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Celebrating 100 years of Music at TCNJ

A time for celebration and reflection

This year marks the 100th anniversary of TCNJ’s Department of Music, a milestone that deserves to be commemorated. To celebrate, the department will be presenting the 2018 Alumni Music Festival during Alumni Weekend.

The highlight of the festival will undoubtedly be its musical performances, featuring collaborations between students, faculty, faculty emeriti, and alumni.

The festival will begin on Friday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. with a Music Student Showcase concert featuring TCNJ’s Wind Ensemble and Chorale.

Then on Saturday, April 28 at 8:00 p.m. TCNJ Jazz Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, and Chorus will hold a Department of Music Gala, in which faculty and students will join alumni on stage. The evening will culminate with a performance of Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Choral Fantasy” with the College Orchestra and alumni vocal soloists, and featuring pianist Tomoko Kanamaru, Associate Professor of Music at TCNJ.

The festival will also include social gatherings to give multiple generations of TCNJ students and faculty the opportunity to connect and reconnect with friends both old and new, while reminiscing and reflecting on the changes that have taken place over the years.

And a lot has changed in a hundred years, as the Department of Music has grown and developed since its inception in 1918. At that time TCNJ was called the New Jersey State Normal School in Trenton, and was not even located on its present site.

More recently, major changes have included a relocation for the department, when it moved into its present home in the Music Building in 1996. Bray Hall, which was located where the Social Sciences Building now stands, had previously housed the department.

Dr. Wayne Heisler, Professor of Historical and Cultural Studies in Music and Department of Music Chairperson, remembers more recent changes: “In 2008, the Department of Music became part of a newly formed School of the Arts and Communication, which now includes Art and Art History, Communications, Interactive Multimedia, and Journalism and Professional Writing.”

The following year, Heisler recalls, the department “added a Bachelor of Arts in Music degree (BA in Music) to its already existing programs: Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Bachelor of Music in Performance. By the end of the 2017-2018 academic year, 38 students will have graduated from the BA in Music degree program.”

Although a lot has changed in 100 years, the department’s commitment to excellence has stayed consistent over the past century. Additional performances and activities will be scheduled for the fall of 2018, but are currently “still in the planning stages” according to Heisler.

As it begins its second century of existence, Heisler’s goal for the Department of Music at TCNJ will be “to continue to be a leader in teacher and performer preparation in the state and region, as well as to continue to offer serious college-level music study in TCNJ’s highly competitive Liberal Arts context.”

Click here for a full calendar of Department of Music events.

If you are interested in performing with the Gala Jazz Ensemble, Orchestra, Choir or Wind Ensemble on April 28, please sign-up here by April 14.

Planning Committee

We have formed a planning committee for the 2018 Alumni Music Festival. If you would like to learn more about the planning of this event, please contact John Leonard, Music Department Chair at 609-771-2550 or

The committee is made up of the following persons:

John Anastasio ‘69

Barbara Yanus DiMarco ‘68

James Gater ’71 & ’80

Robert Guarino, Faculty Emeritus

Julie Coates Haran ‘89

Suzanne Hickman, Faculty

John Leonard, Faculty, Co-chairperson

Julianna Lobiondo ‘13

Terri Martinac ’72 & ’73, Co-chairperson

Herbert Mayo, Faculty

Lisa Rosener McCarthy ’88 & ’91

Teresa Nakra, Faculty

Robert Parrish, ’72 & ’86 Faculty Emeritus

Barbara Yulick Retzko ‘78

Joshua Roach, Visiting Faculty

Reagan Ruiz ‘01

Barbara Krauss Santoro ’76 & ’79

Colleen Quinn Sears, Faculty ‘01

Amy Troxel ’02

Angela DuRoss Winterrowd ‘02