Teaching Artists

Steve DeLuca
Vocal Music and Theatre; Percussion and Drum set; Songwriting and 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.

Jason Curcio
Guitar, Bass Guitar, Woodwinds, Brass

Jason Curcio had been a musician for over 30 years, playing a wide variety of instruments since he was a kid. He is proficient on all woodwind, brass and percussion instruments, but guitar has been his passion since picking one in 1989. He graduated from William Paterson University with a Bachelor degree in Music Education in 2001, eventually earning a Masters degree in 2010. He currently is an instrumental music teacher, teaching middle school band and jazz band at Benjamin Franklin Middle School in Ridgewood as well as being the assistant marching band director for Glen Ridge High School. Outside of the classroom, Jason has played for numerous musical theater productions for the last 20+ years. Some of those shows include “Rent”,  “The Rocky Horror Show”, “Tommy”, “Little Shop of horrors”, ”Hair” and was the assistant musical director for a summer theater production of Green Day’s “American Idiot,” just to name a few.  Throughout the last two decades Jason Curcio has been in numerous original and cover bands and has performed all over NJ and NYC. Jason is excited to join the Music faculty of GRSAA this summer!

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.

Daniel Nathanson

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.

John Fugaban

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.”

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.

Jamie Menake
Director of Visual Arts

Jamie Menake is a New Jersey native, currently living and working in Bloomfield, NJ. After becoming a certified teacher in 1994, she received her Master’s Degree in Creative Arts Education from Rutgers University in 1998. She paints in both watercolor and acrylic, as well as creates jewelry from fine silver clay. Her jewelry is a form of wearable sculpture and has been published by a national jewelry catalog. Jamie creates sculptures out of everyday objects and enjoys teaching students how to look at objects with a new perspective. She loves to help kids explore many types of media and try new things! As an avid crafter, Jamie has worked in ceramics, collage, paper mache, fabric art, crochet, jewelry design, miniature art, face painting, and photography. She is excited to return to the GRSSA team this year and to serve as the Director of Visual Arts.

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!

Sandy Guglielmino
Arts Exploration, Advanced Art Concepts

Mrs. Sandy Guglielmino graduated from William Paterson University with a degree in art education. She has been teaching in Bloomfield at the elementary level for the past 12 years. Prior to that she taught middle and high school in Paterson NJ. She and her husband reside in Bloomfield where they raised their 5 children. Sandy has always had a love for art since she was a small child and will bring a passion of creativity to each and every child. The children will experiment with various mediums, be introduced to new techniques and tap into their own creativity. Sandy looks forward to a rewarding experience at Glen Ridge Summer Arts Academy.

Kristy Burja
Nature Study

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.

GR Summer Arts – Interns

Will Pennola
Music / Summer Intern

Will is currently a student at Seton Hall University and a recent graduate 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.

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.

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. 

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.