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Anthony J. Mazzocchi named Director of John J. Cali School of Music

Posted in: Arts, Homepage News, University

Anthony J. Mazzocchi
Newly appointed director of the University's John J. Cali School of Music, Anthony J. Mazzocchi.

After an exhaustive search, Montclair State has found that the best choice to lead the John J. Cali School of Music is right here at home.

Newly appointed director Anthony J. Mazzocchi most recently served as the associate director of the Cali School and is ready to use his in-depth knowledge of its programs and people to hit the ground running.

“I am honored and humbled to accept the Directorship of the Cali School of Music – an institution that I love so very much and full of people whom I love, as well,” Mazzocchi told the Cali School community in an email message. “We all share a great passion for this place; its past, its current state, and especially what we all believe could be its bright and rewarding future. It is also clear that we are all ready to play our own unique part in moving the Cali School forward together, and that excites me beyond measure.”

Mazzocchi is the visionary, forward-thinking kind of leader the University was seeking to lead the school. He is the executive director of the prestigious Kinhaven Summer Music School in Weston, Vermont. His TEDx talk, “What Can a Trombone Choir Teach the World About Collaboration and Leadership?”, was released on TED.com earlier this month.

As a Grammy-nominated music educator, Mazzocchi has taught as a faculty member or guest lecturer at the Juilliard School, the Manhattan School of Music, the Mannes College of Music, New York University and Carnegie Hall. His books have been adopted by the New York City Department of Education and integrated into instruction at Carnegie Hall, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Colburn School and university schools of music worldwide. He’s in demand as an educational consultant for arts organizations and universities across the United States, Canada and Australia. He is a sponsored clinician for the Antoine Courtois Paris Brass Instrument Company.

“Tony Mazzocchi’s appointment has truly energized the Cali School of Music faculty, staff, students and alumni,” says Heather Buchanan, professor and director of the MSU Singers. “His confident, engaging and transparent leadership style will engender mutual respect and trust within our community and our external stakeholders.Tony’s vision is inextricably bound with the School’s bold conviction in the power of music to shape the next generation. He’s the transformative leader we’ve been waiting for!”

He’s got the musical chops as well.

Mazzocchi is an accomplished trombonist who has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the San Diego Symphony, the San Diego Opera, the Riverside Symphony, and the New Jersey Symphony as well as for Broadway shows and on numerous recordings and movie soundtracks.

For the past three years, Mazzocchi has served on the South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education, bringing to bear his experiences as a student (Columbia High School ’91) and an educator (he previously served as director, Fine and Performing Arts, for the school district).

With his appointment, College of the Arts Dean Daniel Gurskis said, “Tony possesses the experience, the temperament, the judgment, and the creativity to lead the Cali School to new heights.”

Mazzocchi displayed some of those qualities in a letter to the Cali School family in which he thanked interim director Thomas McCauley and addressed the current “unusual circumstances that COVID-19 has brought us.”

“We will not be seeing each other in person for a bit. But while the world seems a bit darker in the short term, I can’t help but marvel at the goodness, the kindness, and the fellowship that has taken place amongst our school community since this event occurred. From staff and faculty adjusting every ounce of how we run our school remotely; to faculty helping students who were confused and worried transition out of dorms and even drive them to the airport; to faculty and students whom have been seeking innovative ways to connect online and demonstrating to each other – and the world – that music is absolutely what unites us during times of crisis. I’m so proud to be a part of, and witness to, all of it.”

“I look forward to seeing all of you, sharing my goals for our school based on all I currently know about our needs, and developing goals in collaboration with you so that we can work towards realizing your dreams for our programs and students together,” wrote Mazzocchi. “We are going to go through a very difficult time together for a bit – of that, there is no doubt. But through the current troubling situation, I see a shining light that is the Cali School’s future. I’m excited and energized to do the hard work and embark on this journey with you.”