Wind Symphony at MSU Review

Montclair State Wind Symphony joined forces with Montgomery High School Wind Ensemble for a night of music.

Montclair State Wind Symphony had a great night of music.

wind symphony
Photo courtesy of Peak Performances.

This week, the Montclair State University Wind Symphony partnered with the Montgomery High School Wind Ensemble to perform a series of works on the Alexander Kasser stage. Regarded as one of the best high school bands in the state, there is no doubt as to why the Montgomery High School Wind Ensemble was chosen to share the stage with musicians from Montclair’s John J. Cali School of Music. Together, both ensembles created an evening of beautiful music for the Montclair community to take part in.

The music performed by both of the ensembles was astounding. Each performed separately for some works and as a unit for others. All of the pieces complemented each other very nicely; it was obvious that the series of works was well thought out in advance. The musicianship coming from high school and college level artists was nothing short of professional. All of the students exhibited so much talent and passion for playing live music.

“I always come out to the Cali School’s concerts,” said MSU junior, Laura Pennell. “I used to be involved in jazz vocal performance and want to support the arts at Montclair.”

Adam Warshafsky, who is the Supervisor of Visual and Performing Arts for the Montgomery Township School District Department of Music, conducted the Montgomery Wind Ensemble during Friday night’s concert. The ensemble performed works by composers Williams and Maslanka. Although they were a high school ensemble, this prestigious group of students has a reputation for performing very advanced works. These young musicians are well prepared for college level ensembles, as they must audition for this selective ensemble.

The MSU Wind Symphony is currently under the direction of Thomas McCauley, who has been the Director of Bands in the John J. Cali School of Music for almost 10 years. McCauley came to Montclair with a wealth of experience, which resonates in his students’ performances both onstage and in the classroom. His ensemble consists of 50 undergraduate and graduate students who must audition for their seat. All have two things in common: talent and dedication.

Aside from the ensemble pieces by composers Grainger and Bernstein, the MSU Wind Symphony also featured a solo performance by Steven Santa, who was the winner of the MSU Wind Symphony Concerto Competition. Santa performed the very complex Mackey’s Concerto for Soprano Saxophone. His passion for his instrument was evident throughout the solo.

Peak Performances brings a diverse selection of theatrical performances, dance works, and concerts to the stage. Visit for information on upcoming shows and tickets.

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