Faculty

The Performing Arts School maintains a staff of teaching artists and instructors with professional credits to provide our students with high quality instruction in a nurturing atmosphere that stokes creativity and growth.

Alexander Diaz

AlexDiaz-HS-2014.jpgAlexander Diaz comes to us from New Milford, NJ. Born and raised in Union City, NJ, Alexander is still a very active member in Hudson County with the promotion of art and culture in Union City. Alexander headed the outreach of the Union City Performing Arts Center where he served as Coordinator of the Theatre and brought many students and parents in the underdeveloped city a cultural awareness and provided a venue for the citizens of Union City to experience live performances by great Hispanic Stars. He has been affiliated with the Paper Mill Playhouse, having performed in Everything Old Is New Again, and Wish You Were Here. Acting credits at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center  include, “Nicley Nicely” in Guys and Dolls, “Father” in Ragtime, “Billy Bigelow” in Carousel.

Alexander’s work spans beyond New Jersey and New York. He is a graduate of the University of the Arts with a BFA in Theatre Management and Directing. While attending the University of the Arts his performance credits include “Col. McKean” in 1776, “Harold” in In The Boom Boom Room, “Col. McCarthy” (Court Martial At Fort Devens) Philly Fringe Festival. Directing Credits include Behind Hidden Doors by Tanya Leppert, The Philadelphia by David Ives, Lone Star by James McClure, The Philadelphia Story (Assistant Director to David Howey). In 2008 Alexander opened a theatre in Philadelphia dedicated to bringing to the stage the work of young talented actors in Philadelphia. Other professional Credits include “Brother Trucker”, “Roberto” and other roles in “Working” (Theatre Horizon). Extra “State Fair”, understudy “Franz Libkien” The Producers (Walnut Street Theatre), Actor (Philadelphia Young Playwrights), Nick Massie (Atlantic City Jersey Boys, Borgata Casino).

Alexander is a singer, actor, director, and producer of theatre. Alexander acted as the producing artistic director at New Milford School where he directed the award nominated RENT, WORKING, and INTO THE WOODS and received rave reviews as well as several nominations from the National Youth Theatre Awards and The Helen Hayes Theatre Company. As the Director of Education and Outreach at bergenPAC, Alexander directed the theater's inaugural musical, FAME, and CHILDREN OF EDEN. Alexander is extremely excited to be part of the bergenPAC team and has made it a relentless goal to provide professional performing arts training and make bergenPAC the home for arts education in Northern New Jersey.

Becky Serico

Becky_150x175.jpgBecky Serico, Managing Director of the Performing Arts School at bergenPAC, is a seasoned arts administrator, opera singer and voice teacher. Before coming to bergenPAC in July 2016, she was Director of Arts Education at New Jersey Performing Arts Center, where she oversaw after-school and summer programs for students ages 10 to 18. Prior to that, she was with Carnegie Hall’s education arm, the Weill Music Institute, managing community and artist training programs, including The Achievement Program, a national initiative launched to establish assessments for students studying music privately. She also managed projects within the Musical Connections program, which brings music to those living in challenging circumstances, including homeless shelters, hospitals and correctional facilities. Additionally, Becky worked for The Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program to help recruit aspiring professional singers and pianists. Becky has held voice teaching positions at Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and at The Performing Arts Center of Metrowest in the greater Boston area, where she was Voice Department Chair. She has taught privately for over 14 years and was recently a board member of the NYC Chapter of The National Association of Teachers of Singing. As an opera singer, Becky has performed with such acclaimed festivals as Central City Opera in Colorado, and at festivals in Italy and Austria.

Kalena Brown

Kalena Brown..JPGKalena Brown, was born in Bronx, NY and raised in New Jersey. She is an Alumni from Penn State University with a dual degree in Dance and Psychology (BA). She began dancing at the age of 5 years old. She has studied various genres of dance such as West African Dance, ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and modern dance. She attended Five Star Dance Center during her early childhood years. She was a part of the Repertory Company at Center for Modern Dance (CMDE) in Hackensack, New Jersey. In 2010 she attended the NYU Tisch Dance Program for high school students called Dancemaker. During the summer of 2012, she attended the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre Professional Division Summer Intensive Program where she studied with some of the most prestigious choreographers and teachers such as Keith Alexander and Quenia Ribeiro. Kalena was a part of the Afi-Mojah Dance Company at Penn State where she danced and performed around Pennsylvania. She was a member, fundraising chair, and choreographer of Ambitions Dance Organization at Penn State. Also during her years at Penn State, she attended the American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA) where she networked and took dance classes to broaden her horizons of dance. Recently, she has finished a winter dance intensive at the Martha Graham School. Kalena is currently a dancer and choreographer for the dance company, Forza Malizia Dance Company in NYC where she performs different genres of dance. Kalena is also a dance teacher at local studios and has had the opportunity to do some teaching for beyondDance. 

Anthony Caiola

AnthonyCaiola_150x175.jpgAnthony Caiola is a performer and theater teacher. Born and raised in Paterson, NJ, Anthony received his Bachelor of Arts from William Paterson University in Theater and Comedy and recently achieved his Masters of Arts in Theater Studies from Montclair State University. His passion is acting, and his stage credits include Boeing Boeing, Speaking in Tounges and The Dining Room as well as numerous online short plays and skits.

