Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Elefante Music & School for the Performing Arts Announces First Ever Spring Musical - Into the Woods Jr.

Elefante Music & School for the Performing Arts is thrilled to announce its first ever Spring Musical!  For our first full-length musical theater production, we have chosen to produce the Sondheim/Lapine classic INTO THE WOODS JR. 

The Brothers Grimm "go Broadway" as Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine offer up a cockeyed fairy tale where all of your favorite characters – Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack (and his beanstalk) and The Witch – meet and interact on their journeys.  With unforgettable roles, INTO THE WOODS JR. showcases an ensemble of talented singers and actors.  The sophisticated score has been adapted to make it easier – though still challenging – for young performers.  INTO THE WOODS JR. is a funny and engaging way to get young people to think about the stories with which they've grown up and the ethical issues raised therein.

Students who would like to participate in INTO THE WOODS JR. will have to register for “Elefante Spring Musical Workshop” in the Spring 2012 semester.  This class will meet Thursdays from 5:30-7:00pm from January 26 – May 24, and dress rehearsals will take place May 30 and 31.  The performances will take place June 1 and 2 at the Oakes Center in Summit, NJ.

There’s nothing like putting on a show!  This class is a great opportunity to take part in a unique and exciting musical theater performance experience.  In addition to performers, we’ll also be looking for talented set builders, painters and stage crew members who want to be part of this fun production. 

In addition to INTO THE WOODS JR., we'll also be offering a roster of fun performing arts classes at our studio in New Providence.  Our classes this spring will include: 3-in-1 Acting/Dancing/Singing, Acting the Song, Musical Theater, Acting Onstage, Drama Fun, Tap and Broadway Baby.

For more information or to register, contact Stefani at (908) 464-5928 or shealey@elefantemusic.com, or visit www.elefantemusic.com/springmusical.shtml.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Well-Deserved Honor for Nelson

Our very own Nelson Popp was named a Road Rep of the Year by School Music Dealer magazine. Congratulations, Nelson!!! Click here to read the entire article.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Note from the Artistic Director

With the Holidays just around the corner, now is the ideal time to register for or inquire about spring performing arts classes. The spring semester starts Here are the classes we're offering this coming spring:

3-in-1: Acting, Dancing, Singing
Karen Cantor, Greta Martin and Laura Chaneski

Acting the Song
Joe Elefante & Stephanie Kurtzuba

Musical Theater
Karen Cantor

Clare Dill

Drama Fun with Miss Clare
Clare Dill

Musical Theater Dance
Laura Chaneski

Beginning & Intermediate Tap
Laura Chaneski

For more information or to register for classes, please visit our Performing Arts Classes page. Happy Holidays!

Joe Elefante
Artistic Director
Elefante School for the Performing Arts

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Note from the Artistic Director

Another fantastic summer is winding down! We had three sessions of Music Theater Camp and a week of Jazz Camp. This week, we are in the midst of Rock Camp, and next week we conclude our summer performing arts camps with All-Girl Band. Come by and see the final Rock Camp performance at Crossroads this Friday, August 19th, followed by the internationally acclaimed Joe Elefante Big Band (led by Yours Truly).

Now is the ideal time to sign up for Fall Lessons and Classes. This fall we're offering 3-in-1 Acting/Dancing/Singing, Acting the Song (our by-audition-only music theater performance class), Musical Theater I & II, Acting I & II, Musical Theater Dance I & II, Beginning & Intermediate Tap and Broadway Baby (for 3-7 year-olds). These classes are, of course, in addition to instrumental, voice and dance lessons with our roster of first-rate private instructors. Contact Stefani at shealey@elefantemusic.com or (908) 464-5928, or just visit www.elefantemusic.com for more information or to register.

Thanks to all of you for making this yet another summer to remember.

Artistic Director
Elefante School for the Performing Arts

jack menashe photography - affordable actor headshots

Jack Menashe is proud to be bringing professional and affordable high quality headshot photography to Elefante Music and School for the Performing Arts!

A veteran of the entertainment industry and former president of one of New York’s leading talent agencies, Jack Menashe has developed the careers of many of Hollywood and Broadway’s leading performers. He has been known to have photographed Golden Globe, Academy Award, and Tony Award celebrated artists. Having shot thousands of beautiful headshots, his work has been seen on CD covers, America’s Next Top Model, and inVanity Fa ir.

Jack will be offering an exclusive rate to all members of Elefante Music and School for the Performing Arts, and is available to shoot either within the location of the school or at your home. If you give him a call or send him an email, he will discuss with you how he may provide you with great quality, highly effective headshots!

All of Jack Menashe’s sessions include make-up, consultation and a CD of your photographs. He will guide you in your selection of which pictures will work best for you, and will provide you with information on the process of having your photographs duplicated and/or retouched.

