Count Basie Theatre
The Count Basie Theatre’s educational mission is to provide a foundation of cultural enrichment to students of all ages and economic levels. These efforts include arts instruction and coursework, plus unique programs like professional development for teachers and bus-in programs for students in underprivileged school districts. The theatre’s Education and Outreach Programs and its faculty aim to offer an ever-changing suite of programming designed to enrich the Count Basie Theatre community as a whole.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 

Need Help? Have Questions?
Contact the Education Department
Phone: 732-224-8778 x 125
99 Monmouth Street
Red Bank, New Jersey 07701
Email: sbrennan@countbasietheatre.org

Our Professional Staff

Yvonne Lamb Scudiery - Yvonne is the Director of Education for the Count Basie Theatre. She is an accomplished choreographer for ballet, musical theatre, opera, a registered teacher with the RAD, London and an adjunct teacher at Brookdale Community College. Yvonne has taught for over 35 years, combining her knowledge of dance and acting techniques with her superior coaching skills. This has enabled many of her students to advance to successful professional careers.

Jessica Berger - Actress/Singer/Dancer/Musician - Attended American Musical and Dramatic Academy, and is a Perry Award Winner for Best Actress in a Musical. Her expertise as a Musical Theatre director and choreographer, coupled with her certification as a Music Together instructor makes her a versatile and valuable addition to our professional staff of seasoned performers and educators

  Gordon Brown - Songwriter, producer, musical director, and touring musician, Gordon was the main songwriter on his own national releases and tours with his bands, mR. rEALITY (SBK/ EMI) Samhill (EPIC/ SONY) and HWY9 (RCA NASHVILLE). He also is hired to work with many of today's up-and-coming acts like Jessie James Decker, Natalie Stovall, Audra McLaughlin, Audey Kate Geiger, Corey Wagar and Jackson Harris. Gordon takes a lot of pride in his hometown roots, having shared the stage many times with Bon Jovi and Springsteen, and is now part of the Jersey Shore's first country duo Williams Honor.

Donata Cucinotta - Donata holds an M.M. in Voice from Mannes College of Music, and has performed professionally with companies such as The Mann Music Center, Opera Tampa, Opera Colorado, the American Music Theatre Festival and many others. Besides her extensive background as a performer she is also Voice and Music teacher, and has worked as an Arts Advocate and as an Educator offering master classes in opera, theatre and auditioning techniques.   


Alyssa Derling - is the Artistic Director of Derling Dance Arts, a professional not for profit modern dance & musical theatre company operating out of Red Bank NJ.  Alyssa holds her BFA in Modern Dance from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.  Alyssa’s choreography has been presented at various theatres/venues and she has appeared on The PBS Channel discussing her choreography during a special on the choreographic process.  Ms. Derling is an accomplished movement educator working all over New Jersey teaching Creative Movement, Modern, Contemporary Jazz, Ballet, Fitness, & Musical Theatre.
Marjorie Enerson - Marjorie received her B.F.A. in Theatre Arts from Montclair State University and also studied abroad for 6 months at Middlesex Polytechnic in England.  She created and implemented the Performing Arts curriculum for Monmouth Academy (formerly known as Lakewood Prep) from 2004 to 2011.

Sherri EhrlichSherri Ehrlich, is the Founder and Director of Honey Child Music Academy, an award winning singer/songwriter, performer, early childhood educator and Tween music specialist,  TV host of "Miss Sherri Live TV" .

Diane Fox - is a versatile performer and teacher.  Diane has toured the globe as an opera singer making her international debut at the Bolshoi Opera opposite her mentor, the late, Jerome Hines. She has sung for Pope John Paul II in Italy and recently sang the Beethoven 9th in Seoul, South Korea. She has toured the United States with the New York City Opera and has been a featured recitalist on the anniversaries of 9.11 in NYC with the recitals telecast on NBC.  Having her performing roots in musical theatre, Diane recently played Aunt Eller inOklahoma! at the Natchez Festival of Music. Diane brings her wealth of knowledge of performing to her students and continues to inspire them to reach their goals. As a private voice instructor for the past 15 years, Diane has helped students get into some of the best musical theatre and classical voice programs in the country and with the result, her students are now working professionally in both musical theatre and opera.

Amy Fredericks -  holds a B.F.A. in Music. She is a soloist with the Arcadian Chorale and has served as musical director for numerous community and high school theatre productions. She is currently teaching private voice and piano.