Madeline Calandrillo

Madeline Calandrillo 150x175.jpgMadeline Calandrillo is a New York based actor and teaching artist. Madeline is passionate about using theater as a tool to build community and enliven education. As a teaching artist, she works to create opportunities that inspire young people to reach their highest potential in devising and performing theater.  She has been teaching for various organizations/non profits such as the New York City Children’s Theater, The McCarter Theatre NJ, Hartford Performs Ct, The George Street Playhouse NJ,  The Johnny Mercer Foundation and Disney Theatrics In-school Musical Programs at The New Jersey Performing Arts Center NJPAC. She is so excited to be apart of the growing programs at the BergenPAC this year! 

Saloney Chandra

SaloneyChandra_150x175.jpgSaloney began pursuing dance as a young child and studied ballet, tap and jazz during her early years. She then moved on to competitive cheerleading before concentrating on classical and modern Indian dance styles. She studied dance under local instructors in southern New Jersey and participated in countless cultural and community events prior to pursuing formal, intensive, one-on-one training in the Indian classical dance form of Bharat Natyam under Guru Venkatraman in New Delhi, India. Saloney brought her training of this ancient 2nd century art form back to the US and began teaching classical Indian dance to her students while also creating unique fusion dance pieces incorporating multiple dance styles. It was one of these pieces which won her the “Best Talent” award in the Miss Asia International pageant and contributed to her being crowned Miss India New Jersey. Saloney discovered Zumba while pursuing dance as fitness and was immediately enamored. Because she enjoyed the creative expression aspect fused with physical fitness, she became a licensed Zumba instructor and is an active member of ZIN (Zumba Instructor Network). She uses her Indian dance background to incorporate a Bollywood flair into her set. Outside of dance, she enjoys yoga, hiking and 5K runs.

James Costello

JamesCostello_150x175.jpgJames is an actor, writer, and director from New Jersey. He earned his M.F.A in Acting from the University of South Carolina where he was voted Best Leading Actor in a Play for his performance as the title role in Hamlet by Broadway World SC. His plays have been produced both in the States and abroad, as well as translated into multiple languages. James has earned his Certificate of Eligibility as a Teacher of Theatre in the state of New Jersey. He is also a current member of the Actor's Equity Association.

Carlos Mena

Carlos Mena 150x175.jpg Carlos Mena comes from a family of professional musicians and is honored to continue the family tradition to this day. He began playing music professionally when he was seven years old as a percussionist with acclaimed folk musicians from South America. He soon discovered his passion for the bass and made it his primary instrument upon which to hone his musicianship and technique. As a teen, he received a scholarship to study in Switzerland at the Zurich University of the Arts, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music and Pedagogy. He continued his studies in New York City, where he received his Master of Arts in Music at the Aaron Copeland School of Music at Queens College. Carlos is a multi-instrumentalist who plays electric bass, acoustic bass, guitar, piano, and percussion. He is an accomplished soloist, arranger, and composer and has become a highly sought-after performer, playing alongside many renowned musicians in NYC and abroad.

 

 

Marlaina Powell

MarlainiaPowell_150x175.jpgMarlaina Powell is a recent recipient of a Master of Music degree from New York University’s Prestigious Steinhardt School and is a 20 year member of Actors Equity Association.  Marlaina’s favorite stage credits include Disney’s The Lion King (Broadway), and Smokey Joe’s Café (Broadway ), The Civil War (National Tour), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (National Tour) NUNSENSE! Hair, Little Shop of Horrors, and A My Name Is Alice. Most recently, Marlaina appeared in Abram Hill’s On Strivers Row, at the Obie Award winning Metropolitan Playhouse. Look for Marlaina in the upcoming film MIDNIGHTS, which made its debut at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival

Rebecca Sonia

RebeccaSonia_HS.jpg

Rebecca Sonia holds a BFA in Theatre Dance and Musical Theatre from The University of the Arts. Regional: West Side Story, White Christmas, Mary Poppins. NYC Workshops: The Verdon Fosse Estate with Ann Reinking. Concert Performance: Peter Nero and the Philly POPS featuring Capathia Jenkins, Ashley Brown and Rachel York and The Academy of Music Gala featuring Sting. Here at the bergenPAC, Rebecca has performed with "Weird Al" Yankovic, opened for Tony Bennett, Betty Buckley and Stephanie Mills in past bergenPAC gala events and was the Choreographer behind the PAC's productions of West Side Story, Les Miserables and this summer’s upcoming production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

