Alonzo Hall (Ballet)
Mr. Hall grew up in Plainfield, NJ and began his dance training at his city’s local dance studio, at the age of eleven. Mr. Hall later studied ballet, jazz, and modern dance at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He then attended Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts where he received his B.F.A in Dance under the direction of Paulette Sears and Julia Ritter in 2011. Hall was a member of the school’s semi-professional dance company known as University Dance Works under the direction of Randy James. Hall had the opportunity to perform works by Ronald K. Brown, Benoit-Swan Pouffer, Xiao-Xiong Zhang, including many others. Post Graduation Hall had the pleasure of performing with Clarissa Newby-Phillips, Crystal Newby-Reynolds, Marie Alonzo, and most recently The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra as guest dancer in the Spring of 2013. He is currently a dance instructor, performer, and choreographer.
Leslie Lucy (Hip-Hop)
A gifted dancer and choreographer bred in South Jersey, Leslie received her training from Premier Dance Theater, NJ and Broadway Dance Center in New York. She began her professional dance career performing in numerous music videos, touring Europe with Jodeci and dancing back-up for several Hip-Hop and R&B artists. Leslie has made appearances as a back-up dancer on entertainment shows such as Soul Train, The Party Machine, HBO's “Def Comedy Jam”, and BETs “Video Soul”. Leslie has also danced on MTV's “The Grind” for three years. Leslie also includes movie credits to her resume. She has appeared in films such as “The Money Train”, “Drop Squad”and Substitute 2”. Leslie presently teachers for Maria Priadka School of Dance in South Orange; Newark School of the Arts in Newark; Marie Willey School of Dance in East Orange; and is a dance mentor for an-all girls adolescent program called Best Friends
Leslie encourages her students to always dance with their hearts so the audience can feel the passion of the performance.
Professor Clarissa Newby-Phillips (Dance Department Chair)
Ms. Newby-Phillips is a Director/Choreographer, Dance Educator, and Entrepreneur. Received a B.F.A. in Dance; Rutgers University's Mason Gross School of the Arts, M.A. in Dance in Higher Education; New York University. N.J. Certification: Teacher of Vocational Arts and Production. Director/Teaching credits: Hillside Elementary School (Montclair, NJ), Northampton Community College (Pa), Pocono Conservatory for The Arts(owner), Blair Academy, Cicely Tyson School of Performing and Fine Arts, Rutgers University, New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Dance credits: Scholarship at the School of the Garden State Ballet, Gallman's Newark Dance Theater (Talley Beatty, Eleo Pomare, Alvin Ailey, Fred Benjamin, George Faison, Louis Johnson, Lisa Attles, David E. Talbert, Troy Powell, Loretta Devine, Gabriel Cassius). Television and theatrical credits: 1993 Essence Awards (Michael Peters); Gospel musical "Lord Lift Us Higher” (J.O.B.); “In Praise” (Arts Inc). Vocal credits: Nubian Empire (Spike Lee, Bill Bellamy, CeCe Rogers). Collaborative projects: Dion Parson, Christopher Huggins, Duane Cyrus, Freddie Moore, Theara Ward, RiceCrop Productions, Lisa Simone, Dance Theater of Harlem.
Maurice Chestnut (Tap Dance)
Newark native Maurice Chestnut began dancing at the age of five, under the direction of Mr. Alfred Gallman. As one of taps’ brightest young stars, he was featured on The Sally Jesse Raphael Show in the "My Kid's A Star" segment. He was a gold medalist in the NAACP Act-So competition and was crowned "Top Dog Performer" at The Apollo Theater. In 2003, Maurice was recruited by tap master Savion Glover, to join the national touring company of the Tony Award winning Bring In 'Da Noise, Bring In 'Da Funk. Maurice received critical favor in that role. He has continued to work with Savion as a member of his Improvography and Bare Soundz tours, as well as performing in productions such as Classical Savion, Tappin' Into Monk, Invitation To The Dancer and on ABC-TV's Dancing With The Stars. Off-Broadway credits include Shades of Harlem, The Wiz, Bubbling Brown Sugar directed by George Faison at Atlanta's Fox Theater and Can I Hit That. In addition to performing with his own band, he is often invited to perform or tour as a special guest with such prominent jazz musicians as Christian McBride, Cyrus Chestnut and Thelonius Monk III. His high profile engagements have included the JVC Jazz Festival, the Playboy Jazz Festival, The Apollo Theater and Birdland, as well as appearances at Carnegie Hall and throughout Europe with the Geri Allen Trio. As his appearance on BET's 106th and Park demonstrated, watching him dance is like walking through Harlem in the 1940's... while bumping a hip-hop beat.
