About the Department
The Department of Music, Dance & Theatre offers a wide selection of musical opportunities for its students. The performance possibilities range from solo recitals to chamber music, large instrumental, and choral ensemble concerts to opera and musical theatre productions. Take a minute to browse through our myriad of diverse performance opportunities below.
Prof. Lou Kosma, director
The NJCU Orchestra was established in 1989 by Dr. Edward Raditz. It has been the tradition of the ensemble to present major works for orchestra and major solo works for piano, violin, cello, voice and other orchestral instruments. Soloists include guest artists and music faculty. On some occasions an extremely talented music major is given the opportunity to perform as soloist with the orchestra. Most of the orchestra members also play in the opera orchestra for the fall productions. Currently under the direction of Prof. Lou Kosma, the NJCU Orchestra will perform Mahler's Symphony 1 this semester.
Dr. Ana María Rosado, director
Guitar Ensemble, coached by Dr. Ana María Rosado, coordinator of Guitar Studies at NJCU, is a course designed to provide guitar majors with chamber music experience while playing works written or arranged for multiple guitars. This course satisfies the small chamber ensemble requirement for music majors and is required of all students enrolled as guitar majors throughout their studies at NJCU.
The NJCU Guitar Ensemble has performed on 2014 and 2012 at the Guitar Foundation of America's Regional Symposium in New York City at the DiMenna Center. The NJCU Guitar Ensemble performed as student participants at the Summer 2015 Guitar Seminar of the Mannes/The New School College of Music. The GE performed at the 2016 NJMEA Guitar Festival at the College of New Jersey.
NJCU Guitar Ensemble has also performed on several occasions for the New Jersey Guitar and Music Society's Guitar Night at the Trumpets Jazz Club in Montclair, NJ. Other performances include visits the local high schools and libraries such as: Bayonne High School, Arts High in Newark, the Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy in Elizabeth, North Bergen High School and the Scotch Plains Public Library. Student showcase recitals at NJCU such as the yearly Guitars Galore marathon and the occasional senior and junior recitals of the ensemble members are some of the performance opportunities enjoyed by guitar majors.
SYMPHONY OF WINDS AND PERCUSSION
Prof. Patrick J. Burns, director
The Symphony of Winds and Percussion has been the university band since its inception. Though it is a laboratory experience for music performance and music education majors, it brings a wealth of the most high level literature to its audiences. In perspective, it features the performance of original works, orchestral transcriptions and past literature written explicitly for the areas of Winds and Percussion on a professional level.
It is within this organization that high level students as well as artists, who have traveled the world, get an opportunity to be featured as soloists.
The Symphony of Winds & Percussion performs on and off-campus. The off-campus activities include performing for high schools in the region as well as community fund raising events. The organization is versatile in its programming, and as a result, can support any function requiring its instrumentation, both indoors and out.
Those signing up for this organization will be extremely satisfied with the scope and content of its endeavors.
Prof. Walt Weiskopft
THE NJCU Jazz ensemble, under the direction of Professor Walt Weiskopf, has achieved national acclaim over the last seventeen years. A faculty of world class New York area jazz artists in addition to the frequent guest artists who visit the University every semester have contributed to this ensemble's growth. Recent guests have included Joe Lovano, Claudio Roditi, Toshiko Akiyoshi & Lew Tabackin, John Fedchock, Barry Harris, Charles McPherson, Jimmy Heath, Peter Erskine, Marvin Stamm, Eddie Daniels, Mike Longo and Maria Schneider. Largely comprised of undergraduate and graduate students from the BM and MM in Jazz Performance degree programs, the NJCU JAZZ ENSEMBLE performs regularly at jazz clubs and schools throughout the greater New York/New Jersey metropolitan region as well as on campus. During recent years, this group has been featured at The Blue Note, Birdland, Trumpets and Cecil's nightclubs. In 2010, the NJCU Jazz Ensembles released their 6th album‚ÄîYesterday, Today & Tomorrow. Prospective jazz majors will receive a copy of this CD. Previous releases have been featured on the nation's largest jazz station, WBGO-FM. The Ensemble's repertoire spans the history of big bands: from Fletcher Henderson, Benny Carter, and Duke Ellington; to Thad Jones, Bob Mintzer, Gordon Goodwin, and Maria Schneider. In addition, original compositions by student and faculty are frequently performed.
Dr. Robert Prowse, director
The Concert Chorale is a mixed choir of about 50 singers. Its membership includes music majors, and it is open to non-music majors by audition. Each semester the Concert Chorale, under the direction of Dr. Robert Prowse, performs an on-campus concert. This concert often includes a large choral work with soloists and orchestral accompaniment. Occasionally, the choir performs additional off-campus programs. These off-campus performances have included appearances at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Participants receive University credit.
Dr. Greg Giannascoli, director
The NJCU Percussion Ensemble performs music specifically composed for percussion as the main instrument, as opposed to being an accompaniment instrument. The music is composed in a wide variety of musical styles: Classical, Contemporary, Jazz and Latin to name only a few.
The music is usually more challenging that found in a band or orchestra, and as a result, often more interesting to perform. A student will learn to play in a small ensemble setting, playing both with a conductor and also learning the very different skills of performing without a conductor. Students will learn performance techniques, both standard and experimental, on a wide array of instruments, many traditional, many unusual.
