Educational Grammy Nominee
Walking through the halls of John J. Cali school of music at Montclair State University is an interesting cacophony of sound. There are all sorts of instruments being played and very different types of music. Coming along the second floor hallway you can hear the low rumbles of the trombone being played. Something that was loud, staccato, and bombastic all of a sudden is very smooth, gentle, and beautiful. Tony Mazzocchi, the trombone primary professor smiles as he holds his trombone at his side, as if it’s an extension of his arm. “I only wanted to be performing on the trombone up until two days before I took my first teaching job,” Mazzocchi explains, “I honestly think that if somebody asked me three days before I took it I would have said, ‘Absolutely not.’”
Mazzocchi, the trombone primary professor and the Associate Director of the John J. Cali school of music was nominated by a former middle school student for an educational Grammy. Out of 30,000 people nominated, he made it to the top 25. Mazzocchi says, “She is actually a sophomore here at Montclair right now, a music major, so that is very cool. She’s going to be a fantastic music educator.”
Two years ago the Grammy foundation started a Grammy award for music educators. Anyone could fill out a form online to nominate someone. A former middle student of Mazzocchi’s nominated him. He had to send in videos of himself teaching and speaking. He eventually made it to the next round where the Grammy foundation had to come out to interview him and film more videos. Mazzocchi made it to the top twenty five, but did not advance further than that.
Mazzocchi also holds a music festival summer camp in Vermont that he and his wife are the directors of. It runs from June through August and hosts musicians of all ages from all around the world. As we finally get settled into the fall semester, Mazzocchi says, “Vermont in the summer is just so beautiful. I just can’t wait to be there again.”