Dominique Ajai Henderson (Ballet, Tap)
Born in Bronx, New York and raised in East Orange, New Jersey, is a dancer and teacher for Newark Public Schools. She’s trained at Princeton Ballet School, Rider University and the Alvin Ailey School. Continuing her passion for dance, she teaches dance throughout Newark Public Schools to grades 4-8, with hopes to widen their perspective of dance with lessons on modern, ballet, jazz, tap and contemporary.
Richard Marshall (Breakdance/Hip-Hop)
Born in the birthplace of breakdance, Bronx, NY and raised in the heart of New Jersey, Richard (RichNyce) Marshall has definitely lived a life close to the street culture that bred him. A true example of a “Jack of All” dancer that has always learned and absorbed everything he could from house dance, ballet, and hip-hop styles to his specialty in Bboying. After 14 years of dancing, Rich has been in commercials, music videos, movies and live performances. Through much training and dedication Rich is a high ranking Pro Breaking Tour competitor that has traveled coast to coast and overseas representing himself, New Jersey and his home crew (TAC, True Aggressions Crew/ Training Athletic Creativity) in many competitions such as the Mcdonald's Bboy Royale, RockSteady Crew Anniversary, Red Bull BCone regionals, and the growing Silverback Open international competition sponsored by the Urban Dance Education Foundation. Believing in an “Each One, Teach One” mentality, RichNyce strives to live by example and continues to be lead an inspirational dance career, utilizing his expertise to grow himself and give back to hiphop culture that has bred him.
Edgar studied in Ecuador and Germany. He has had a career in the performing arts as a dancer, actor, director, choreographer, and teacher. His directorial and choreographic credits include productions at National Dance Institute –Ecuador, Festival Biarritz – France. As a dancer National Ecuadorian Ballet, Ballet of Madrid and he also participate in theater Sucre in the production of West Side History. At this moment he is a teacher at the Newark School of the Arts.
Wendy received her professional ballet training as a youth with Felipe Gonzales-Chilean teacher and teachers of The National Ballet from Cuba. She attended at the National Dance Institute. Further training was received at the Folkwang University of the Arts .She became a member of the National Ecuadorian Ballet lead roles in classics and new works. At this moment she is a teacher at the Newark School of the Arts.
Elma Adams (Voice, Staff Accompanist)
Is a graduate from the Juilliard School of Music in Piano Performance, she also received a B.A. and M.A. from Kean University where she is presently an adjunct piano faculty since 2003. She is also an adjunct piano faculty with the Westminster Choir College.
Marilia Caputo (Piano)
Brazilian pianist Marilia Caputo has performed throughout Europe, Latin America and the United States both as soloist and as a collaborative pianist with violinists Koh-Gabriel Kameda, Daniel Guedes and Ignace Jang, the São Paulo String Quartet, with singers Reginaldo Pinheiro and Juliana Gondek, and cellists Antonio Del Claro and Barbara Switalska. Caputo has performed at the Pepperdine University Festival (USA), Northern Chamber Music Festival (Brazil), Para International Chamber Music Festival (Brazil), Summit Festival (USA) and Hawaii Performing Arts Festival (USA) where she also coached. She has performed in New York at Weill Hall; in Moscow at Rachmaninoff Hall, Malie Sall, and Glinka Museum; in Salzburg at the Mozarteum, and in Rio de Janeiro at Cecilia Meireles Hall. Marilia was awarded the “Virtuose” scholarship by the Brazilian Ministry of Culture, while studying with Boris Slutsky at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore. She has also participated in Master Classes with Arminda Quintero, Reginald Stewart, Daniel Pollack, Vladimir Viardo, Oleg Maisenberg and Hans Graff, among others. Caputo is a DMA candidate at Rutgers University and studies with Prof. Paul Hoffmann.
