchestra of St. Lukes, The Colburn School, and several university schools of music around the world.

Before assuming the Directorship, Tony has served as Associate Director of the Cali School, and as Executive Director of the Kinhaven Summer Music School in Weston, Vermont. He is a sponsored clinician for the Courtois – Paris instrument company.

Photo by Mike Peters

Stephanie Haggerstone 
Associate Director, John J. Cali School of Music
Chapin 148

Stephanie Haggerstone has joined the staff in the Cali School of Music after six years working in the Office of Arts + Cultural Programming. Prior to joining Montclair State, Ms. Haggerstone worked in the production office at the Metropolitan Opera as the Production Finance Manager. She joined the Met after spending two years living abroad in England where she received her MBA from Ashridge Business School. Her dissertation was completed working with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Ms Haggerstone has over fifteen years of experience working in the non-profit sector including regional, downtown New York, and Off-Broadway theaters.

Scott Davenport Richards
Associate Director for Faculty, John J. Cali School of Music
Musical Theatre
Chapin G46
Scott Richards – Website

A specialist in Opera and Musical Theatre, Professor Richards teaches private composition students, Acting for the Singer (a course in which students learn to integrate their music theoretical/literary analysis with actor preparation), and the occasional course in Musical Theatre history.

He is an award winning composer/librettist whose creative works have resided at various addresses around the intersection of Jazz, Opera, and Musical theatre. His most recent opera, Blind Injustice (with librettist David Cote) premiered with direction by Robin Guarino at Cincinnati Opera in 2019 to a sold out run and national critical acclaim. The live CD/Album was cited by Opera News as one of the 5 Best New Opera Recordings of 2022 and was produced with great press fanfare by Montclair State’s Peak Performances in February of 2024.https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/0jlhcq7q8cj1zo15hgc2d/PEAK-BI-NYT-Feature-Pring-021624.pdf?rlkey=pl9gt52dd8v1f5gy8afbuc523&dl=0

He has completed commissions for The Public Theater; The Rumble of Myth (with Marcus Gardley) and the TONY Winning Signature Theatre (VA) The Break (with Michele Lowe). The New York City Opera has performed two Richards works as a part of its Vox Festival of new opera; A Star Across The Ocean – Paris 1965 featuring Tony Award Winner, Chuck Cooper and Charlie Crosses the Nation, An Opera in Jazz Idiom. He was commissioned by Paulette Haupt, Artistic Director of The O’Neill Theatre Center’s National Musical Theatre Conference to compose A Thousand Words Come to Mind (with Michele Lowe) for the inaugural set of her Inner Voices one-person musical monologue series. Other musical theatre works include music for Coyote Goes Salmon Fishing (written with Deborah Brevoort) directed by Molly Smith at Perseverance Theatre/produced by Stuart Ostrow in Houston) and the original score for A Christmas Story The Musical at Kansas City Rep.

His play-scores have been heard at resident theatres around the country including The Yale Rep, Alliance, Center Stage, Madison Rep, Powerhouse and New Federal.

Works for children include a number of commissions from Theatreworks U. S. A.; Corduroy (music, lyrics, orchestration), Sundiata! The Lion King of Mali (music, lyrics, orchestration), Island of the Blue Dolphins (orchestrations) and Junie B. Jones (orchestrations.)

As an actor, Mr. Richards originated the role of Sylvester (the stuttering nephew who almost ruins the recording session) in the historic original Broadway production of August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and assisted his father, Director Lloyd Richards in the origination and Broadway premieres of three other Wilson works.

A recipient of the Jonathan Larson, Frederick Loewe, Shen Family Foundation, Meet the Composer, and the NJ State Council on the Arts Composition Awards, he taught on the faculty of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program from 1997-2009 has remained a regular guest teacher.

As of today, he is hard at work on a new opera Robeson/Moscow with co-librettist David Cote which was workshopped at Cincinnati Opera’s Opera Fusion: New Works in 2023.

M. F. A. New York University Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program
B. A. Yale University

Administrative Staff

Gina Balestracci

Gina Balestracci
Academic Administrator
Chapin 131


Gina Balestracci has been at Montclair State since 1988. She came to Montclair from Stanford University, where she had been director of publicity and public information in the music department, and before that from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she worked in the library system. At the Cali School, Balestracci oversees all of the school of music’s academic administrative needs. She also teaches Freshman Seminar for Music Majors, sings with the Collegium Musicum and teaches in the University’s Honors Program.

Photo by Mike Peters

Paula Chmiel
Financial Secretary
Chapin 144

Phillip Clifford
Production Manager
Chapin 120


Phillip Clifford has worked extensively in the live concert industry as a production manager and has toured the United States as an audio engineer for many artists and productions. He has worked directly with such artists as Aretha Franklin, Béla Fleck, Todd Rundgren and many others. Phillip holds a Bachelor of Music in Audio Engineering with a concentration in Classical Guitar Performance from William Paterson University.

Taylor Goodson

Taylor Goodson
Academic & Event Scheduling
Chapin 129


A resident of Nutley, NJ, percussionist and composer Taylor Goodson performs with some of the best musicians in the region and composes for a wide variety of ensembles. He is currently principal tympanist of the Montclair Orchestra and the FEA Symphony and performs with many other organizations such as the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and the New Jersey Festival Orchestra. As a composer, his many works span a large variety of instruments and ensembles and have been described as cinematic and emotional. His music can be heard both online and on the concert stage from his theme music for the Voice of the Whills podcast to his Symphony No. 1 “The War of the Worlds” for symphony orchestra. At the Cali School, Taylor oversees all academic and event scheduling, including all Cali School academic courses, student and faculty recitals, special events, and outside bookings.

Heather Kern

Heather Kern
Marketing & Outreach Manager
Chapin 121


Heather Kern has worked in all aspects of marketing and communication design for performing arts, music, foundation, museum and retail clients. Heather’s creative experience is wide-ranging and proven across all media and has worked closely managing projects for many prominent art focused clients in the tristate area. At the Cali School, Heather oversees all marketing and publicity for school performances, web design and maintenance, newsletter project management, social media coordination, publications supervision and recital program production. She also has a violin and threatens to play it.

Linsay Setzer

Linsay Setzer
Auditions Coordinator
School Assistant
Main Office: 973-655-7217
Chapin 144


A New Jersey native – Linsay comes to MSU with a background and degree in Music Education. She’s previously worked as the Music Teacher, Director of Orchestras & String Specialist in the New Jersey Public School System, a Cello Teaching Artist for elementary students at the Paterson Music Project, and a freelance cellist performing in NJ, NY, and PA for over 10 years.

At The Cali School, Linsay oversees all aspects of auditions for all new and prospective students – including the application/audition process, admissions liaison and audition registration/scheduling. Linsay also manages the front office for the Cali School and assists with any school, faculty, and student day-to-day needs.