Associate Professor of Music
Director of University Bands
Thomas McCauley conducts the Montclair State University Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band and teaches undergraduate and graduate conducting. Ensembles under Dr. McCauley’s direction have appeared at national and regional conventions and conferences. He has collaborated with artists including the Imani Winds, Manhattan Brass Quintet, Warren Vaché, Demondrae Thurman, and Phil Smith, and been praised by composers including Karel Husa, David Gillingham, Joseph Turrin, Bruce Yurko, and O’Neal Douglas. He is the Founder and Artistic Director of Windhaven; an intensive, week-long performance opportunity for wind players and percussionists ages 18-28 (Kinhaven Music School, VT). His publications include articles in The Instrumentalist, a chapter in Teaching Music Through Performance in Band, 2nd Ed., Vol I, and a book, Adventures in Band Building (or How to Turn a Less-Than-It-Could-Be into a More-Than-It-Should-Be). In 1995, the Nevada Music Educator’s Association named him Music Educator of the Year and in 2006, the Indiana Music Educators Association honored Dr. McCauley with an Outstanding University Music Educator Award. Dr. McCauley currently serves on the Executive Board of the New Jersey Band Association, the New Jersey State Representative of the College Band Directors National Association, and is the former New Jersey State Representative of the National Band Association. He is also an active member of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, and the National Association for Music Education.
Shelley Axelson McCauley
Director of Campus-Community Band
Main Office: 973-655-7212
Before coming to the Cali School, Shelley Axelson held a similar position at the University of Indianapolis in Indianapolis, Indiana, where her responsibilities included teaching conducting, clarinet and a variety of instrumental music education classes. Prior to her appointment at Indianapolis, Prof. Axelson was the Director of Bands at Central College in Pella, Iowa, Pasco Middle School in Dade City, Florida (co-author of Secondary Music Curriculum), and Richardson Junior High School in Richardson, Texas. Prof. Axelson received an undergraduate degree in Music Education from the University of South Florida, a master’s degree in Conducting from the University of Michigan, and the Doctor of Music degree in Conducting from Northwestern University. Her principal conducting teachers were Mallory Thompson and H. Robert Reynolds.
Professor of Music
Director of Choral Activities
Heather J. Buchanan, PhD, conducts the 170-voice Chorale, 60-voice University Singers, and 24-voice Vocal Accord. Choirs under her direction have won critical acclaim for their “vibrant sound,” “eloquence”, and for singing with the “crispness and dexterity of a professional choir.” Her choirs have collaborated with many international artists including Meredith Monk, Mícheál ÓSúílleabháin, Tarik O’Regan, Joseph Flummerfelt, Sarah Hopkins, Chen Yi, members of the Vienna Philharmonic strings, Richard Alston Dance Company, and conductors Neeme Järvi, Jacques LaCombe, John Maucceri, and Susie Benchail Seiter with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Buchanan holds degrees from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music (Australia), Westminster Choir College of Rider University (U.S.), and the University of New England (Australia). A licensed Andover Educator, she teaches Body Mapping and somatic pedagogy for musicians. Her publications include co-editing and compiling Teaching Music through Performance in Choir (GIA), a chapter in Teaching Singing in the 21st Century (Springer), a DVD Evoking Sound: Body Mapping & Gesture Fundamentals (GIA), and choral octavos in the Evoking Sound Choral Series (GIA). A vibrant teacher, dynamic performer and passionate musicians’ health advocate, Dr. Buchanan is in demand as a guest conductor, somatic educator and choral clinician in the U.S. and abroad.
Helen Cha-Pyo is a Korean-born American conductor and organist. She won early success as an award-winning pianist and organist. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and her Master of Music degree in both conducting and organ performance from Eastman School of Music. While at Eastman, Cha-Pyo served as the Assistant Conductor of the Eastman Philharmonia and the Eastman Chorale. She has served as the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Riverside Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir (New York City). She has also held the role of Associate Director of Music at Riverside Church. Cha-Pyo pioneered the Riverside Music Educational Program, which currently aids thousands of inner-city students in New York City. She has been the Assistant Conductor of the Britt Festival Orchestra in Jacksonville, Oregon and has guest conducted orchestras and choruses throughout Asia, Europe, and the United States. In 1999, she conducted the U.S. premiere of A Garland for Linda, a musical tribute to Linda McCartney. In the fall of 2000, she conducted the world premiere performance of No Easy Walk to Freedom, an opera based on the life of Nelson Mandela, at the New Opera Festival at Hofstra University.
Acting Music Director, MSU Opera Orchestra
Main Office: 973-655-7212
Brent Chancellor is founding Music Director of the LUX Initiative and acting Music Director of the Montclair State University Opera Orchestra. Recent engagements include Cover Conductor for Nicholas McGegan and Otto Tausk with New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Assistant Conductor to Stéphane Denève, Martin West and Joel Revzen at Festival Napa Valley, Conducting Assistant with Charleston Symphony Orchestra and Cover Conductor for concerts featuring André Watts, Leon Fleisher, Robert Levin, Seong-Jin Cho, Angel Blue and Lester Lynch. Mr. Chancellor has collaborated with musicians and young artists from The Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera and La Scala including Nadine Sierra, Jessica Cambio, Maya Lahyani and Natalie Aroyan, and stage directors Joshua Major, Dietlinde Turban Maazel, Ira Siff, Jeffrey Gall, Lawrence Edelson and Joachim Schamberger. He studied conducting with Paul Nadler (Metropolitan Opera) and Ken Lam (Charleston Symphony Orchestra) and serves on faculty of the International Vocal Arts Institute directed by Metropolitan Opera coach, Joan Dornemann. He has worked with many celebrated musicians in workshops, festivals and coachings, including conductors Cristian Măcelaru, Riccardo Muti, Markand Thakar, Johannes Schlaefli and Ken Kiesler, composers George Crumb, Steve Reich, Pauline Oliveros and Aaron J. Kernis, and opera coaches Benton Hess and Sherrill Milnes.
Director of Pit Orchestra
Main Office: 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 for IBM, 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.