Michael Costantino (Piano, Jazz Piano, Jazz Studies)
Attended Berklee School of Music in Boston as a recipient of the "DOWN BEAT" magazine scholarship. He has studied with such prominent musicians as Keith Jarrett, Charlie Banacous, Madame Chaloff, and Jesse Green. Mr. Costantino has performed in United States and abroad as both sideman and conductor. He has done numerous television and live shows. Among them are: "The Mike Douglas Show," "The Don Ho Show," "The Al Harrington Show" (from Hawaii Five-O fame), "The Dick Jensen Show" and the off-Broadway musicals "Oh! Calcutta" and "Hair" as a pianist, arranger and conductor. He and the Ralph Graham and Easy Pieces Band opened for such notable artists as Earth, Wind and Fire, Richard Pryor Coasters, Robert Kline, Esther Phillips, Etta James, Martha Reeves, Sha Na Na, and the Persuasions. Since 1996, Mr. Costantino has been on the faculty of Newark School of the Arts, maintained a private studio in Hackettstown, NJ and performs regularly at Cortinas in Paterson, New Jersey.
Beatriz de Mello
Is an educator, composer, church musician and performer who has graced stages and venues as diverse as The Bowery Mission, Birdland and Carnegie Hall. She is equally comfortable in a variety of genres: opera and operetta, musical theater, Jazz and Sacred Music, having a special fondness for the landmarks of choral repertory. Beatriz is passionate about sharing the love of music with students of all ages, and is now delighted for the opportunity, along with the NSA Choir, to spread an affirmative musical message which is momentous in today’s challenging world.
Anna Dukhovny (Piano)
Has a B.A. in piano performance and accompaniment from State Music College, Ukraine and a M.A. from St. Petersburg Academy of Culture,, Russia. She has twenty-five years experience in teaching piano in public and private music schools in the Ukraine, Russia, Israel and New Jersey, instructing children and adults. She uses classical and modern methods in developing interpretation, technical proficiency, sight reading and ear training.
Dr. Grace Hackett Faroul (Voice)
Is on the faculty of Newark School of the Arts, the New York City Department of Education, and The Assisi Performing Summer Arts Festival in Italy, where she performs in opera and concerts. She received her Ph.D. from Trident University International, a Master of Science degree in Supervision and Administration from Mercy College, and Bachelors and Masters degrees in Voice and Music Education from Manhattan School of Music. She has toured Holland, Swizerland, Germany and Basle under Schweizer Tournee, performing the role of Frankie in its production of Carmen Jones. Dr. Hackett has also performed in the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area, Mexico and the Caribbean in opera, oratorio and recital. She is a frequent soloist with various groups, including the United Choral Society under the baton of David Randolph and the Essex Chorale with the esteemed conductor, Dr. DeCosta Dawson. Dr. Hackett made her professional debut at Carnegie Recital Hall. The New York Times and The Amsterdam News respectively stated: "Ms. Hackett has a regal stage presence, and her low register has a lovely timbre." She was also part of the cast that performed Porgy & Bess on the Lake Stage in Bregenz, Austria, and also at the Metropolitan and New York State Theaters in New York City, where the "Live From Lincoln Center" telecast of that opera was nominated for an Emmy as the Outstanding Classical Music/Dance program of the 2001-2002 season. Dr. Hackett was also part of the cast at New York's City Opera that premiered the opera Margaret Gardner by Richard Danielpour, based on Toni Morrison's Pulitzer prizewinning novel, Beloved. Dr. Hackett shares the spotlight as one-third of the musical/dramatic aggregation known as Talent-In-Triplicate. Her discography includes two seasonal CDs -Birthday Of A King and Because This Child Was Born - A Riverside Labor Of Love and A Black Heritage Concert with the Bel-Canto Quartet. She can also be heard on CD and Video in Spirituals In Concert and A Carnegie Hall Christmas with sopranos Kathleen Battle, Jessye Norman and Frederica Von Stade, under the direction of Andre Previn and James Levine.
