Category: Music News

Featured News, Music News, News

World Premiere of “Illuminations: A Concert of Music Inspired by The Saint John’s Bible”

Flyer for birth of christ

Birth of Christ, Donald Jackson, Copyright 2002, The Saint John’s Bible, Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota USA. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Music faculty member Nan Childress Orchard has commissioned two original works from New Jersey composers Caroline H. Newman and Rob Middleton to celebrate Caldwell University’s Year with The Saint John’s Bible. The works will be premiered in a concert at 3 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 26 in the Caldwell University Alumni Theatre. The snow date is Sunday, Feb. 2 at 3 p.m.

Performers include Childress Orchard, piano; Music Department faculty members Rebecca Vega, flute, and Rob Middleton, clarinet; and Jacqueline Stern, violoncello.

Eight illuminations from the Gospels and Acts volume have inspired the two composers. Each illumination will be projected on a screen during the performance of the music. A “Meet the Composer session” will follow the concert where audience members will be encouraged to ask questions.

Childress Orchard says the event will be a fabulous opportunity for audience members to experience this world premiere and have the opportunity to speak to the composers. “Patronage of the arts is vital to our culture. Caldwell University is promoting and supporting the humanities and in particular the performing arts through a dynamic event.”

The Saint John’s Bible is the first illuminated, handwritten Bible of monumental size to be created in more than 500 years. It was commissioned by Benedictine Saint John’s Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minnesota and the creative director was Donald Jackson, senior scribe to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Crown Office.

The Heritage Edition of the Gospels and Acts volume will be on display before and after the concert on the 26th. (It will not be there on the snow date.)

General admission is $15 and students are free. For more information contact Nan Childress Orchard at 973-618-3587.

Music News, News

8th Annual Summer Intensive Percussion Camp  at Caldwell University

March 7,2019 – Caldwell University will hold its 8th annual Summer Intensive Percussion Camp July 15-20 on the beautiful campus of Caldwell University located 20 miles west of New York City.

During the week-long camp students are immersed in the percussion world through their participation in ensembles, clinics, and masterclasses with internationally recognized drummers and percussionists.  Previous artistsinclude Grammy Award winners Andres Forero (Hamilton) and Mark Guiliana (David Bowie),Tommy Igoe (performer, author),Joe Bergamini (Doo Wop Project, Broadway),Chuck Burgi (Billy Joel),Dom Famularo (The Global Drum Ambassador),Rolando Morales-Matos (The Lion King, Ron Carter), Payton MacDonald (composer, performer, film maker) andDennis DeLucia (DCI Hall of Fame).

Daily activities include drum set, world drumming, classical percussion, percussion ensemble, and masterclasses and technique classes. Both group and individual instruction are offered throughout the week. The camp runs daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with some extended activities including a trip to New York City to attend a live performance.The week culminates with a concert on Saturday, July 20 for family and friends. The camp is open to students 13 and older and no formal audition is required.

Camp tuition is $725 and includes lunch, snacks, and transportation and admission to the New York City performance.   For those who would like to stay on campus overnight, a residential option is available for $1,275, which covers camp tuition and room and board. Early bird discounts are available. For more information see the pricing chart on the camp brochure.  

Download the brochure and application form on the Music Department page.

For additional information contact Alex Bocchino (Camp Director) at

Music News, News

7th Annual Summer Intensive Percussion Camp and Caldwell Rocks Rhythm Section Workshop

Feb. 13, 2018 – Caldwell University will hold its 7th annual Summer Intensive Percussion Camp July 16-21 and Caldwell Rocks, a one-day rhythm section workshop Sat. July 14.

The percussion camp is open to students ages 13 and up.  The students are immersed in the percussion world and have the opportunity to participate in ensembles and clinics, interact with music professionals, and take a trip to New York City to see a show.  The week culminates with a concert on Sat. July 21 for family and friends.

Over the years, world renowned drummers and percussionists who have performed on Broadway and toured nationally, have presented a variety of percussion styles at the camp.  They include Grammy winners Andres Forero (Hamilton) and Mark Guiliana (David Bowie) as well as Tommy Igoe (Performer, Author, Educator) Joe Bergamini (Broadway) Chuck Burgi (Billy Joel) Dom Famularo (The Global Drum Ambassador) Rolando Morales-Matos (Lion King, Ron Carter) and Dennis DeLucia (DCI Hall of Fame).

