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MSU Symphonic Band & MSU Campus Band

John J. Cali School of Music

Thomas McCauley and Shelley Axelson, Conductors

Please join us for an exciting and inspiring evening of music for winds, brass, and percussion presented by two of Montclair State’s concert bands.


pdf program peak performances


Thomas McCauley is the newly appointed Director of Bands at Montclair State University where he conducts the Montclair State University Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band. He comes to New Jersey from the University of Indianapolis where he held the position of Director of Bands and Instrumental Activities and conducted the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Chamber Orchestra in addition to teaching courses in conducting, instrumental arranging, and music education. He has held similar positions at Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio and Northeastern Illinois University. He founded and was Music Director of the University of Indianapolis Orchestra Festival held each fall and the Festival of Winds held each winter on the university campus which attracted high school aged instrumentalists from throughout Indiana and surrounding states. During his time in Indiana, Dr. McCauley hosted and taught the University of Indianapolis Instrumental Conducting Workshop with such notable guest clinicians as Eugene Corporon, Jerry Junkin, Craig Kirchhoff, Felix Hauswirth, and Mallory Thompson. From 1986-1995 Dr. McCauley directed several successful secondary music programs in the Clark County School District in Nevada. He earned a Doctor of Music in conducting from Northwestern University where his primary teacher was Mallory Thompson, and holds a Master and Bachelor degree in music education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Dr. McCauley has appeared as a guest conductor, clinician, or adjudicator in Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Missouri, Arizona, Kentucky, Georgia, California, and Nevada. In 1998, he appeared as guest conductor with the renowned Northshore Concert Band on their summer concert series. Groups under his direction have appeared at national and regional conventions and conferences. He is active as a professional trumpet player and was Associate Conductor of the Indianapolis Brass Choir. He appeared with that ensemble at the 15th International Congress of the International Society for the Investigation and Promotion of Band Music in Lana, Italy in the summer of 2002. In May of 2005, Dr. McCauley led the University of Indianapolis Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Chamber Orchestra on a tour of Austria that included concerts in Vienna, Salzburg, and Innsbruck. From August 2002-December 2003, Dr. McCauley was also the creator and host of Music Education Matters, a 30-minute radio talk show heard weekly on WICR in Indianapolis. In 1995, the Nevada Music Educators Association named Dr. McCauley Music Educator of the Year and in 2006, the Indiana Music Educators Association honored Dr. McCauley with an Outstanding University Music Educator Award.

Before coming to the Cali School, Shelley Axelson held a similar position at the University of Indianapolis in Indianapolis, Indiana, where her responsibilities included teaching conducting, clarinet, and a variety of instrumental music education classes. Prior to her appointment at Indianapolis, Prof. Axelson was the Director of Bands at Central College in Pella, Iowa, Pasco Middle School in Dade City, Florida (co-author of Secondary Music Curriculum), and Richardson Junior High School in Richardson, Texas. Prof. Axelson received an undergraduate degree in Music Education from the University of South Florida, a Master’s Degree in Conducting from the University of Michigan, and the Doctor of Music degree in Conducting from Northwestern University. Her principal conducting teachers were Mallory Thompson and H. Robert Reynolds.