Jack’s website can be viewed at http://www.jackmenashe.com.

You could also reach him by telephone at (917) 837-3020, and by email: jack@jackmenashe.com.

He is extremely excited about hearing from all of you, and hopes that he may provide you with everything that you need to continue on your path of success!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Elefante Music Theater Camp

With Session I of Elefante Music Theater Camp now over, we have been having a blast at Session II so far! Next Friday, July 22nd, we'll be at the beatiful RidgePAC performing music from Cabaret, My Fair Lady, Beauty and the Beast, Candide, Mack & Mabel, Dreamgirls, Mary Poppins, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Footloose, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Guys and Dolls, How 2 Succeed in Business without Really Trying, 1776, South Pacific, Sunday in the Park with George, Lucky Stiff and The Most Happy Fella - not bad for only two weeks of camp, right?

If you can't make the performance (or if you just want an encore), you can always check out video of student performances at the Elefante Facebook page.

Believe it or not, there are still slots open for Session III (July 25 - August 5). Visit www.elefantemusic.com/summer.shtml for more info or to register.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Session I Comes to a Close

We had so much fun at RidgePAC last Friday at the Elefante Music Theater Camp Session I performance! Here is some video of the closing number:

Thursday, June 16, 2011

EMU Newsletter 6/11

EMU Newsletter 6/11
  • Summer at Elefante
  • Student of the Month
  • Thank You!
  • Teacher Feature
  • Elefante Represented at Duckfest 11
  • Joe Directs Little Anthony and the Imperials

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Customer Appreciation Day/Open House Video

Thanks to everyone who came out the Elefante Customer Appreciation Day/Open House last weekend. Enjoy some video of the day's events:

The Elefante All-Stars perform "Grenade."

Joe Elefante performs "Up on the Roof" with Elefante Music & School for the Performing Arts faculty.

Al Elefante performs "Summer Wind" with Elefante Music & School for the Performing Arts faculty.

Kelly Bennett performs "Piece of My Heart" with Elefante Music & School for the Performing Arts faculty.

Elefante Music & School for the Performing Arts faculty perform "All the Things You Are."

And, as always, check out all of our student and faculty performance videos at www.youtube.com/elefantemusic.

What's on Our Minds...

Michele is now blogging regularly for New Providence Patch. Check out her latest installment here:

Joe is still writing Elefante on Entertainment for The Alternative Press. His latest entry can be found here:

Friday, May 6, 2011

Clarinet Mania

Elefante Music is pleased to be presenting

Clarinet Mania
Monday, May 23

sponsored by Rico Reeds

Performances by the J.P. Stevens H.S. clarinet choir and clarinet quartet, and many more T.B.A.

Featured clinician/performer: Dr. Edward Joffe

Versatile woodwind artist Dr. Edward Joffe has been a vital part of the New York music scene for 40 years. He has performed in every type of musical situation including jazz bands, orchestral & ballet work, Broadway shows, recording dates, chamber music ensembles and solo recitals. He has offered numerous clinics on woodwinds and jazz at music education conferences and universities over the last two decades. A graduate of the Juilliard School and the first person to receive his doctorate in multiple woodwind performance form the Graduate School of the City University of New York, Dr. Joffe has studied with some of the most respected woodwind artists including Joe Allard, Eddie Daniels, Thomas Nyfenger, Paul Dunkel, Michael Parloff, Joseph Rabbai, Peter Simenauer, Ronald Reuben, Keith Underwood, Bob Porcelli, and Bob Mover.

For the past 20 years, he has been a professor of music at New Jersey City University, where he acts as Coordinator of Jazz & Woodwinds Studies. Under his guidance, New Jersey City University has engaged a faculty of adjunct instructors who are among the finest performers in America and have helped attract a high level of student performer. The jazz band that he conducts has been hailed as one of the best in the country by greats such as Maria Schneider, Charles McPherson, Randy Brecker and Eddie Daniels. He has authored two books on woodwind studies—Woodwind Doubling and Beyond The Notes—and is a popular clinician at music education conventions and schools throughout the U.S. This summer he will be presenting a lecture/performance at the International Clarinet Association Conference in Los Angeles on the legendary woodwind teacher, Joe Allard.

Elefante Music & School for the Performing Arts
1790 Springfield Ave.
New Providence, NJ
(908) 464-5928

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

"What Music Means to Me"

Okay, so I didn’t get any responses to my plea for your personal experiences with music. Just for that, you’ll have to hear about mine.

"What Music Means to Me" - The Alternative Press

Friday, April 15, 2011

Summer at Elefante

Summer at Elefante - the April '11 Elefante Newsletter

Teacher Feature: Anthony Sanacore

This month's feature is on Anthony Sanacore, guitar teacher.