The ensemble travels to area high schools during the semester, and so performers get a number of opportunities to perform their pieces, and to experience what it is like to play in a variety of performance spaces. The ensemble also gets opportunities to perform with noted guest artists, such as Neil Grover, Glen Velez, Jeff Queen and She-e Wu, who also have given master classes to the students in the program.
Dr. Maredia Warren, director
The NJCU Unity Ensemble is a vocal group dedicated to the performance of choral music from the African and African-American genres. Founded and directed by Dr. Maredia Warren, the Ensemble is recognized for its versatile and spirited repertoire which includes a wide range of styles including contemporary gospel music, arranged spirituals, spirituals from the oral traditions, and vocal jazz. The Unity Ensemble is especially recognized for its performance of traditional music from Southern Africa. In March 2013, The Unity Ensemble performed at the National Conference of OAKE (Organization of American Kodaly Educators), held in Hartford Connecticut.
The Unity Ensemble began in 2004 as an undergraduate vocal ensemble. At present, the group's membership has extended to include graduate students and alumni. Since its inception the NJCU Unity Ensemble has made numerous campus appearances including: the NJCU Martin L King, Jr. Scholarship Celebration sponsored by the Lee Hagan Africana Studies Center, the Academic Festival sponsored by the William Maxwell College of Arts and Sciences; the Dedication of the Deborah Cannon Partridge Wolfe College of Education; the NJCU Black History Month Celebration; the NJCU President's Donors Reception; the Ben Jones Scholarship Benefit; the Celebration of Life for Former NJCU President William Maxwell; and the Salute to Graduates of African Heritage.
Frequently invited to appear for off-campus community organizations, the Unity Ensemble has performed for the Bergen County Martin L. King, Jr. Birthday Observance at the Society for African Missions in Tenafly, NJ; the Youth Explosion Homecoming Celebration at the Bethany Baptist Church in Newark; the First Presbyterian Church of Englewood; the Presbyterian Church of Teaneck; Shiloh Baptist Church in Bordentown, NJ; Garfield School in Kearney, NJ; Temple Sinai in Tenafly, NJ; and Church of the Atonement in Tenafly, NJ.
Dr. Robert Prowse, director
The Chamber Singers is a mixed choir of 12 to 16 singers, open by audition to any NJCU student who wishes to try out. This ensemble performs a mix of literature, from Renaissance madrigals to contemporary chamber choir repertoire, to folk and popular pieces. The Chamber Singers performs in on-campus concerts each semester, and sings occasionally for special events both on and off campus. Participants receive University credit.
The Jazz Combos provide undergraduate and graduate jazz performance majors with opportunities to continue to refine their improvisational skills. Ensembles of four to six members are created each semester to explore the music of great jazz artists in addition to allowing students the chance to perform their original compositions and arrangements. In recent semesters, jazz combos have featured the music of Horace Silver, Thelonious Monk, Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, The Adderleys, The Bronx Horns, The Yellow Jackets, Tower of Power, Tom Harrell. Benny Carter and Wayne Shorter. Additionally, there is also a Brazilian Combo and an Afro-Cuban Ensemble that music majors are eligible to participate in. Under the direction of members of the jazz faculty, these groups perform frequently on-campus as well as outside the University. Over the last several years, NJCU Jazz Combos have been featured in live performances on WBGO-FM.
Dr. Joseph d'Auguste, director
Founded in 2016 by Dr. Joseph d'Auguste, the NJCU Clarinet Choir has quickly become one of the finest collegiate clarinet ensembles in New Jersey. Most members are students in the NJCU Music Education, Performace, or Graduate Multiple Woodwind Degree Programs. The ensemble is an outgrowth of the reimmagined clarinet studio at NJCU. Committed to performing repertiore ranging in style from transcriptions for band and orchestra to pop, jazz and rap, the NJCU Clarinet Choir is popular at on and off campus events throughout the year.
Dr. Gilles Bernard, director
The NJCU Trombone Choir is composed of members of the NJCU trombone studio and alumni. Under the direction of Dr. Gilles Bernard, coordinator of Brass Studies at NJCU, the ensemble continues to attract more members each semester and impress audiences with its refined sound and beautiful blend of tone colors. The Trombone Choir explores a wide range of repertoire including arrangements from the baroque period to pieces recently written for the ensemble.
MUSICAL THEATRE WORKSHOP
Prof. Marc G. Dalio, director
The Musical Theatre Workshop is offered every semester, by audition. Any NJCU student may try out. Participants receive University credit. In the fall, the workshop revolves around the presentation of a "scenes" program. In the spring, the department does a full production in Margaret Williams Theatre, complete with scenery, costumes, and a pit orchestra. Recent spring musicals have included Anything Goes,The Secret Garden, A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum, Nunsense, and Grease. (The department offers a Bachelor of Arts degree program in Musical Theatre.)
A performing ensemble with emphasis and exploration on elements of operatic literature, in combination with stage technique and vocal ability. (View the complete Opera Workshop brochure featuring audition information, faculty list, syllabus, and much more.)
New Jersey City Opera Workshop is a performing ensemble with emphasis and exploration on elements of operatic literature, in combination with stage technique and vocal ability. Assessment of this course may include scene programs, one-act operas, or full length productions with piano or orchestral accompaniment.
The student will receive structured lessons in: Stage movement, character development, rehearsal techniques, musical coachings, basic costume, make-up and prop training. In addition each participant will also be involved in theatre training possibilities including scenic design, lighting, costume design and stage management.