Roberta Mathes, Artistic Director

robertamathes-hs.jpg

born and trained in NYC, received a BA in dance from Adelphi University and has a distinguished career in the performing arts, both in front of the audience as a performer, and behind the scenes as a choreographer and coordinator. Her litany of achievements include feature films, Beat Street, Fatal Attraction, television programs,The Guiding Light, Law and Order, and award winning music videos, Higher Love (Steve Winwood), Heard it through the Grapevine (Marvin Gaye). She has also performed in shows, Sweet Charity and Kismet, an off off Broadway in play, Invisible Child, in major industrials for IBM and Chrysler, in special events including the Liberty Bicentennial and Broadway’s opening of the Disney’s film Hercules. Her strength as a dancer and choreographer is her versatility in style. One of Roberta’s outstanding credits was as assistant choreographer in Brian de Palma’s film, Carlito’s Way. She has choreographed the opening segment of bergenPAC’s annual galas, featuring such notables as Tony Bennett, Chaka Khan, Stephanie Mills, Paul Anka and their very first musical, FAME. For thirteen years Roberta co-directed dance plus…a whole lot more, a dance school in Englewood, NJ. She especially loved teaching and choreographing for American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive in NYC and was fortunate enough to be a part of their Make a Ballet Program where her work was presented at the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center. Roberta guest teaches internationally- Israel, Italy, Canada, Norway, Venezuela and Brazil. Currently she is the artistic director of beyondDANCE at bergenPAC and remains on the faculty of Steps on Broadway, NYC. Roberta feels that her best achievements lie in the area of teaching dance as mentioned in a feature article in the February 2000 issue of “Dance Teacher Magazine. Roberta loves watching her students grow into expressive and successful dancers. Along with Broadway stages: Wicked, Mamma Mia, Spring Awakening, Les Miserables, Sound of Music, Footloose,and major dance companies, her students have been on SYTYCD, the American Music Awards, competed in the prestigious Youth Grand Prix, performed in the New York Jazz Choreography Project, Dance Collage, a 9/11 Tribute in NYC and can be seen on television in commercials and music videos. Roberta’s dynamic personality, along with her own style and “technique” forms a whole and responsive learning experience. She loves giving the gift of dance and sharing her passion with the next generations of dancers!

“My goal is to make every one of my students physically strong, mentally focused and as technically perfect as they can be!” Check out her very own website: www.robertamathes.com!

Kalena Brown

Kalena Brown..JPGKalena Brown was born in Bronx, NY and raised in New Jersey. She is an Alumni from Penn State University with a dual degree in Dance and Psychology (BA). She began dancing at the age of 5 years old. She has studied various genres of dance such as West African Dance, ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and modern dance. She attended Five Star Dance Center during her early childhood years. She was a part of the Repertory Company at Center for Modern Dance (CMDE) in Hackensack, New Jersey. In 2010 she attended the NYU Tisch Dance Program for high school students called Dancemaker. During the summer of 2012, she attended the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre Professional Division Summer Intensive Program where she studied with some of the most prestigious choreographers and teachers such as Keith Alexander and Quenia Ribeiro. Kalena was a part of the Afi-Mojah Dance Company at Penn State where she danced and performed around Pennsylvania. She was a member, fundraising chair, and choreographer of Ambitions Dance Organization at Penn State. Also during her years at Penn State, she attended the American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA) where she networked and took dance classes to broaden her horizons of dance. Recently, she has finished a winter dance intensive at the Martha Graham School. Kalena is currently a dancer and choreographer for the dance company, Forza Malizia Dance Company in NYC where she performs different genres of dance. Kalena is also a dance teacher at local studios and has had the opportunity to do some teaching for beyondDance.

Danielle Hernandez

Danielle Hernandez 150x175.jpg Danielle Hernandez, owner of On 1 Dancewear, will be our competition team coach. She has nearly two decades of experience leading competitive cheer squads and dance teams and brought them to success with State, Regional and National Championship titles. Danielle toured nationally with the original cast of "Selena Forever", played Cha-Cha in the European Tour of West Side Story, and was a dancer for the NJ Nets. She performed on many regional stages including the New Jersey State Theater and the Rogue Theater Company in NYC. Danielle attended Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University with a major in dance and was a member of the Rutgers University Dance Team.

Debi Klein

DebiKlein_150x175.jpgDebi Klein directed Debi’s Dance in Rockland County and has been teaching dance for 40 years. She has trained with icons, including David Howard, Frank Hatchett, Joe Tremaine, and received her certification with Dance Educators of America. She appeared on Toddlers and Tiaras and her dancers appeared on Dance Moms. Debi also teaches at The King Centre.

Yucari Kobayashi

YucariKobayashi-hs.jpg

Yucari Kobayashi, hailing from Tokyo, Japan, has been dancing since the age of three. After training at Kazuko Fukazawa Ballet and H Dance Company, she began teaching, choreographing, and performing as a soloist among an elite group of dancers from Alvin Ailey including Obediah Wright. Yucari came to NYC and trained under Patricia Dokoudovsky’s tutelage at The New York Conservatory of Dance. Her NYC performing credits include the bergenPAC’s annual gala, opening for such notables as Tony Bennett, Paul Anka, Chaka Khan, and Stephanie Mills, the 2003 ELAN Awards, Dancers Responding To Aids at Symphony Space and St. Marks Church, as well as the International Chopin and Friends Festival. This dancing dynamo has been featured in several dance companies: Jete, Stankovic Ballet Company, Faune Dance Troupe, Dzul Dance. In addition to Steps on Broadway, she has taught at The New York Conservatory of Dance, Lumiere Ballet, dance plus…a whole more of Englewood, Dance Emotions and Central Park Dance in Westchester, NY and continues to choreograph for the NJ Association of Verismo Opera. Currently, Yucari teaches ballet and jazz at beyond dance @ bergenPAC in Englewood, NJ, and taught jazz at Buddy Balou’s and Elaine Kudo’s Theatre Arts Dance Academy (TADA) in Upper Montclair, NJ. Yucari continues to work closely with roberta mathes and has assisted her at The School At Steps and at American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive.

