Teaching Artists

Music Faculty


Paul Byrne
Guitar, Ukulele, Improvisation

Paul is a native New Jersyian from Montclair. He got his first guitar in grammar school and has been hooked ever since. Paul studied classical guitar at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut with the dream of turning his passion into his career. He moved to Glen Ridge, New Jersey in the early 1990s.  Paul has dedicated his life to helping others discover their passion for music, teaching people ranging in ages between 5 and 75 years old. Paul teaches guitar, ukulele, and bass and has plenty of recommendations for other music teachers in the area. Besides teaching, Paul has an active performing life and runs his own high tech recording studio. Paul has been on the faculty of GRSA for over 10 years.

John Fugaban
Woodwinds

John Fugaban started his music career at New Jersey City University in 2018, pursuing a B.A. in Music and NJ teaching license. At NJCU, he studied classical flute and piccolo under Dr. Carol Shansky. John started teaching private flute lessons independently in 2020, and has taught in public schools and music schools in northern New Jersey area, including the Tenafly Public School District, O. DiBella Music Inc., Vienna The Music School, and the North Bergen High School. Outside of the classroom, he has performed with various ensembles at NJCU, such as the Symphony of Winds and Percussion, the Latin-American Ensemble, the Flute Choir, and various chamber ensembles. He has also been a member of the Teaneck Community Band since 2018, and continues to perform with the ensemble during their annual summer concert season.”

Steve DeLuca
Vocal Music, Percussion, Drum set, Songwriting, Music Theory

Steve has been a professional musician and music educator for over thirty years. He has taught private drum lessons, percussion ensembles, vocal ensembles, music theory, and songwriting at The Glen Ridge Summer Music and Arts Academy for ten years. Additionally, he is the current percussion and pit instructor for the Glen Ridge Marching Band. He is the general music teacher and choir director at Maywood Avenue School in Maywood, NJ, where he has taught 4th through 8th grade for the past fifteen years. In 2010, the Maywood Board of Education bestowed upon him their Teacher of the Year award. He is currently adjunct faculty at Montclair State University, teaching the course Rock and Rap as Cultural Phenomenon. Steve is the author of several educational articles about drumming, as well as music history and philosophy, that have been published in Modern Drummer magazine and Tempo magazine, the publication of the NJMEA (New Jersey Music Educators Association) as well as presenting workshops at the 2015 and 2019 NJMEA Conferences. As a working drummer, he performs with the special event/wedding band Platinum and with various jazz groups. Steve’s private students have gone on to prestigious programs such as the Manhattan School of Music and Berklee College of Music. He has also indulged his vocal and acting chops a bit, performing the role of Caiaphas in the 2008 and 2010 NJ Theater Workshop’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Steve received his BM in jazz performance from Temple University and his MA in music education from Montclair State University. He lives in Glen Ridge with his wife and three children.

Daniel Nathanson
Brass

Daniel is a performer and educator currently pursuing his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Primarily a trumpet player, he has experience performing in a wide array of ensembles such as symphonic bands, orchestras, jazz bands, and drum corps. Daniel is a current staff member of the Glen Ridge High School Marching Band and also has been involved with the Glen Ridge Summer Arts Academy since 2017.

Yves Obadia
Guitar, Bass Guitar

Yves graduated from Berklee College of Music in 1985 and I has worked as a guitarist in a wide range of styles, as well as a free-lance composer/arranger. He has collaborated with guitarist Scott Woody, pianist/composer Frank Amsallem and multi-instrumentalist Mino Cinelu. In recent years, Yves has concentrated mostly on teaching. Former students include award-winning recording artists such as Del Marquis (lead guitarist for “Scissor Sisters”) and Kevin Lenear (of the “Mighty Mighty Bosstones”), as well as young talented Glen Ridge/Montclair and vicinity residents, some of whom are now pursuing degrees and careers in Music, and others of whom are pursuing music as a serious hobby. Yves has been teaching guitar at the RAS Discovery program and all levels of guitar and Rock Band at the Glen Ridge Summer Music & Art Academy since 2005.

Dana Rizzo
Vocal Music, Piano

Dana is an elementary general music teacher in Tenafly, NJ as well as having an active private piano studio. She graduated from Montclair State University with a Bachelor’s degree in music education and an M.A.T. in music and teaching students with disabilities. While she is primarily a pianist, Ms. Rizzo also enjoys playing violin, guitar, ukulele, and singing. Ms. Rizzo has performed at a variety of venues both singing and playing piano. Some of these venues include local churches, pit orchestras, the NJPAC, coffee houses, and Italy. Ms. Rizzo is very excited to be joining the GRAA team for the first year and can’t wait to make music with everyone!

