Marching Band Staff
Director: Rebecca Vega
Professor Rebecca Vega, CU Marching Band Director, is an Associate Professor in the Music Department, and serves as the music recruitment advisor. This is her 18th year at Caldwell where she directs the CU Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, Flute Ensemble and Clarinet Ensemble. She teaches Conducting, Instrumental Rehearsal Techniques and Introduction to Music Education. She is an active flutist and performs regularly with the UpTown Flutes and the trio Terzetta. She holds degrees from California State University, Long Beach and Eastern Michigan University.
Assistant Director/Brass Instructor: Melissa Kay
Melissa Kay is the Assistant Director and Brass Instructor for the Caldwell University Marching Band. She has been with the ensemble since its inception in 2017. Melissa graduated from Caldwell in 2010 with a BA in Music Education along with a Special Education endorsement. She completed an MA in Classical Performance from New Jersey City University. She is the Music Teacher and Band Director at Union Hill Middle School in Union City, NJ. Melissa performs regularly with several ensembles, including the Hanover Wind Symphony.
Percussion Instructor: Joe Bergen
Joe Bergen is a musician, educator, composer, and arts administrator who focuses on creating and developing diverse and equitable music communities. Joe is best known as a founding member, and Co-Artistic Director of Mantra Percussion, Inc., a future-focusing arts organization committing to a lasting influence on percussion performance and percussion education. Joe is the Director of Percussion Studies and adjunct music education professor, at Caldwell University in Caldwell, NJ, and adjunct music instructor at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ. Joe is also the New Jersey state chapter president of the Percussive Arts Society.
Colorguard Instructor: Rachel Alessandra-Cordasco
Rachel Alessandra-Cordasco is the Colorguard Instructor for the Caldwell University Marching Band. She graduated from Caldwell in 2016 with a B in psychology and minors in ASL and biology. She works in the Verona Public School District as a paraprofessional and also a behavior therapist at the Family Therapy and Consultation. When asked “Why Caldwell is important to her?” she answered: Caldwell provided me with the perfect learning setting to explore and reach my full potential. The outstanding music department allowed me to return to marching band and gave me a place to connect with so many people. Not only has the program shaped me into the leader I am today, but it also continues to be a major part of my life. As a staff member of the marching band I get to teach the color guard and continue to be a part of growing the program I love so much. This year will be my sixth year involved with the CU marching band and my third season coaching.
Woodwind Instructor: Hayley Wilderotter
Hayley Wilderotter is an experienced Woodwind Instructor with the Caldwell University Marching Band. She also is a Music Educator and Band Director in Union City Public Schools with over seven years of experience. Hayley graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Messiah University in 2016. Hayley specializes in clarinet performance with additional expertise in low clarinets. She also has additional vocal experience. Outside of work, she regularly performs with the Hanover Wind Symphony. Hayley is diligent, encouraging, and empathetic and is inspired daily by her close friends and loved ones. In her free time, she enjoys time with her birds and baking.
Visual Instructor: Micaela Andrews
Micaela Andrews is the Visual Instructor for the Caldwell University Marching Band. She has been part of the program since its inception in 2017 when she served as the first drum major for the ensemble. She was the Marina Carroll and Charles LaBelle Music Scholar in 2016 and 2017 and graduated from Caldwell in 2018 with a BA in Music Education. She is the elementary band director at North Dover Elementary and Academy Street Elementary in the Dover Public Schools. She won the CU Music Department Honors Award in 2019. When asked “Why Caldwell is important to her?” she answered: Caldwell was the best choice I made for school. I found a home in the music department that helped me grow as a person and musician. I received so many opportunities to learn that I wouldn’t have been offered in a larger setting. Caldwell made me the person I am today!