Professor of Music
Coordinator Undergraduate and Graduate Music Education
Marissa Silverman is Professor at the Cali School of Music. A Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Silverman has published invited chapters in recent research handbooks, as well as journal articles in the International Journal of Music Education, the British Journal of Music Education, Research Studies in Music Education, Music Education Research, the International Journal of Community Music, Visions of Research in Music Education, and the New York Times. Her research agenda focuses on dimensions of music education philosophy, general music, artistic interpretation, community music, and interdisciplinary curriculum development. Dr. Silverman is author of Gregory Haimovsky: A Pianist’s Odyssey to Freedom (University of Rochester Press, 2018) and co-author (with David Elliott) of the 2nd edition of Music Matters: A Philosophy of Music Education (Oxford University Press, 2015). She is co-editor of Artistic Citizenship: Artistry, Social Responsibility, and Ethical Praxis (Oxford University Press, 2016) and Community Music Today (Rowman & Littlefield, 2013). As a secondary school teacher, Dr. Silverman taught band, general music, and English literature at Long Island City High School (Queens, New York).
Prior to joining Montclair State University, Dr. Powell served as the Director of Higher Education for Little Kids Rock, and the Interim Director of Amp Up NYC, a partnership between Berklee College of Music and Little Kids Rock. A former NYC DOE music teacher, Dr. Powell is published in the International Journal of Music Education, Journal of Music, Technology and Education, IASPM@Journal, Journal of Music Teacher Education, and Action Critique and Theory in Music Education. Bryan is a co-author of The Music Learning Profiles Project: Let’s Take this Outside (Routledge), and a co-editor of the Bloomsbury Handbook of Popular Music Education: Perspectives and Practices (Bloomsbury). Bryan has chapters published in the Routledge Research Companion to Popular Music Education, the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Social Media and Music Learning and the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Philosophical and Qualitative Perspectives on Assessment in Music Education. Bryan is the founding co-editor of Journal of Popular Music Education, a peer-reviewed, academic journal, and he currently serves as the Executive Director of the Association for Popular Music Education. Additionally, Dr. Powell currently serves as the Chair for NAFME Special Research Interest Group (SRIG) in Popular Music Education and is an International Affiliate for the organization Musical Futures.
Professor of Music
Director of 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.
Student Teaching Coordination
Music Supervision and Administration
Dennis Argul has been active in the marching arts activity as a performer, arranger, composer, clinician, and designer. For the last three decades Dennis has also been an adjudicator for many organizations and genres, most recently enjoying his experiences as a judge with Drum Corps International. Dennis is a retired music educator and administrator with a 35 – year career in the NJ Public Schools system. He is currently an adjunct professor at five NJ Universities, supervising student teachers in their music education departments. Dennis is also the Advocacy Chair and on the Board of the NJ Music Educators Association and the NJ Music Administrators Association. Dennis is the Advocacy Chair for NJMEA and NJMAA, a member of the NJ September Ready Task Force, NJ Steering Arts Committee and Director of the inaugural NJ State Solo and Ensemble Festival. As a performer, Dennis is a freelance low brass musician, specializing in bass trombone, and performs with many ensembles in the NY/NJ metropolitan area.
Jillian Ballow studied music education at the State University of New York at Fredonia with a concentration in oboe performance. After graduating Fredonia, Jillian began and continues her music education career teaching kindergarten through fifth grade general music and directing fourth and fifth grade band in Brooklyn, NY. She also is the co-director of the Intermediate band for the Salute to Music Program. Salute to Music is an afterschool band program for students’ grades 4-8. At the end of the year, students have the opportunity to perform in various concert halls including high schools across NYC and in Carnegie Hall. Jillian holds a master’s degree in music education from Kent State University. Jillian also participates in the Staten Island community band and has performed with the Staten Island Philharmonic and the Manhattan Wind Ensemble.