Daily activities include drum set, world drumming, classical percussion, percussion ensemble, ensemble rehearsals and master and technique classes. No formal audition is required for the camp. Early registration is recommended. The camp runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

The one-day Caldwell Rocks workshop is open to all guitar and bass players, keyboardists and drummers.  Students will learn from and perform with a professional rhythm section.

The combination package tuition for the percussion camp week and the Caldwell Rocks workshop is $850.  The percussion camp only tuition is $699, which includes lunches, snacks and transportation and a ticket to a New York City event.  There is a 10% discount for the combination package or the camp only, if tuition is paid in full by June 1.   The residential option tuition for those who would like to stay on campus is $1,275 which includes all meals and housing. There is a $75.00 discount for the residential option available with a 20% deposit made by May 1.  The Caldwell Rocks workshop is $179, which includes lunch and snacks.

Download the brochure and application form on the Music Department page.

For additional information contact Dr. Nan Childress Orchard at or 973-618-3587.

Music News

Caldwell University’s Annual Christmas Spectacular December 8

Caldwell University’s Annual Christmas Spectacular

Celebrate the holiday season when the Caldwell University Music Department presents its annual Christmas Spectacular concert 8 p.m.,Friday December 8 in the Student Center Auditorium.

The University Chorale, directed by Laura Greenwald and accompanied by Warren Helms, will perform seasonal favorites including the lovely “O Magnum Mysterium” by Victoria, the joyful “Carol of the Bells” and Darmon Meador’s jazzy “We Three Kings.”

The wind ensemble, conducted by Rebecca Vega, will feature 55 high school honor band students from James Caldwell, Cedar Grove, Columbia, Morris Knolls, Nutley, Summit, Tottenville, Verona, Waldwick, Wayne Hills and West Essex high schools. They will perform Chorale and Shaker Dance, The Eighth Candle, Childhood Remembered, Ukrainian Bell Carol, Greensleeves, and Sleigh Ride.

General Admission is $10. Tickets will be available at the door. Student admission is free.

For information contact: Laura Greenwald at

Music News

6th Annual Caldwell University Summer Intensive Percussion Camp

Participants of Percussion CampAlex Bocchino, Director

July 10-15, 2017

Caldwell University’s 6th Annual Summer Intensive Percussion Camp will run from July 10-15 on the beautiful campus of Caldwell University. If you’re ready to be immersed in percussion, hear some amazing musicians, meet new people, and have a good time, this is the place for you. This year’s camp will include a trip to NYC to hear some great music as well as daily clinics presented by nationally acclaimed drummers and percussionists.

New this summer is a residential option. Campus housing will be available for an additional fee.  Supervision will be provided.  Early registration is highly recommended. For more information on the camp and residential option contact Nan Childress Orchard at

On Saturday, July 8, Caldwell Rocks, a one-day rhythm section workshop, will take place and is open to all guitar and bass players, keyboardists, and drummers. Students will learn from and perform with a professional rhythm section during the one-day event.

Recent percussion camp clinicians include: Tommy Igoe, Chuck Burgi, Mark Guiliana, Andres Forero, Joe Bergamini, Rolando Morales-Matos, and Dom Famularo.

For more information contact Dr. Nan Childress Orchard (

Download the Summer intensive Percussion Camp Brochure in PDF format

Download the application form for the camp here.

Featured News, Music News, News

Nationally-Known Percussion Clinician Thom Hannum to Give Drumline Clinic at Caldwell University

Thom HannumCaldwell, N.J., Dec. 15, 2016 – – Thom Hannum, one of the nation’s foremost percussion clinicians, will give a Drumline Clinic at Caldwell University, 4 to 9 p.m., Thursday Feb. 9.

The free event will include master classes for indoor drumlines, marching percussion technique break-out sessions, and group performances, as well as a demonstrations by Hannum. It will be held in the Student Center and a free dinner is included.

Hannum is associate director of the Minuteman Marching Band at University of Massachusetts Amherst and is well known in the percussion world for his work with The Cadets and Star of Indiana Drum and Bugle Corps. He was a member of the design team for the Tony Award-winning shows Blast! and CyberJam. In 2001 he was inducted into the Drum Corps International Hall of Fame.