 

Kirsten Lane

KirstenLane-HS.jpgKirsten Lane, began studying classical ballet at age six in Teaneck, New Jersey where she developed her love for dance. She continued her studies on scholarship at the School of American Ballet, the San Francisco Ballet School, and the Joffrey Ballet School. As a student, Kirsten performed at Lincoln Center in a production of Coppelia with the New York City Ballet. She has performed with regional dance companies in the New York/New Jersey area and traveled to Nagano, Japan to dance in the opening ceremonies of the 1998 winter Olympics. Her teaching credits include classes at the School at Steps in NYC and various schools in Bergen County. Kirsten is a certified yoga instructor for both children and adults.

Amelia Lowe

AmeliaLowe_150x175.jpgAmelia Lowe is most famously known for her time on So You Think You Can Dance Season 9 as a member of their top 20. In addition to this she made it into the top 12, allowing her the opportunity to perform across the country with the So You Think You Can Dance tour. Since her time on the show, Amelia has appeared as a principal dancer in episodes of Boardwalk Empire and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She's also been featured in multiple commercials including a nationwide commercial for Wendy's, Target, the New York Stock Exchange, General Electric and American Express.  Amelia got the chance to be a featured dancer at the premiere for The Great Gatsby. She has performed for emerging choreographer, Lindsay Nelko at the Capezio Ace Awards and Warren Carlysle at the Fred and Adele Astaire Awards. She is currently living in New York and dancing for fellow So You Think You Can Dance alum, Ellenore Scott in Ellenore's up and coming company, ELSCO. 

Natalie Lugo

NatalieLugo_HS.jpg

Natalie Lugo, grew up in Haworth, NJ and started dancing at age three at a local dance school in Cresskill, NJ and then continued her training at dance plus...a whole lot more in Englewood, NJ. She graduated with a BFA in Dance from Montclair State University. Natalie, a well-rounded dancer, has trained and performed with many choreographers including Donna Scro Gentile, Alberto Del Saz, Jay T Jenkins, Sean Curran, and roberta mathes. Natalie performs regularly with various entertainment companies. She danced with European performing artist, Dan Balan at Adventureland Theme Park. She was cast in Sean Kingston’s televison video for the Electric Company which was aired recently on CBS. Natalie especially loves working with children, teaching pre-ballet, modern, jazz and hip hop. She is happy to be a part of beyondDANCE, alongside her teacher, roberta mathes and the other talented faculty. Natalie’s high energy class will advance your child’s abilities as they learn the art of dance in a fun and disciplined atmosphere! Currently Natalie is also pursuing a career in dance medicine.

Miro Magloire

MiroMagliori_HS.jpgMiro Magloire, is a choreographer, teacher, pianist, composer, and artistic director of New Chamber Ballet. Born in Munich, Germany, he started playing the piano at age six and later studied composition at the State Conservatory of Music in Cologne, Germany. Miro moved to New York City to study dance at the Ailey School and performed with the Martha Graham Ensemble and the Nikolais/Louis Company. Focusing on ballet, he continued his training with Willhelm Burmann and Peff Modelski among others. He has danced with several ballet companies, including Florida Ballet, Omaha Theatre Company Ballet, Eglevsky Ballet and American Repertory Ballet. In 2004, Miro founded New Chamber Ballet, for which he has choreographed over 40 ballets. Parallel to his dance career, Miro has worked as a pianist, most recently at American Ballet Theater and Steps on Broadway, and has recorded and published six CD’s with music for dance classes.

Jahaira Ortiz-Olowe

JahairaOrtizOlowe_150x175Jahaira Ortiz-Olowe (Zumba Instructor) is a CRP/AED and First Aid Certified Fitness Instructor, licensed as a Group Fitness Instructor with the Aerobic and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) and the American Council on Exercise (ACE). She is certified to teach the following formats: Zumba (Basic), Zumba Circuit, Kids Zumba, Zumba Step, Strong by Zumba, Pound, Tone & Tease, On The Ball, Boot Camp,  Total Body Workout, and Cycling.  She began her fitness/dance journey as a varsity competitive cheerleader competing in various competitions across New Jersey.  Additionally, she trained in dance, gymnastics,  and ran track as a sprinter and hurdler. She transitioned to long distance running in her adult years, registered with the New York Road Runners, having already completed 18 races ranging from 5k’s - Half Marathon’s. Currently she is working towards her Bachelors in Nursing. She has a Bachelors in Finance from the University of Akron. 