Nicole Becker is the Artistic & Executive Director of Every Voice Choirs, a children’s choir program in New York City that she co-founded in 2012 and which she has led in performances at Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, Merkin Hall and many other NYC venues. Dr. Becker teaches conducting and piano at Columbia University Teachers College, where she is also Director of the Teachers College Choir. As a pianist, Dr. Becker has performed in concerts and recitals throughout the United States, Canada, and Japan. Dr. Becker received an undergraduate degree in Biology from Yale University, a masters in Piano Performance from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and a doctorate in Music Education from Columbia University Teachers College. Dr. Becker’s academic research focuses on student-centered teaching approaches in ensemble settings and the development of racial literacy through music education.
Clarinetist Jennifer Branch has soloed internationally with Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, has toured nationally with the NY-based Music Man in the capacity of Reed 2 and Associate Conductor, has performed with the Sousa Band, and in Carnegie Hall with the Allentown Band. She currently freelances with Baroque Orchestra of NJ, Light Opera of NJ and local pit orchestras.
A devoted teacher, Jennifer’s students have earned seats at Interlochen and NJ All-State Ensembles, with New Jersey Youth Symphony Orchestra, and have gone on to study music in colleges across the US. In addition to being Suzuki Piano book 1 trained, Jennifer is working on creating a Suzuki clarinet method as a part of her DMA studies.
Jennifer holds a Bachelor Music Education from University of Colorado, a Master of Music from University of Michigan and is currently a candidate for Doctorate of Musical Arts at Rutgers University.
Percussionist Barry Centanni attended Montclair State University before earning a bachelor’s degree in performance from the Manhattan School of Music and a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School. He is the principal percussionist with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and performs with many other orchestras including the New York Pops, the New York Philharmonic, the Westfield Symphony, the Colonial Symphony, the New Jersey State Opera and the Metropolitan Opera. His television credits include Live from Madison Square Garden, Live from Lincoln Center, Saturday Night Live and Late Night with David Letterman. As a freelance percussionist, he has performed with Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Sting, Whitney Houston, James Taylor, Elton John and with the bands Yes, the Moody Blues and Metallica. He has taught at SUNY Purchase, the Mannes College of Music, Columbia Teachers College and the Montclair Kimberley Academy.
Ardith Collins teaches orchestra, general music, and serves as grammar school music coordinator at Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School in New York City and is adjunct faculty at Montclair State University Cali School of Music. Ardith has completed Orff Schulwerk and Kodály certifications, beginner level Dalcroze training, and is past president of the Northern New Jersey Orff Schulwerk Association. Ardith is an active writer and presenter, serving on the American Orff Schulwerk Association (AOSA) Reverberations Editorial Board, the AOSA Curriculum Oversight and Review Subcommittee, and is an AOSA national teacher trainer. Ardith has performed with the Montclair State University Albanian American Balkan Ensemble and is a folk dance and rounds singing enthusiast.
Dr. Whitney Covalle
Postdoctoral Fellow in Music Education
Dr. Whitney Covalle is a singer, researcher, and choral music educator. Her research focuses on music education in the city with emphasis on engaging community expertise, the intersection of race and teaching music, and teaching in the aural-oral tradition. Her dissertation research on Philadelphia experts teaching Black Gospel music was recently published in Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education (2022). Prior to her doctoral studies, Dr. Covalle was a choir director in public schools and community music organizations in urban settings for seventeen years, primarily in Chicago at Jones College Prep High School, a Chicago public high school, and Uniting Voices Chicago (Chicago Children’s Choir). Dr. Covalle has degrees from Michigan State University (BME), Westminster Choir College – Choral Emphasis (MME), and Temple University (PhD in Music Education) and the Urban Education Certificate from the College of Education and Human Development.