Eugene Feigin (Piano)
Eugene is M.M. in piano solo, ensemble and accompaniment. Mr. Feigin was a founding member of the Rachmaninoff Trio and the Feigin Duo. He performed extensively in his native Russia, Israel, Europe and the United States. He recorded with Centour Records and Moscow Radio. He has 40 years of teaching experience and was a former faculty member of the Gnessin Institute of Music and Ippolitov-Ivanov College of Music in Moscow. For the last 22 years he has been a piano and ensemble teacher (last 10 years as director of the music).
Nadine Herman, Soprano (Music Director, Voice)
Received herB.M from Temple University and her M.M from the Juilliard School. She has performed throughout the US and Europe,including recitals at The Abbaye de Royaumont,Festival di Trieste and the BKA in Berlin.Miss Herman has sung premiers of many prominent composers ,including the great French composer Olivier Messiaen.She has performed under the auspices of the New York Philharmonic of Contemporary Music directed by the renowned conductor Pierre Boulez.Nadine is proud to be part of the Grammy Award winning recording of Utrenja ,written by Penderecki and recorded with the Philadelphia Orchestra.As a voice teacher and mentor many of Nadine's students have gone on to leading conservatories such as Juilliard,The Manhattan School of Music Oberlin and The New England Conservatory.She has also been highly praised by the New York Times.The New Yorker,Der Spiegel and many more.Starting in 2014 Nadine will open The Nadine Herman School for Vocal studies in NYC.
Daryl Hester (Guitar, Lute, Recorder)
Daryl is a local resident of Linden, New Jersey, Mr. Hester began his guitar studies at the age of 10 and performed in master classes with guitarists Alice Artz, Raymond Burley, Eliot Fisk, Jorge Morel and lutist Paul Odette. Upon graduating a B.A. from Kean College, he began and is currently a student of Patrick O'Brien, studying guitar and lute. Mr. Hester has appeared on radio and television and is a prolific recitalist throughout the United States. He made his Carnegie Recital Debut in 1988 at Weill Recital Hall (Carnegie Hall). He has appeared with St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble, Ars Musica Antiqua and is a member of Rutger's Collegium Musician. Mr. Hester is also on staff at the Fred W. Martin Center for the Arts in Jersey City, NJ.
JOÃO KOUYOUMDJIAN (Guitar)
A native of São José do Rio Preto, Brazil, João Kouyoumdjian has been featured on numerous nationally televised concert series in his homeland, including the acclaimed Movimento Violão. In 2011, he premiered new works by Brazilian composers Ricardo Calderoni and Raimundo Penaforte at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall at the behest of the Consulate General of Brazil in New York in a program entitled, “Brazilian Guitar: Traditional and Tendencies”. This program inspired his first album SURFBOARD: Solo Guitar Works from Brazil, released by American label Pomegranate Music in 2013. Additionally, João’s interest and dedication towards teaching was highlighted in the press recently with his interactive performance/on-stage teaching model called “Guitar Horizons”, which focused on educating youth in underdeveloped areas of São Paulo, Brazil.
Aki Kasuga (Flutist and Pianist)
Was born in Kyoto, Japan. She is a graduate of the Kyoto Horikawa Municipal Senior High School of Music (Kyoto, Japan) and of the Mannes College of Music (New York). She was a finalist at the Mainichi Competition in Osaka in 1996 and 1997, and garnered further attention when she was one of ten young musicians selected from all over Japan to play at the Cosmo Youth concert in 1997. In 1998 she arrived in New York to continue her musical education. Her principal flute teachers included Mary Barto, Toyoko Ogumi, and Shoko Imai. During her year of study she participated frequently in master classes with notable artists, including James Galway, Michael Martin Kofler and Jean Claude Gerard and became a member of the Japanese Taiko drum performance group "Taiko Masala," specializing in Japanese Flute (Shino-bue). In the past year She has worked as a keyboardist/flutist and recorded and toured with a number of accomplished acts including Kirsten Price, Erika Matsuo, Dreemtime, Big Brooklyn Red, Jessica Colasante and World Sound Traveler.