Rebecca Sonia

RebeccaSonia_HS.jpg

Rebecca Sonia holds a BFA in Theatre Dance and Musical Theatre from The University of the Arts. Regional: West Side Story, White Christmas, Mary Poppins. NYC Workshops: The Verdon Fosse Estate with Ann Reinking. Concert Performance: Peter Nero and the Philly POPS featuring Capathia Jenkins, Ashley Brown and Rachel York and The Academy of Music Gala featuring Sting. Here at the bergenPAC, Rebecca has performed with "Weird Al" Yankovic, opened for Tony Bennett, Betty Buckley and Stephanie Mills in past bergenPAC gala events and was the Choreographer behind the PAC's productions of West Side Story, Les Miserables and this summer’s upcoming production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

Alexandra Williamson

AlexandraWilliamson_HS.jpgAlexandra Williamson, a graduate of Montclair State University, Alexandra received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Dance and a minor in Musical Theatre. She is Dean’s List Honors recipient and received the Dance and Theatre Department Service Award. Alexandra currently dances for Moe-tion DanceTheatre, Darrah Carr Dance Company, Kristina Berger and Dancers, and DiMauro Dance Company. While at Montclair State University she performed works by Robert Battle, Helen Tamiris, Shapiro and Smith, Martha Graham, Bill T. Jones and Jay T. Jenkins. She has also studied at the Paul Taylor School, Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, and Bates Dance Festival. Alexandra is a faculty member at Union County College and also teaches Pilates throughout New York and New Jersey. She is thrilled to a part of beyondDANCE at bergenPAC!

Anthony Caiola

AnthonyCaiola_150x175.jpgAnthony Caiola is a performer and theater teacher. Born and raised in Paterson, NJ, Anthony received his Bachelor of Arts from William Paterson University in Theater and Comedy and recently achieved his Masters of Arts in Theater Studies from Montclair State University. His passion is acting, and his stage credits include Boeing Boeing, Speaking in Tounges and The Dining Room as well as numerous online short plays and skits.

Madeline Calandrillo

Madeline Calandrillo 150x175.jpgMadeline Calandrillo is a New York based actor and teaching artist. Madeline is passionate about using theater as a tool to build community and enliven education. As a teaching artist, she works to create opportunities that inspire young people to reach their highest potential in devising and performing theater.  She has been teaching for various organizations/non profits such as the New York City Children’s Theater, The McCarter Theatre NJ, Hartford Performs Ct, The George Street Playhouse NJ,  The Johnny Mercer Foundation and Disney Theatrics In-school Musical Programs at The New Jersey Performing Arts Center NJPAC. She is so excited to be apart of the growing programs at the BergenPAC this year! 

Gregory J. Hanks

GregoryHanks_150x175.jpgGregory J. Hanks is a New Jersey based performing and teaching artist. Originally from Maplewood, NJ, Gregory has had an undying passion for the arts for as long as he can remember. His arts training began as student of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s (NJPAC) Summer Youth Performance Workshop, also at NJPAC, he performed in numerous musicals with the New Jersey Youth Theatre (formally WYACT), and studied dance at the Newark School of the Arts, under the artistic guidance of Mr. Alfred Gallman. Gregory holds a BFA in Musical Theatre with a concentration in Dance from Montclair State University’s College of the Arts where he performed in the MainStage productions of Cabaret, The Full Monty (Horse), and Crazy For You. As a dancer at Montclair State, he had opportunity to dance with the MSU Repertory Dance Company in works by Bill T. Jones, Shapiro & Smith, Susan Marshall, and Sean Curran to name a few. As an actor, Gregory has performed at regional theaters across the country. Select credits include: Five Guys Named Moe (GOO Inc. Productions) On Kentucky Avenue (The Triad Theatre, NYC), Oklahoma! (Portland Center Stage), Hairspray (Arkansas Repertory Theatre & Phoenix Theatre), Dreamgirls (Cohoes Music Hall), and the New Jersey premiere of Parade (Alexander Kasser Theatre). He is also a proud member of the Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) and is thrilled to be on staff at The Performing Arts School at bergenPAC! Art is Hope.

Katherine Mena

Katherine Mena.jpg

Katherine Mena is a vocalist, composer, actor, and teacher from New York City. She trained in the 'Bel Canto' singing method at The Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of Natalie Bodanya from The Metropolitan Opera Company. She has performed on stages internationally and locally, most notably in NYC with the famed La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club under the direction of Ellen Stewart. Performance highlights include The Venice Biennale, Rome's Teatro Palladium, Taiwan's Avante-Garde Arts Festival, South Korea's Seoul National University, Lincoln Center's Out of Doors Festival, and soloist at Lincoln Center's David Geffen Hall with Amor Artis. Music compositions for the stage include Question of Solitude, an opera based on the James Bond legacy; S16: Luna Nera, an opera installation about child labor in Sicily's sulfur mines; and Love Cripple, an original dance piece that premiered at The Ellen Stewart Theatre; and 155 Through the Roof, a musical that premiered at Theater for the New City. She continues to perform as a member of The Great Jones Repertory Company. Katherine is very happy and fortunate to share her love of music and art with all the wonderful students at Bergen Performing Arts School.