Bruce Gallipani - With 35+ years of touring and rock-n-roll history under his belt, Bruce Gallipani passes on the spirit and skill of playing on the concert stage to young musicians. As founder and director of Rockit, conceived in 2004, students ages 8-18 undertake a different theme or album in each program semester. Under Gallipani's direction and a team of young music pros, the students learn, rehearse, and perform as a group and master the concert experience.


Samantha Giustiniani - Samantha holds a B.F.A. in Theatre Performance from Kean University, and is currently working toward her M.A in Shakespeare and Theatre. She is currently the Outreach Administrator here at Count Basie Theatre. Having previously spent many years teaching theatre and music to pre-school aged children she has a specialty in creating early childhood theatre and music programs.

 
  

Ellen Gunn - began her ballet training with Jennifer Church and Charles Nicole at the Academy of Dance Arts, Red Bank, NJ. Her training continued at Cincinnati Conservatory of Music after which she performed professionally with the Cincinnati and Cleveland Ballets. Ellen is a Registered Teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance and has been teaching ballet to students of all ages for fifteen years. Many of her students are currently dancing with major dance schools and colleges and some are performing professionally.


Kate Havel - Kate holds a B.A. in Art Education from Kean and an M.A. in Dance Movement from Wesleyan University. She is a dancer/actress/singer (SUGAR and ZORBA Off-Broadway) and has many dinner theater, nightclub, summer stock and children’s theater roles to her credit. A former member of Actor’s Equity, SAG, and AFTRA, Kate studied at HB Studio, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and The Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre in NYC. She recently retired from full-time teaching. Kate has also performed globally: Mexico, Japan, Italy and the Dominican Republic. She has recently added DDD Provider and Continuing Education Provider to her list of accomplishments.

Keith Heimann - Keith holds an M.F.A. in music from The Julliard School, with post-graduate work at Westminster Choir College. He is currently a professor of music and Department Chairperson (Performing Arts) at Brookdale Community College. Mr. Heimann appeared on Broadway in The Phantom of the Opera, and also appeared with The Santa Fe Opera, The Los Angeles Opera, The Houston Grand Opera, The New York Grand Opera and The Vienna Kammeroper.

Joan Kilcommons - Joan holds a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Speech and Theatre Arts. She is currently teaching Reader’s Theatre, Creative Dramatics and Musical Theatre to the children in the Red Bank Borough Schools as part of our Educational Outreach Program.
 
David Leidholdt - David's teaching experience spans 25 years, including the Professional Performing Arts School, The Actors Institute in New York City, & Stagedoor Manor. He is presently the Artistic Director for American Family Theatre and was a founding producer for The New York Musical Theatre Festival, and ReVision Theatre in Asbury Park, NJ. His original plays include Circle based on La Ronde and Twin Studies (winner Off-Off Broadway Review Award). David is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

Deb Lyons - has starred in the Broadway & London productions of “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” (including DVD) and the national tour of “Jekyll & Hyde”, among others.  She has worked with Tony winning directors, Jerry Mitchell, Jerry Zaks and Richard Maltby Jr.  In addition to Deb’s theater work she toured the world for 5 years as a member of the legendary pop group The Mamas & The Papas.  Deb has over 25 years of professional experience in the recording studio, backing up major artists and singing on jingles. Her credits include singing with:  Donna Summer, Carrie Underwood, Rick Springfield, Roseanne Cash, Frankie Avalon and Mary Wilson.  And singing about: Milky Way, Fisher Price Toys, Toyota and Jet Blue Airlines. Teaching vocal technique and performance for more than 10 years, one of her students was a Top 10 finalist on the X Factor!

Corey Andrew Markowitz - has been performing professionally across the United States for the last decade. As a graduate of the NYFA: Musical Theatre Conservatory, he has studied voice and acting under numerous Broadway Veterans including Kristy Cates, VP Boyle, and Deidre Goodwin. He is a multi-instrumentalist and composer who continues to play over 150 shows a year with his tribute band, Nine Deeez Nite. With several Off-Broadway and NYC credits also on his resume, he shares his invaluable versatility with all of his students.

Jacqueline Mazza – holds a B.A. in Art Education. She is the choreographer and assistant technical director at Middletown HS South. She is proficient in a number of tap dancing styles. As a professional dancer, she has appeared in numerous Off-Broadway, community theatre and regional theatre productions.

