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Press Releases

Plastic Lives: New Music for the Environment by Montclair Musicians

February 6, 2023 | By Heather Kern
Marketing and Outreach Manager


Plastic Lives: New Music for the Environment by Montclair Musicians

Composers Thomas J. Parente and David B. Smith and Soprano and Cali School Voice Professor, Lori McCann

Event Dates
Saturday / February 18, 2023 / 8:00 pm
Jed Leshowitz Recital Hall
John J. Cali School of Music, 1 Normal Ave.
Montclair State University
Montclair, NJ 07043

Faculty and Student Multimedia Concert

Lori-McCann, soprano
Ryan Bridge, piano
Julian Dippolito, percussion
Tim Nuzzetti, percussion
Caroline Desmarais, dance

Featuring New Works by:
Arnold Friedman
Plastic Lives

Thomas Parente
Island Elegy & Aubade

David B. Smith
Life Cycles


Saturday / February 25, 2023 / 7:00 pm
Studio 106, Boston Conservatory at Berklee College of Music
132 Ipswich Street (Richard Ortner Studio Building), Floor 1—Studio 106
Boston, MA 02115 United States
(View Map(Opens in a new window))

Rising tides of plastic, disappearing islands, and waves of species extinction have inspired the music of Plastic Lives: New Music for the Environment. Sung by soprano Lori McCann, professor of voice at the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University. The music will be backed by a wide variety of percussion instruments, piano, and imagery.

The program includes three new works two of which are by Montclair Composers: “Life Cycles” by David B. Smith, “Island Elegy and Aubade” by Thomas Parente, and “Plastic Lives” by Arnold Friedman. David Smith and Tom Parente are both long-time Montclair residents and Arnold Friedman lives in the Boston area where he is on faculty at Berklee College of Music. This Climate Crisis Concert will be performed in both locations.

Award-winning composer and sound designer David B. Smith’s “Life Cycles” transforms Franz Schubert’s Faustian “Gretchen am Spinnrade” to address our living generations’ responsibilities to the future of our planet. Smith is a professor of sound and music technology and former dean at NYC College of Technology, City University of New York. Dr. David B Smith's website

Thomas J. Parente (Opens in a new window) is professor emeritus of piano at Westminster Choir College of Rider University and composer-in-residence for the Unitarian Congregation of Montclair. The protagonist in his song cycle “Island Elegy and Aubade” experiences the beauty and disappearance of her island home to rising sea levels, and her painful evacuation from it.

Composer and cellist Arnold Friedman’s “Plastic Lives” considers the miracle and catastrophe that is plastic. Friedman is a professor and former chair of composition at Berklee College of Music.




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