Rebecca Sonia

RebeccaSonia_HS.jpg

Rebecca Sonia holds a BFA in Theatre Dance and Musical Theatre from The University of the Arts. Regional: West Side Story, White Christmas, Mary Poppins. NYC Workshops: The Verdon Fosse Estate with Ann Reinking. Concert Performance: Peter Nero and the Philly POPS featuring Capathia Jenkins, Ashley Brown and Rachel York and The Academy of Music Gala featuring Sting. Here at the bergenPAC, Rebecca has performed with "Weird Al" Yankovic, opened for Tony Bennett, Betty Buckley and Stephanie Mills in past bergenPAC gala events and was the Choreographer behind the PAC's productions of West Side Story, Les Miserables and this summer’s upcoming production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

Mark D. Conklin

MarkConklin_150x175.jpgMark D. Conklin is a rare breed that has been able to successfully traverse the landscape between artist, music business executive and educator.  As a songwriter his works have appeared on several Top 10 Billboard Album and Top 40 Singles Charts.  In 2011 he discovered teen Internet sensation, Mree, and signed her to an exclusive artist management contract.  He successfully guided Mree's musical career to a recording agreement with Nettwerk Records and artists from his now expanded Music City East roster have singed deals with Warner Music and Sony ATV and have earned over 60 million streams on Spotify and 80 million video views on YouTube.  His client’s music has been heard on national TV shows including Grey's Anatomy, Bones, ESPN and a national advertising campaign with Target and the Starbucks National Play Network.  

Amelia DeMayo

AmeliaDeMayo_150x175.jpgFor over two decades, Amelia DeMayo has been operating a vocal technique program for professional youth; specifically those wishing to pursue a career in musical theatre or classical performance, as well as various forms of media for over 20 years. While her studio is in New York City, she has satellite locations in New Jersey and Westchester, NY, and her student base reaches from coast to coast.

Amelia’s students (both current and graduates) have appeared, and appear in, countless theatrical productions on Broadway, regional theatre and national tours, including current Broadway productions of Dear Evan Hansen, School of Rock, Kinky Boots, Once On This Island, and A Bronx Tale, and the current international tour of Les Misérable, and the upcoming Anastasia tour. Former Broadway productions include Annie, Matilda, On Your Feet, Fiddler on the Roof, Newsies, and Billy Elliot, and too many more to list. The lead male vocal voiceover in the film, Boychoir, performers in the televised live production of A Christmas Story, and a second place X-Factor winner are among her students past and present. Her students are also actively engaged in voice over work for children's animated features (including Pinkalicious and Nella the Princess Knight), appear on national commercials and television series, and have also been featured on CD recordings of The Polar Expressa and Gertrude McFuzz, featuring opera stars Nathan Gunn and Isabel Leonard.

Glenn Gordon

GlennGordon_150x175.jpgGlenn Gordon is an accomplished composer, pianist and music director, having worked in the industry for over thirty years. Among the many shows with which he's been involved,  he was the music director/ pianist  for the Off-Broadway hit  "Forbidden Broadway" from 2001-2004. 
Beauty and the Beast marked Glenn’s second summer as music director of the summer musicals at bergenPAC having music directed "West Side Story" last year. The previous four summers, he served as Associate Music Director for  "42nd Street" ( 2013) , "Cats" (2014), "Aida"( 2015), and "Les Miserables" (2016). 
As a composer, Glenn’s musical "Peter Rabbit: Beyond the Garden Gate!", with lyrics by Amelia DeMayo, and book by Glenn, Amelia, and Buddy and Gail Crutchfield, also made its premiere at bergenPAC in 2017.  His piano piece "Reminiscing by the Sea" was featured at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall in 2013. 

Nadine Herman

Nadine Herman 150x175.jpg Nadine Herman, received her B.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. Ms. 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. Ms. Herman is proud to be a 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. In 2014, Nadine opened The Nadine Herman School for Vocal Studies in NYC.

Photo Credit: Lee Snider

Katherine Mena

Katherine Mena.jpg

Katherine Mena is a vocalist, composer, actor, and teacher from New York City. She trained in the 'Bel Canto' singing method at The Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of Natalie Bodanya from The Metropolitan Opera Company. She has performed on stages internationally and locally, most notably in NYC with the famed La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club under the direction of Ellen Stewart. Performance highlights include The Venice Biennale, Rome's Teatro Palladium, Taiwan's Avante-Garde Arts Festival, South Korea's Seoul National University, Lincoln Center's Out of Doors Festival, and soloist at Lincoln Center's David Geffen Hall with Amor Artis. Music compositions for the stage include Question of Solitude, an opera based on the James Bond legacy; S16: Luna Nera, an opera installation about child labor in Sicily's sulfur mines; and Love Cripple, an original dance piece that premiered at The Ellen Stewart Theatre; and 155 Through the Roof, a musical that premiered at Theater for the New City. She continues to perform as a member of The Great Jones Repertory Company. Katherine is very happy and fortunate to share her love of music and art with all the wonderful students at Bergen Performing Arts School.