Bradley Mott - has been working in the Theatre, Television, Film, and commercials over the past 30 years. His film and television work includes: The Accidental Tourist, The Applegates, Stranger than Fiction, Mildred Pierce for HBO, Roseanne, A Different World, and ER. He recently finished filming on the new Cohen Brothers picture Inside Llewyn Davis. Bradley has taught for over 30 years at Columbia College, Northwestern University in Chicago, Monmouth University, and NYC’s prestigious CAP21.

Vincent Mottern - received a B.A. in Music Education from Westminster Choir College and is currently a chorus director and music teacher for Knollwood School in Fair Haven as well as the vocal music director for Rumson-Fairhaven Regional Highschool.  He is a multi-talented musical theatre director, musician, composer and performer.

Joe Muccioli - is an internationally known conductor, producer, orchestrator and musicologist. Muccioli is co-founder and artistic director of Jazz Arts Project, Inc. and its flagship ensemble the Red Bank Jazz Orchestra. He is conductor and music director for actor/entertainer Joe Piscopo, and has conducted major symphonies and jazz orchestras throughout the world, including the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, and the BBC Big Band. Joe has worked with hundreds of musical artists and entertainers and has himself been featured on TV and radio.

Marc Muller - Marc is a graduate of Berklee College of Music, and is an accomplished musician (guitar, keyboard, bass, banjo, violin, drums) arranger, and writer/producer. As a musician he has toured with Van Zant, Shania Twain, Tommy Shaw, Surreal McCoys and numerous others. He has performed and/or recorded wth NIckelback, Kelly Clarkson, Billy Joel, Bon Jovi, Brandford Marsalis, Elton John, Carly Simon, John Waite, Dr. John, Blood, Sweat and Tears and many more

Robin Oddo - holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Monmouth University and has numerous stage and television acting credits. Her passion for acting has led to the development of the Black Box performance space and the New Perspectives Acting Troupe. She loves teaching and inspiring her students through improvisation, script performance and character development.

Mike O'Keeffe - has been performing and teaching improv comedy professionally for over 20 years. After graduating from Villanova University, he worked in Orlando, Florida performing and writing with the Sak Theatre Comedy Lab. His troupe mates included Wayne Brady and Jonathan Mangum ("Whose Line is it Anyway?"), Aaron Shure (producer/writer: "The Office"), Dee Bradley Baker (voice-over artist, "American Dad", "Adventure Time", Phineas and Ferb"). He has been a presenter at the NJEA Convention, consults corporations such as Merrill Lynch in team-building strategies through improvisation, assists many school districts that are interested in incorporating improvisation into their arts curriculum, and has spearheaded an anti-bullying program using improv that has been picked up by schools and organizations such as The Girl Scouts of America. Michael performs weekly with the IMPROV JAM COMEDY LAB, and to date has performed over 6000 comedy shows worldwide. Recently, he performed shows with Wayne Brady when he toured in support of his hit television show, “Whose Line is it Anyway?”. Right now Improv Jam is the house improv troupe at The Stress Factory, NJ's premier comedy club, and also The Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, as the resident improv troupe, and teen troupe, respectfully. 

Lori Olson – holds a BA in Elementary Education and Fine Arts with a concentration in Theatre. She is a sixth grade teacher at Long Branch Middle School. A director for musical theatre and a private acting coach, she brings abounding energy and expertise to her very popular classes. As an actress, vocalist, dancer and educator, Ms. Olson is herself the perfect example of how hard work, discipline and focus can help any student become a well-rounded performer and can have a positive and lasting effect on one’s life.

Elana Pamm - holds a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre Performance from Syracuse University and an M.S. in Education from Bank Street College. A multi-faceted performer/recording artist/education, Ms. Pamm's background in theatre and the classroom makes her a much sought-after teaching artist.

Jennifer Roebuck - holds a B.A. From Fordham University at incoln Center and is the recipient of the Fordham at Lincoln Center "Excellence in Theatre Performance" for her graduating class. Jen studied with Michael Howard at the Michael Howard Studios and studied with Betty Buckley, Jerry Zaks, and Olympia Dukakis. Jennifer trained vocally with the late Marianne Challis in NYC and continues to coach with Tony Award winner, Steven Lutvak. Jennifer spent 12 years working as an actress on stage in NYC, regionally, and touring nationally as well as working in T.V. where she earned her SAG card.  After returning to N.J., Jennifer spent 5 years as the Drama teacher at Lake Riviera Middle School and as Drama teacher and Director of Dramatics at Brick Township H.S for 4 years. In that time Jennifer directed over 20 productions as well as directing in a number of Community Theatres in N.J. 