Matt Gomez
Bass Guitar / Summer Intern

Matt graduated Glen Ridge High School in 2020 and was a proud member of every GRHS music ensemble as a bassist and percussionist. He is currently pursuing a double major at Tufts University in Music and Mathematics. At Tufts, Matt plays bass in the Tufts Jazz Orchestra and is a percussionist in the Pep Band. He also performs with two student-run bands and is the Vice President of Public Harmony, Tufts’ only club that combines music with community service.

Will Pennola
Music / Summer Intern

Will is a recently graduated alumnus of Belleville High School. He has been studying trumpet and music for eight years and plans to continue this into a degree at Seton Hall. He has performed in many ensembles from jazz band to symphonic orchestra. Will has been involved with the Glen Ridge Summer Music and Arts Academy since 2019.

Theatre Faculty

Annie Challice
Theatre, Voice

Annie is a recent graduate from Rider University where she majored in Acting and also had two minors in Film Studies and History. Annie has been seen on the stage and off, working as a stage manager and an actor. Annie hopes that her students find joy in the camaraderie that theatre creates and are able to express themselves through many games, songs, dancing, and different acting opportunities. This summer Annie will also be working as the stage manager and assistant director for the New Jersey Summer Theatre’s production of The Wedding Singer.

Visual Arts Faculty

Olivia Fredriksen
Arts Exploration, Advanced Art Concepts

Olivia is a 25-year-old artist and designer. She grew up in Glen Ridge and went on to study textiles at Parsons, The New School for Design. This will be her third year at GRSAA. Before Summer Arts, Olivia was working in set design for a television show, and before that she was working freelance as an interior designer. She finds it fun and valuable to upcycle materials that are already out there. By doing so it fulfills her love for caring for our earth! She’s always up for new ideas and loves to encourage students to explore mediums they have never tried before. Olivia enjoys art as a form of self-expression and sees no limits to where our creativity can take us!

Anthony Castellano
Arts Exploration, Advanced Art Concepts

Mr. Anthony Castellano is excited to be part of the Glen Ridge Arts team for Summer 2022. A graduate of Caldwell University with a double major in art and education, Anthony focused on a concentration in painting. Anthony later attended and graduated from the University of San Diego with a master’s in S.T.E.A.M. Education. Through various locations and art events, Anthony has taught students as young as two years to Senior citizens. His motto is “everyone is like a different color on a painter’s palette.” Anthony has been an elementary school teacher in Tenafly, NJ for seven years where he is also a club advisor and leader of the morning announcements. He was awarded 2021 Teacher of the Year. He is happily married to his wife of nearly five years and has a son with whom he loves to go on adventures. In his spare time, Anthony loves to listen to and collect music, cook and bake, and enjoy time with his family. Drawing animals and cartoons are his specialty in art

Sofia Modigliani

Visual Arts / Summer Intern

Sofia Modigliani is an upcoming junior in Glen Ridge High School. She is taking art classes which involve many different styles to work with and build off of. Her main medium to use is acrylic paint, which she uses for paintings. She is looking to pursue art later in life and keep it a part of her future. 

River Winslow

Visual Arts / Summer Intern

River is soon to be a junior at Glen Ridge High School. They are working on skills in painting and drawing and are currently studying art. River hopes to major in the arts after graduation from high school.

Fabian Gallego

Visual Arts / Summer Intern

Fabian is currently enrolled at University of the Arts for animation. He has a passion for character art and design and spends a lot of his down time doodling and filling pages of sketchbooks with his ideas. He’s excited to apply these skills to the program. 

Eco-Science

Kristy Burja
Eco-Science

Kristy grew up in central Florida exploring the woods, swimming in springs, and making day trips to the beach. Through these experiences, she developed a deep love for the natural world and decided to pursue a degree in Biology at Florida Gulf Coast University. After graduating, she joined the Peace Corps and served in rural Kenya as a Science teacher.  After returning to the US, Kristy joined AmeriCorps and started her career as an environmental educator in Western North Carolina. She’s been educating youth about the natural world across the southeastern US for the past 10 years. In 2014, she decided to return to school. She attended the University of Florida and received a master’s degree in Ecology.  She focused her studies on environmental education, tropical conservation, and sustainable development.