Tom Tarkazikis

TomTarkizisHS.jpgTom Tarkazikis is an audio engineer, music teacher and musician working professionally for 15 years. Tom has been an audio engineer for musicals, dance shows, festivals as well as other live music and performance events. As the recording engineer of The Performing Arts School at bergenPAC, Tom has recorded a wide range of projects from voice overs and new musical works, to recording local bands and well known artists such as Prodigy. An accomplished musician, Tom studied Music Education and Jazz Composition with his principle instrument Upright Bass at Berklee College of Music. He has performed throughout the tri-state area with a variety of bands playing everything from jazz to metal to orchestral music. He has worked with Victor Wooten, Consider the Source, Vince Genella, Ron Carter and many more. He currently teaches bass, cello, drums, guitar, piano, violin, music theory and recording at The Performing Arts School.

Lisa Steinberg

LisaSteinberg_157x175.jpgSteinberg has performed over the last 20 years throughout the New York metropolitan area in Broadway pit orchestras, on stage with symphony orchestras, including The American Symphony and The New York Choral Society, and with pop, folk and rock artists like Natalie Merchant, Bernadette Peters and Led Zeppelin. She has also done recording sessions for soundtracks for over 40 films, dozens of commercial jingles and with legendary artists like Wynton Marsalis and Celine Dion.

Steinberg holds a Bachelor’s degree in music performance from Ithaca College. She has been an active professional performer in the NYC area for over 25 years and brings many years of teaching experience to our community.

Wendy Bain

WendyBain-HS.jpgOne of the most beloved teachers in Bergen County, Wendy Bain, has been leading early childhood music classes since 2003. With a great passion for teaching children, and her love of music, she has brought her infectious enthusiasm to thousands of families in Bergen County.

She holds a B.S. in Marketing from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. She was trained by the Center for Music and Young Children in Princeton, New Jersey. She is a Nursery School teacher for two year olds. She was also the featured cover story in the Better Living section of The Record in September of 2007.

Wendy effortlessly commands the attention of a room full of toddlers and their parents/caregivers. She engages and connects with them in all types of musically driven activities. Everyone is happily playing, creating music, and learning about rhythms, movements and song.

 

Kalena Brown

Kalena Brown..JPGKalena Brown was born in Bronx, NY and raised in New Jersey. She is an Alumni from Penn State University with a dual degree in Dance and Psychology (BA). She began dancing at the age of 5 years old. She has studied various genres of dance such as West African Dance, ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and modern dance. She attended Five Star Dance Center during her early childhood years. She was a part of the Repertory Company at Center for Modern Dance (CMDE) in Hackensack, New Jersey. In 2010 she attended the NYU Tisch Dance Program for high school students called Dancemaker. During the summer of 2012, she attended the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre Professional Division Summer Intensive Program where she studied with some of the most prestigious choreographers and teachers such as Keith Alexander and Quenia Ribeiro. Kalena was a part of the Afi-Mojah Dance Company at Penn State where she danced and performed around Pennsylvania. She was a member, fundraising chair, and choreographer of Ambitions Dance Organization at Penn State. Also during her years at Penn State, she attended the American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA) where she networked and took dance classes to broaden her horizons of dance. Recently, she has finished a winter dance intensive at the Martha Graham School. Kalena is currently a dancer and choreographer for the dance company, Forza Malizia Dance Company in NYC where she performs different genres of dance. Kalena is also a dance teacher at local studios and has had the opportunity to do some teaching for beyondDance.

Madeline Calandro

Madeline Calandrillo 150x175.jpgMadeline Calandrillo is a New York based actor and teaching artist. Madeline is passionate about using theater as a tool to build community and enliven education. As a teaching artist, she works to create opportunities that inspire young people to reach their highest potential in devising and performing theater.  She has been teaching for various organizations/non profits such as the New York City Children’s Theater, The McCarter Theatre NJ, Hartford Performs Ct, The George Street Playhouse NJ,  The Johnny Mercer Foundation and Disney Theatrics In-school Musical Programs at The New Jersey Performing Arts Center NJPAC. She is so excited to be apart of the growing programs at the BergenPAC this year! 

Anthony Caiola

AnthonyCaiola_150x175.jpgAnthony Caiola is a performer and theater teacher. Born and raised in Paterson, NJ, Anthony received his Bachelor of Arts from William Paterson University in Theater and Comedy and recently achieved his Masters of Arts in Theater Studies from Montclair State University. His passion is acting, and his stage credits include Boeing Boeing, Speaking in Tounges and The Dining Room as well as numerous online short plays and skits.

Evelyn Gonzalez

EvelynGonzalez_150x175.jpgEvelyn Gonzalez is from West New York, NJ. She has been teaching Mommy & Me classes with the bergenPAC for the past year.  She also worked as a Music Teacher for the BergenPAC’s Summer Camp in 2017. It has been a complete honor to work with such extremely talented and gifted students who understand the power music holds. She has always said, “music is an international language that heals everyone no matter age, gender nor background.”

Evelyn is a recent college graduate from New Jersey City University with a bachelors in music with voice concentration.  She was also a member of Sigma Alpha Iota, the international music business fraternity for women since 2015.  

Evelyn’s objective is to create an excellent learning environment where students can sing, dance and have fun while developing their fine, and gross motor skills. 