Chris Schwartz - An accomplished guitarist and educator, Chris Schwartz has been performing throughout the greater New York/New Jersey area for the past decade.  He is a graduate of Rutgers Mason Gross School of the Arts with a major in jazz studies where he studied under the tutelage of jazz guitar master Vic Juris.  Chris has performed at such famous venues as the Blue Note and Symphony Space and has shared the stage with such luminaries as Paquito D’Rivera, Jon Faddis, Ralph Peterson, Conrad Herwig, and Ralph Bowen.  Also an in demand educator, Chris has been teaching for nearly a decade now at music schools, private lessons, and summer camps all over the New Jersey area including the Westerhoff School of The Arts, The Rutgers Extension Division, and The Rutgers Summer Jazz CampChris is an adjunct instructor and administrative coordinator in our own Jazz Arts Academy at the Count Basie Theatre.


Dorothy Sikora - is a Jazz Pianist, Composer, Piano Teacher, Vocal Teacher, Children’s Music Specialist, Educator, and is a Remo Health Rhythms Drum Circle Facilitator. She is a BillBoard songwriter winner, who has written for films, TV and commercials. She is currently a professional member of National Piano Teachers Guild, National Harp Association, Drum Circle Facilitators Guild, National Association Education of Young Children, National Guild of Organist, and Music For People. She performs as a Harpist, Pianist, Children’s Music, and Drum Circle Facilitator at local venues with her company, Joy of Music. She  is the Music Director at the United Methodist Church in Fair Haven, and Children’s Music Specialist at various pre-Schools in Monmouth County. 

Michael Sarin - Over the last 27 years, Michael’s unique style and approach to the drum set has been highly sought after by NYC and international musicians looking to expand the definitions of jazz and improvised music. His versatility and musical wit is displayed on over 80 CDs, and he performs throughout the world--in major and minor festivals; concert halls famous and infamous, big and small. As an educator, Michael has been on the faculty of the Maine Jazz Camp since 1999.  He has taught drum set master classes at universities in the United States, and co-led jazz ensemble master classes in the U.S., Brazil, Namibia, India, and Europe.  He continues to teach privately in the Red Bank area

Michelle Staffieri - is a local singer/songwriter. Michelle graduated from the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California, where she received her degree in Vocal Performance and Music Business. After several years of performing throughout Los Angeles as a pop/rock artist, Michelle returned to New Jersey and is currently working on recording her own music.
Melanie Taylor - has over 25 years of experience in all aspects of theatre, and for the past 16 years has shared her knowledge as a teacher at Raritan High School. She is an accomplished and award winning director, stage manager, and makeup artist. Melanie is the Vice-President of the New Jersey Drama and Forensics League, and is the Artistic Director/Co-Founder of the St. John's Community Playhouse in Hazlet, currently in its 9th season.
Christopher Tomaino - is a local actor and educator. He holds a B.A. in Speech/Communications/Theatre from Monmouth University and an M.F.A. in Acting from Indiana University. He has been an adjunct instructor at Brookdale Community College for the past 10 years as well as being the Musical Theatre Coordinator for the Somerset County Performing Arts Program for six years, creating and running the first curricular Musical Theatre program in the state of NJ.

Kristopher Zook  - maintains an active schedule as conductor, baritone soloist, composer, and vocal music-music technology-theory teacher, both privately and at Red Bank Regional High School. Chris holds a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College and two Bachelor of Music degrees in Music Education and Composition.. He has appeared as the Bass Soloist for Mozart’sRequiem with members of the Pittsburgh Symphony, as well as a variety of operatic, oratorio and musical theatre roles. He is the founder and director of both the Summer Academy for the Visual & Performing Arts, and Red Bank Regional’s independent record label, Swashbuckler Records. He served as adjunct professor of Voice at Monmouth University for five years and is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association, New Jersey Music Educators Association and the National Association of Teachers of Singing. His former students are currently studying at competitive conservatories and music schools, while many have impressive careers in the music field. 

 
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