Composition & Theory Faculty

*Jeffrey Kresky, Area Coordinator
Jeffrey Kresky is a music theorist, composer, conductor and keyboardist. As theorist he is the author of books and journal essays mostly in the areas of criticism and analysis. His keyboard performances are mostly in contemporary music, and his conducting specializes in the works of Gilbert and Sullivan. He holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University, and at William Paterson he chairs the music theory area and directs the Program in Music Honors.

Steve Aprahamian
[bio coming soon]

Samantha Bassler
Samantha Bassler obtained a Bachelor of Sacred Music degree from Nyack College and a Master of Studies in Musicology from the University of Oxford (UK). The title of her master's dissertation at Oxford was "Messiaen, Modernism and an Idea of the Sacred," in which she inspected traditional and avant-garde compositional procedures in the "sacred" music of Olivier Messiaen. Samantha is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Musicology; her two primary research areas are music and politics in the English Reformation (1550-1600) and the reception history of William Byrd's Latin-texted motets in 19th- and 20th-century Britain.

Darren Gage
Darren Gage is a composer, arranger, percussionist, theatre director and arts educator. He holds a PhD in Music Theory and Composition from Rutgers University, where he studied with Charles Wuorinen. Dr. Gage and his wife, Kimberly Burja, co-founded the New Jersey Arts Collective in 2001 ( ). He currently serves as the group’s Artistic Director, as well as Director of NJAC’s New Music ensemble, Ionisation. His compositions have been performed by ensembles that include Helix (New Brunswick, NJ), the Society of Chromatic Art (NYC), the Interlochen Faculty Chamber Ensemble (Interlochen, MI), and the faculty at American Dance Festival (Durham, NC). Dr. Gage is also Director of North Jersey Summer Theatre Workshop and Collective Youth Theatre Company. He won the 1998 Paper Mill Rising Star for Music Direction, the 2002 Paper Mill Educational Impact Award, and the 2007 Drew University President’s Award for Mentorship. Dr. Gage is also on the music faculty of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ.

Ryan Howard
Ryan Howard, originally a native of California, is currently active as a composer and educator in the New York metropolitan area. He holds degrees from Yale University (M.M., M.M.A.) and Indiana University (B.M.), where he was a recipient of numerous scholarships and awards, and where his major teachers included Martin Bresnick, Ingram Marshall, David Lang, Sven-David Sandström, Claude Baker, and Eugene O’Brien. In recent years he has written works for soloists and ensembles including the Cygnus Ensemble, the Mivos Quartet, percussionist Gwendolyn Burgett, and the Vigil Ensemble, and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where he is writing a dissertation examining the late music of American composer Morton Feldman.

*John Link
John Link has composed for diverse media including orchestra, chamber and jazz ensembles, rock bands, and electroacoustic instruments. He has received commissions from guitarist Daniel Lippel, cellist Caroline Stinson, the Athabasca String Trio, the New Jersey Arts Collective (the 2006 Ionisation Commission for pianist Anthony de Mare), Flexible Music, clarinetist Marianne Gythfeldt, the Lincoln Friends of Chamber Music (for the Ames Piano Quartet), The High Mountain Symphony, and the Composers Guild of New Jersey. He was an invited guest composer at the 29th Annual New Music Festival at Bowling Green State University in 2008, and has received awards from the Centre Acanthes, ASCAP, and Meet the Composer. Dr. Link is a founding member of the composers group Friends & Enemies of New Music, which presents an annual series of new music concerts in New York City. His music is recorded on the New Focus Recordings, Bridge Records, and 60x60 labels. Link is also the author of Elliott Carter: A Guide to Research (Garland, 2000), co-editor with Nicholas Hopkins of Elliott Carter's Harmony Book (Carl Fischer, 2002), co-editor with Marguerite Boland of Elliott Carter Studies (Cambridge University Press, 2012), and is currently working on a book about Carter’s late