If interested in participating individually or with your indoor drumline, please contact Music Department Professor Rebecca Vega at or 973-618-3446.

Percussionists will need to bring their marching instruments. Space is limited so register soon.


Featured News, Music News, News

Coming soon: The Caldwell University Marching Band

Caldwell University is adding a marching band to support its new sprint football team. Come fall of 2017 Caldwell will be one of three universities in New Jersey with marching bands. Music faculty member Rebecca Vega will direct the band, and she is looking for non-music and music majors who would like to contribute their talents in brass, percussion, woodwind, or color guard. Marching band will be a one-credit course that will meet twice a week, and members will perform at all three home football games, open houses, Homecoming and other school events.

Music faculty member Rebecca Vega

Music faculty member Rebecca Vega will direct the Caldwell University Marching Band being added for the new sprint football team.

Vega has experience with marching bands. She was in marching bands in high
school and college, oversaw the marching band when she taught high school for three years in California, and worked with the marching band when she was a graduate assistant in the Music Department at Eastern Michigan University. Now her son marches in the Verona High School Marching Band. “I’m super-excited to teach marching band again. I’m a marching band geek,” Vega said, noting she “drags her husband” to see marching bands at competitions even six hours before her son competes.

Vega says Caldwell will build its marching band over the next three to five years, starting with a small group and simple uniforms and then making it a larger ensemble with more instruments and more elaborate uniforms. Marching band scholarships will be available. For information, contact Professor Rebecca Vega at or 973-618-3446.

Music News, News

Caldwell University Music Department Holding Auditions for Children’s Choir Program

Caldwell, N.J., July 20, 2016 – The Caldwell University Music Department is announcing its sixth year of the Caldwell Children’s Choir Program. Auditions for this program are scheduled for Thursdays, August 4 and September 8 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Applicants should come prepared to sing one verse of either “America” (My Country ‘tis of Thee), “America the Beautiful” or “Happy Birthday”.

This educational program is open to children ages 8 through 14 in grades 3 through 8. The choir meets weekly beginning September 8 with scheduled concerts in December and April. Participants will gain a comprehensive understanding of music through choral study and performance.

Audition appointments are required and can be scheduled by contacting Dr. Nan Childress Orchard For further information please visit and click on the Children’s Choir brochure link.

Music News

World Premiere Performance at Caldwell University

Composer Edgar F. Girtain IV

Caldwell, N.J., April 15, 2016 – The Caldwell University Wind Ensemble and the Tri-State Brass Society Quintet conducted by Music faculty Rebecca Vega will perform the world premiere of “Sorrow of the Earth” by composer Edgar F. Girtain IV, 8 p.m. Monday, May 2, in the Student Center Auditorium. The concert is free and open to the public.

Girtain is an emerging American composer whose music is frequently performed at universities and concert halls around the world. He is known for his lyricism, versatility of style and command of color. He has been commissioned by the New Brunswick Chamber Orchestra, the Arapahoe Philharmonic, Sinfonietta NOVA, the Voorhees Chapel Choir and John Rojak of the American Brass Quintet. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music education and an M.A. in composition from Rutgers University. Learn more at

The Tri-State Brass Society is an active chamber music ensemble based in northern New Jersey. Founded in 2015, the society is committed to the performance of a high-quality chamber brass repertoire and to education. The ensemble plays a wide range of musical styles, including but not limited to classical, jazz, funk, pop and world music. Over the past year, the Tri-State Brass Society has shared its eclectic taste with the public by performing educational outreach concerts, church services, recitals and weddings.

Music News

UpTown Flutes to Perform at the National Flute Association Convention

Professor Rebecca Vega with the UpTown Flutes prior to the Performance

UpTown Flutes will perform at the National Flute Association Convention in Washington DC.  Professor Rebecca Vega will be performing with the UpTown Flutes on August 13, 2015 at this convention.  They will be premiering a work entitled Elegy that was composed by Valerie Coleman, founding member of the Amani Winds.  Elegy was written to honor the legendary Maya Angelou and will feature internationally acclaimed flutist Alexa Still and the UpTown Flutes.   UpTown Flutes will also be performing at the Mahwah Library concert series on June 27 and at the New Jersey Flute Fair on October 11.  For questions regarding these programs, please contact Prof. Rebecca Vega at