Marching Band Techniques
Laurie D’Amico is а music educator, performer (saxophone) and conductor specializing in marching band and wind ensembes. An Astor lnternational Travel Fellow, she received her Bachelor’s degree in Music and History (Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ) and Master’s degree in Music Education (NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development). Нег сагеег with the NYC Department of Education includes teaching high school and intermediate school students in а vast range of music subjects (advanced placement music theory, competitive marching band, symphonic and jazz bands) in Brooklyn and Staten lsland. Laurie is currently teaching at Tottenville High School in Staten lsland, NY where she conducts bands ranging from beginning to advanced levels, teaches advanced placement music theory, and coaches chamber ensembes. She is the co-director of the award-winning, champion Marching Band. She serves the community as Director of the Ceremonial TAPS Unit and is the music director of that school’s spring musicals. She is the Director of the NYC DOE Summer Arts Program and the Center Director of the Salute to Music Program, Staten lsland. Laurie holds an advanced certificate in School Building and District Leadership from Canisus College in Buffalo, NY. She is an active performer and soloist оп the alto saxophone.
Laura Montanari is a doctoral candidate in Music & Music Education at Teachers College. Her research focuses on the relationship between songs and history, namely on how songs can function as primary sources and illuminate pivotal historical moments all the while revealing different cultural perspectives. As a devoted student of Alessandro Portelli, she incorporates the lessons of the oral history method in the teaching and learning of folk music, an approach she developed in her 12 years as a general music teacher. Her career as a singer-songwriter guided her pedagogy and scholarship to rely on songwriting and the arts-based methodology to access different ways of knowing. As a music and foreign language student she earned a BA in Anglo-American and Latin-American studies from the Università Ca’ Foscari (Venezia); a Master’s in American Studies from the Università La Sapienza (Roma); a Jazz Voice diploma from Saint Louis College of Music (Roma); a Master’s in Music Education from NYU. Her music is published under the pseudonyms Larthia and Cupra:Ring.
Jonathan McElroy earned his PhD in Music Education at New York University. He earned both his Master of Music in Composition/Arranging, and Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance on trombone and upright/electric bass from William Paterson University. Jonathan is an active performer who subs on Broadway and off-Broadway, leads a sextet, and composes/arranges for a variety of music groups and artists. Such artists include Alfa Garcia, Adam Pascal, Robert Bannon, South Jersey Area Wind Ensemble, and more.
Publications include a chapter in The Routledge Companion to Creativities in Music Education entitled, “Students as the Educator: A student-centric model for curriculum development” (forthcoming); “The Power of Rap in Music Education: A Study of Undergraduate Students’ Original Rap Creations” (forthcoming); and “Composing Your Meaning” (2020) Visions of Research in Music Education.
Jonathan is a professor at Monmouth University. He oversees the Music Education program and teaches American Music Traditions, Blues to Rap, Ear Training I and II, Music for the Child, The Teaching of Music in the Secondary School, and Roots, Rock, Reggae. Jonathan’s website is www.jonathan-mcelroy.com.
Ryan Stroud has been Director of Bands at Kinnelon High School since 2005. His ensembles have consistently earned top honors at various region and state festivals and he has been selected as conductor for various area and region honors bands. Mr. Stroud has composed and performed original works for live theater and was a member of a successful original touring rock band where he was voted the best keyboard player in Philadelphia in 2002. He marched two seasons in a Top-12 DCI drum and bugle corps and earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia where he studied Music Composition and Music Education.
A New Jersey native, Erika Sulich graduated from Montclair State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education where she studied euphonium with Dr. Mary Ann Craig. After teaching in the public school setting for a number of years, she returned to MSU to pursue a Master’s degree in performance, studying wind band conducting with Dr. Thomas McCauley. A dedicated music educator, Erika has experience in both the middle school and high school settings where she teaches concert band, wind ensemble, jazz band, marching band, pit orchestra, and music production. She is actively involved in various honors ensembles in New Jersey, previously serving as Vice President of the North Jersey Junior Area Band and was conductor of the 2016 NJAB junior ensemble. Erika is currently the Director of Bands at Martin J. Ryerson Middle School in Ringwood, NJ.