Joshua Mailman
Joshua Banks Mailman is a theorist, analyst, critic, philosopher, performer, technologist, and composer of music teaching at Columbia University and William Paterson University, and previously at University California, Santa Barbara, NYU, Hunter College (CUNY), University of Maryland, University of Rochester, and the Eastman School of Music. He holds a bachelors degree in philosophy from University of Chicago and Ph.D. in music theory from the Eastman School. Primarily he researches musical form from flux, temporal dynamic form, and is published in the Journal of Sonic Studies, Music Analysis, Psychology of Music, Music Theory Online, Open Space, Leonardo Electronic Almanac, and Perspectives of New Music. He won the Music Analysis 25th Anniversary award for his article "An Imagined Drama of Competitive Opposition in Carter's Scrivo in Vento (with Notes on Narrative, Symmetry, Quantitative Flux, and Heraclitus). His "Agency, Determinism, Focal Time Frames, and Processive Minimalist Music" appears in Musical Narrative After 1900 from Indiana University Press, 2013. His article "Improvising Synesthesia" is due out any moment in the Leonardo Electronic Almanac. He is co-editor of a special volume of Perspectives of New Music v.52 no.2 dedicated to the music of Robert Morris. He has presented papers at numerous conferences in the U.S. and Europe. He also develops and improvises with interactive dance computer music and graphics systems he has developed, such as his Fluxations and FluxNoisations. For more info visit

Karen Mandelbaum
Karen Mandelbaum received a BA in Music Performance from the Mannes College, an MA in Music Theory from Queens College, and a PhD in Music Theory from the City University of New York Graduate Center.   Her specialty is music analysis with an emphasis on historical context.  She was a recipient of a Teaching Fellowship at Hunter College where she taught Music History and Music Theory.  She has been on the faculty of Montclair State University and The Mannes College Preparatory Division.  Her primary theory and analysis studies were with Carl Schachter, Ernst Oster, and William Rothstein.   While a student at Mannes, she studied chamber music with Murray Perahia and following the awarding of her BA, studied piano with Nadia Reisenberg.

Richard Sorce
Richard Sorce is a published author, composer and Billboard charted songwriter, arranger and producer. He served on the faculty at New York University as professor of theory, aural skills, composition, director of the music theory program, and doctoral dissertation committee member.

He holds a Ph.D. in music theory and composition from New York University, an M.A. from NYU in theory, composition and higher education, and did undergraduate study at the Manhattan School of Music and the New York College of Music, as well as piano study at the Shenandoah Conservatory. He also holds NY and NJ K-12 teacher certification licenses.

Sorce has composed music for piano solo, chorus, ensembles and orchestra, written and co-written over 100 songs, and was commissioned to compose a ballet for the celebration of the Constitution Bicentennial performed by the Trenton Symphony Orchestra and the New Jersey Ballet. His music has been published by G. Schirmer, Theodore Presser, Warner Brothers, Boston Music Co., Excelsior Music, Middle Melody Music, and Jackaroe Music, and most recently, a collection of thirteen piano works &ndash Notebook for Piano &ndash by Imagine Music Publishing. His books, including Music Theory for the Music Professional: A Comparison of Common Practice and Popular Genres, are published by Scarecrow Press/ Rowman and Littlefield, Musicianship for the Contemporary Musician, Linus Pub., and Pitch Perception Through Applied Theory, Linus Pub. Recordings of his "commercial" songs have been released on Arista Records, Vanguard Records, CBS Records (France), BMG, Quality Records (Canada), Green Pepper (Great Britain), United Performers, and others. A few of his recording, composition and songwriting associates have included Wendy Carlos (The Shining, Switched on Bach), Henry Kreiger (Dream Girls), and the Shirelles.

Sorce has received several Meet the Composer grants; he is an ASCAP award winning composer and songwriter, and the recipient of the Esteemed Faculty Award from New York University. His current projects include the recently established "Richard Sorce Project," an all-original Latin-Jazz group.

*David Weisberg
David Weisberg is an Associate Professor of Music at William Paterson University. His primary areas of interest include self-similarity in music, the treatment of form and compositional techniques involved in the works of modernist composers, and voice-leading in jazz. He completed his Ph.D. at Rutgers University in 2001, where he studied composition with Charles Wuorinen, and jazz piano with Kenny Barron. He also performs as a freelance pianist in the New York-Metropolitan Area with groups such as the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble and the New Jersey Pops. He has presented papers and has had his compositions performed both in the U.S. and abroad. He currently serves on the executive board of the Music Theory Society of the Mid-Atlantic.

* full-time faculty