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New Cali School “Signature Series” Connects Local Audiences with Classical Music Stars

A series of four concerts in fall 2019 will showcase the talent of Cali School music students

Posted in: Arts, University

Group of musicians playing string instruments at the Cali School of Music at Montclair State University

The John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University is introducing a “quartet” of new student-centered performances this fall – The Cali Signature Series, debuting October 2019. The four-part series is a selection of symphonic, chamber and vocal music concerts, showcasing the exquisite venues and talents of Montclair State.

“The caliber of students and performances coming out of the Cali School is one of the best-kept secrets in the New York City region,” says College of the Arts Dean Daniel Gurskis. “We want local residents to discover this hidden gem and enjoy the genius that’s blooming right in their backyards.”

“We host more than 300 performances at Montclair State over the course of the year,” says Cali School Interim Director Thomas McCauley. “The Signature Series is a way to highlight four of the many high-quality performances and bring awareness to the public.”

Besides showcasing students’ accomplishments, McCauley notes that the Signature Series concerts are “quite eclectic, quite different. We hope to give people who come an overall taste of what is happening here – and there are really good things happening here at the Cali School.”

The Signature Series gets off to a roaring start, with Kaleidoscope on October 12, at 8 p.m. in the Kasser Theater. “This is something quite special. It’s more than 20 performances back to back within a 75-minute concert. Performers are placed at various locations all over the theater. We feature and highlight every area – woodwinds, strings, brass, opera, jazz. It’s a great overview of what we do here.”
Purchase $15 tickets at peakperfs.org

For the second Signature Series concert on October 26, at 8 p.m. in the Kasser Theater, the Montclair State University Orchestra, under the direction of Maestro Nicholas DeMaison, will be performing with the New Jersey Youth Symphony, under the direction of Helen Cha Pyo. The two ensembles will perform masterworks by Beethoven, Liszt, Schubert, Strauss and Wagner, both on their own and side by side.
Purchase $15 tickets at peakperfs.org

On November 26, at 7 p.m. in the Leshowitz Recital Hall, the world-renowned Shanghai Quartet will appear in the third Cali Signature Series concert. The Shanghai Quartet has been in residence at the John J. Cali School of Music since 2004, and has performed concerts and master classes throughout the world. Appearing with the Shanghai Quartet that evening will be the Zora Quartet, the newly installed resident graduate string quartet in the Cali School.
Reserve free tickets at calichamber.eventbrite.com

The Beatrice Crawford Memorial Concert Considering Matthew Shepard, December 8, at 3 p.m. in the Kasser Theater, features the Montclair State University Chorale and the Montclair State University Singers under the direction of Professor Heather Buchanan, accompanied by pianist Steven W. Ryan, presenting the profound and gripping work, Considering Matthew Shepard, by composer Craig Hella Johnson. “Considering Matthew Shepard is a new, powerful choral passion-oratorio that invites us all to consider our call to stand for love, forgiveness, understanding and justice in our communities and the world,” says McCauley. The Signature Series semi-staged performance of Considering Mathew Shepard is its regional debut.
Reserve free tickets at peakperfs.org

McCauley points out that each concert is either $15 or free. “It is our hope that, by highlighting a few of the many great concerts presented in the John J. Cali School of Music, we might be able to increase awareness about the many wonderful things happening here.”