Jane Keitel

JaneKeitel-HS.jpgJane is a professional actor, teaching artist, & musician.   Her recent stage credits include: Mi Casa, Tu Casa at Luna Stage;   MoM A Rock Concert Musical (off-Broadway);  Across the Wide & Lonesome Prairie  and Mother Hicks  (NY /NJ Premiers); GODSPELL.  Jane joins the BergenPAC staff with a long history of theatre education excellence.  She has taught and directed across the state for:  Papermill Playhouse, Playwrights Theatre of NJ, The NJ School of Dramatic Arts, What Exit?/The Theatre Project, and Garage Theatre.   She has worked in film and commercials and is continually looking for her next performing project!  Jane is happy to be part of the BergenPAC family.

Rebecca Sonia

RebeccaSonia_HS.jpg

Rebecca Sonia holds a BFA in Theatre Dance and Musical Theatre from The University of the Arts. Regional: West Side Story, White Christmas, Mary Poppins. NYC Workshops: The Verdon Fosse Estate with Ann Reinking. Concert Performance: Peter Nero and the Philly POPS featuring Capathia Jenkins, Ashley Brown and Rachel York and The Academy of Music Gala featuring Sting. Here at the bergenPAC, Rebecca has performed with "Weird Al" Yankovic, opened for Tony Bennett, Betty Buckley and Stephanie Mills in past bergenPAC gala events and was the Choreographer behind the PAC's productions of West Side Story, Les Miserables and this summer’s upcoming production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

Samantha Colon

SamanthaColon_HS.jpgSamantha Colon graduated from Anna Maria College in 2014 majoring in Music Therapy and minoring in Psychology. Her main instrument is voice and guitar. She also plays piano and ukulele. She has worked at various facilities and schools during her practicum/internship experiences and has completed 1200 hours of work in the music therapy field for her degree.  A service trip, during her senior year of college, to the Cayman Islands to share and play music using different techniques and interventions for children with disabilities was an inspiring and rewarding opportunity. Samantha has been performing since the age of five, and has since been in numerous musicals, acting in straight plays, teaching guitar lessons, writing her own songs and singing in talent shows. She is very enthusiastic about her new journey teaching classes at the BergenPAC- Performing Arts School. 

Yoon Ah Oh

YoonahOh_150x175.jpg

​Combining her strong background in classical and jazz, Yoon Ah Oh brings a fresh perspective to her music.

Born in Seoul, South Korea, Yoon Ah Oh grew up in a musician family and completed her undergraduate degree in classical composition major at Hanyang University. When she was 16 years old, Yoon Ah won the 2nd prize at Seoul CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) contest and, shortly after, she began participating in numerous music albums as a session musician, as an arranger, and as a chorus singer. During her college years, Yoon Ah began to invest her time to explore different styles of music and did not limit herself to classical music, the field of her major. She also participated in numerous Korean Pop (K-POP) albums as a piano/keyboard session musician and as an orchestra arranger. Her contributions included successful albums of some of the most renowned Korean singers, including Kyuchan Cho, So Eun Lee, Woo Won, and Ash.

Yoon Ah has written numerous popular songs. “With All My Heart”, one of her ballads, won the grand first place in the prestigious, Jae Ha Yoo Song Festival. Yoon Ah’s love and passion for music did not stop there. She wanted to creatively intertwine different styles of music, particularly with Jazz.

After receiving a B.M. degree from Hanyang University in 2007, Yoon Ah moved to USA to study Jazz at Berklee College of Music. Yoon Ah was honored with the entrance award, the Berklee North America Scholarship. At Berklee, she earned

diploma in Jazz Composition and Piano Performance (Cum Laude). She learned from and worked with famous figures, including Joanne Brackeen, Hal Crook, Tim Ray, Jetro da Silva, Scott Free, Bob Pilkington, Greg Hopkins, and Jeff Garlindo. By working with these experienced musicians, Yoon Ah’s music grew immensely in a short period of time. Her musical talents and endless efforts earned her the Piano Department Achievement Award, CJ Foundation Scholarship and the Berklee Achievement Scholarship as a student. Another highlight among all the recognitions Yoon Ah received as a gifted musician was being given the opportunity to have a concert at Berklee Performance Center, a venue open to only a few talented musicians.

Yoon Ah’s musical journey continued outside the school. Yoon Ah quickly became one of the most demanded pianists in New England area, owing to her versatility on various styles of music, including Jazz, Funk, Gospel, R&B, Pop, Rock and Classical music. In 2010, she became an integral part of Streets Band, with whom she performed across the New England and eastern area.

Yoon Ah has extensive recording experiences and more CD albums are to be released in the near future. For one of her recent works, Grace sings Grace, Grain Offering she collaborated – as a composer, an arranger, a performer – with Mr. Tally Sherwood, a Grammy Award Winner.

Yoon Ah’s performing grounds include Jazz clubs, concerts, and conferences across the country (please refer to her discography for details).

Currently, she is a pianist and musical theatre coach at Westminster Choir College at Rider University.

PAS2014-sidebarsp.jpg

The Performing Arts School

The Performing Arts School provides arts education to students age 3 months to 21 years throughout Northern New Jersey. With classes in all types of performing arts, outreach programs throughout the state, and programming for children with special needs, every donation helps create more opportunities for new artists.

donatenow1.png