Angela Manso (piano)
Artist/teacher of piano, organ, theory and staff accompanist at NSA from 1986 to 1996 and from 2011 to present. During that time Ms. Manso was Piano Department Coordinator for five years and Outreach Program Coordinator for one year. Also a composer, Ms. Manso's piece "Abdul-Baha's Prayer for New York City" for soprano and piano was recorded by Roya Bauman on her CD "Fruits of the Tree of Life" found on CDBaby. Other pieces she composed include "Dawn", "O Son of Spirit", "Prayer for Mankind", "The Celestial Tree", and "Baha'u'llah's Long Fasting Prayer." Ms. Manso served as musical/director for over 40 operas and musical theater productions, 20 for New York's Bel Canto Opera. She was assistant conductor for the Carnegie Hall performance of Mrs. H. H. A. Beach's Grand Mass in E Flat Major, subsequently recorded on the Newport Classics label. She was the official accompanist for the First World Harmonica Championship on the Isle of Jersey, U.K., during which she performed in recital with harmonica virtuoso Cham-Ber Huang and pianist with internationally renowned artist Larry Adler and Cham-Ber Huang performing the Bach Double Violin Concerto arranged for two harmonicas. Ms. Manso has appeared on WQXR and WBAI radio and performed in master classes with Robert Casadesus, Grant Johannesen, Dalton Baldwin and Walter Robert. A piano performance major with a minor in organ, harpsichord and voice at Illinois Wesleyan. Ms. Manso has pursued additional study at the Fountainebleau Conservatory, France; The Juilliard School; Westminster Choir College; and Harper College at SUNY Binghamton, NY.
Inez McClendon (Voice, Drama)
Inez is B.A. and M.A. in Music Education from Montclair State College and a M.A in speech and theatre from Montclair State University. Ms. McClendon is a music and drama instructor for the Boys' and Girls' Clubs of America Summer program, choral director of the South Side (now Shabazz) High School Alumni Chorus, choral director/organist for the Male Chorus of First Hopewell Baptist Church, Newark, NJ, and music affiliate/drama instructor for the St. John Baptist Church. Ms. McClendon shares the spotlight as one-third of the musical/dramatic aggregation known as the Talent-In-Triplicate, and she is the star of the traveling one-woman show of dramatic renditions entitled, "The Many Faces of Inez". Past credits include numerous radio and television performances & lectures, nationwide & European tours in churches, schools, colleges, and concert halls.
Patricio Molina (Theory/Piano/History/Composition/Chamber Music)
A musician, Chilean-native pianist, composer and conductor Patricio Molina has appeared in a wide range of venues around the world including New York’s Carnegie Hall, Borden Auditorium, Greenfield Hall, New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), the Teatro Municipal of Chile, Odeon Amphitheater in Jordan, Channel PBS, Chilean National TV, among others. As a pianist, Mr. Molina has been invited by NJPAC to play prelude concerts for Lang Lang, Anne Sophie Mutter, Lorin Maazel, The New York Philharmonic, Jacques Lacombe, The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and he has performed for President Bachelet of Chile and King Abdullah of Jordan among others. Patricio has also appeared as a soloist with orchestras in Chile, in the Middle East and in the United States. His album “From Los Andes to The Alps” features the music of Schumann and Brahms and is now available on iTunes.
Thomas Price (Percussion/Drums)
Tom is B.A. from Shaw University. Mr. Price has studied composition and arranging at the Berkeley School of Music and was on the music faculty in the Newark public schools. He has performed at the Newport Jazz Festival, the Village Vanguard and Top of the Gate and has recorded for E.S.P. label. Mr. Price is also a certified special education teacher.
Carmen Santos-Robson (Orff, Early Childhood Music)
Carmen is a graduate of New England Conservatory of Music in Boston where she earned a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance and a Master of Music Degree in vocal pedagogy. She has sung at the Boston Lyric Opera and was the National Anthem singer for the Red Sox, Bruins, and Patriots sports teams. Ms. Santos has performed at the Tanglewood Music Institute in Lenox, MA where she was a student for two summers and has traveled through Asia where she performed with the New England Conservatory Symphony Orchestra. Carmen is a certified Music Together™ teacher and a Lango™ instructor, has been teaching young children for over 14 years and has been conducting children’s choirs.
Ryan Tomski (Group Keyboarding, Jazz Piano, Orf/Kodaly)
Ryan is an award-winning multi-genre composer, instrumentalist, and educator originally from Wisconsin. He currently co-leads a big band called Big Beat based out of the New York / New Jersey area, and recently completed his Doctor of Musical Arts in Jazz from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. He earned a Bachelor's Degree in Jazz Performance from The University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point and is a graduate of the Jazz Arranging Master's Degree program at William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey. Ryan has penned approximately twenty works for large ensembles including big bands, wind ensembles, choirs, marching bands, pep bands, and more. He has performed music in eight countries.
VISUAL ARTS FACULTY
Beatrice East (Visual Arts)
B.A. at Kean College of New Jersey and completed her Master in Fiber Arts at Montclair State University. Ms. East is coordinator of the Visual Arts Department of NSA. She has taught at the Newark Museum for over eleven years, in the Newark Public School system for twenty-five years and is currently employed by the East Orange School District and Montclair State University. She received many years of training under an Artist in Residence program for New Jersey State Council of the Arts/Artist Teacher Institute. Many of her works reflect her travels to Senegal, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya and Egypt. Her works are part of a collection of Carol Martin, formerly of Channel 2 News, Montclair State Graduate office and other public institutions.
Darrell Goza (Comics and Manga/ Graphic Design)
Darrel is a commercial graphic artist, of which comic content is a part. He has a good history of comic book creation from the art side of things to producing them and just about every area in-between. He’s worked with some pretty good people in the industry, for some great mentors there and for some of the best known brands such as Nintendo, Met Life/Snoopy, and Joe Camel. While working for some of the smaller independent press outfits doing design, scheduling and packaging he began to notice that their books were selling out. That happens enough times you have to consider it isn't a fluke. That got him to thinking: “what if I did a line of my own?” If you're read the stuff for 'the comic book line that's coming' you already know the answer to that 'what if' scenario. In 2016 he draw a line in the sand, literally, and decided he’s not going to be alone. Darrel aim for the stars, and knows that a party is always better with friends united in the endeavor.
Ray Horner Jr. (Advanced Art Techniques/ Sculpting/ Digital Photography)
Born in New Haven Connecticut in 1952, Ray graduated from the university of Connecticut (B.F.A.) and received his Masters of Fine Arts (MFA from the University of Massachusetts. He has exhibited and received multiple awards. His work is in private collections both nationally and internationally. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at Kean University, Union County College and conducts classes at community art centers. He has designed and conducted many courses which include: Oil and Acrylic Painting, Watercolor, Drawing, Sculpture/Art Appreciation , and 3D/2D Design. Ray states, “In my teaching I work to help the student work through their own personal vision by giving them the attention that can help them reach their goals. In my personal work I am attempting to explore different associations with common subject matter of my surroundings and community which include my family and friends.”. Ray’s vision is to see art appreciated in the fabric of our schools, communities and public institutions.
Media Lab Faculty (@NSA Records)
Jasmine Henry (Department Chair, Music Production)
Jasmine is an engaging educator and researcher, resourceful Ph.D. student, and versatile audio engineer. Born and raised in New Jersey, Jasmine is the product of years of hard work and dedication in the arts. Her passion for music was discovered during her time in high school marching band and evolved into a love for all musical styles and genres. Her passion for music and the arts led her to earn several scholarships and degrees including a Bachelor of Music in Sound Engineering and Master of Music in Music Business from William Paterson University. Currently, Jasmine is working on her Ph.D. in Musicology at Rutgers University and teaching music technology, business, and history courses at Rutgers University, Felician University, Brookdale Community College, Passaic Community College, Robert Treat Academy, and Newark School of the Arts. As an audio engineer, she has gained on-set and backstage experience from critically acclaimed productions such as HBO’s The Newsroom, Broadway’s Chicago, and the Blue Man Group.
Paul Turner (Coding, Software Design)
Mark Mendoza (DJ Academy)