Anthony Sanacore has been teaching private students for nearly 20 years. He is also an active guitarist, composer, and lyricist. Anthony studied at The New School and Piero's School of Music and privately with Dave Ferrara, John Olin, Ross Barrata, Sheila Mendel, and Kevin Gallagher.

Anthony has performed as a guitarist for over 20 years. He was a member of Young and Fabulous, which performed at Woodstock and the Kiss Expo, and No Future, which played over 300 shows in the New York area at such venues as The Lion's Den, CBGB's, The Scrap Bar, Mother's, Obsessions, Connections, Love Sexy, and the Birch Hill Nightclub. Anthony performs and teaches classical, rock, blues, funk, bebop, swing, ragtime, R&B, reggae, standards, and contemporary pop.

EM: What do you feel is one of the more important aspects of teaching music?

Anthony: Enlightening each student about the connection between art and music. There have been many wonderful compositions written (especially in pop music) that I feel have never resulted in true art. It's a methodology that requires an understanding of public sentiment. This is fine, sociologically speaking, but usually does not express the unique essence of the individual.

Many beginners assume that the guitar is fairly simple to learn because pop stars seem to play effortlessly. They have yet to realize how asymmetrical the guitar is. One challenge of teaching this instrument is demonstrating its esoteric symmetry via its idiom in association with other instrumentation. The aesthetic is eventually revealed as it facilitates inspiration and passion: the platform to a healthy work ethic and the prime ingredients for lifelong satisfaction of musical knowledge.

Who are your favorite performers?

Louis Prima and Yamashita (classical guitarist).

Who has inspired you?

Over the years I’ve gone through a transformation where my inspirations have become intrinsic. There’s a dichotomy I live on everyday: when to be technical, when to throw it out the window for the sake of originality, when to shed the influence. My early inspirations: Keith Emerson, Randy Rhoads, Bob Dylan, Sex Pistols.

Also studying classical guitar with Kevin Gallagher and jazz guitar with Jack Wilkins has done wonders for my overall musicianship as they are of the best in their field.

What are you working on now?

I’m recording a CD which will summarize my abilities. Outside of programming the drums (which is a lot of work), I am playing all of the instruments and writing most of the songs. My friend, who has sung professionally, will do most of the vocals. I estimate it will be done before 2012. The compositions that I don’t write will be classical pieces or jazz standards.

What advice can you give?

Dare to be different and be true to yourself. Some of the best music, at one time, was unusual and unpopular.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Music Theater Camp Song List

As you may have already heard, this year's summer music theater camp theme is All Roads Lead to Broadway. We'll take a look at the different places shows come from: movies, the library, the radio, and real life.

Here is a list of some of the songs we'll be performing throughout the summer:

Library: Masquerade (Phantom of the Opera), For Good (Wicked), Make Our Garden Grow (Candide), Willkommen (Cabaret), Get Me to the Church on Time (My Fair Lady), Sit Down You're Rockin' the Boat (Guys and Dolls), Ease on Down the Road (The Wiz), Solla Sollew (Seussical the Musical), Ragtime (Ragtime).

Movies: Butter Outta Cream (Catch Me If You Can), Prologue (Little Shop of Horrors), Let's Go Fly a Kite (Mary Poppins), Without Love (Hairspray), Fame (Fame).

Radio: Mamma Mia (Mamma Mia), Yakety Yak/Charlie Brown (Smokey Joe's Cafe).

Real Life: Sunday (Sunday in the Park with George), Movies Were Movies (Mack and Mabel).

Summer Camp Performance Venue

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Note from the Artistic Director

I'm really, REALLY excited for our summer camps.

In addition to our old favorites, Jazz Camp and Rock Camp, we're bringing back All-Girl Band Camp for a second time around. If you haven't seen last year's performance videos from the Crossroads and the Oakes Center, they're all up at the Elefante YouTube Channel.

Our Music Theater Camp theme this year is All Roads Lead to Broadway. I got to thinking about all the recent Broadway shows that have been based on movies, and how that was a relatively new phenomenon. It reminded me that shows come from all sorts of sources, but most of them come from four places - the movies, the library, the radio, and real life.

So that's the theme of this year's MTC performances. Each section of the show will feature songs from either film, books and plays, popular music, or history. I can't wait to start putting the show together.

Speaking of which - I know it seems like a long time away, but there's no better time than the present to sign up for summer camp. Contact Stefani at (908) 464-5928 or shealey@elefantemusic.com for more information or to register. Or visit the Summer at Elefante page.


Joe Elefante
Artistic Director
Elefante School for the Performing Arts

Elefante Feature Article

Here's a great feature on us from thealternativepress.com:

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Monday, February 7, 2011

Jersey Voices

I've forwarded a message from my friend Bob Denmark at Chatham Community Players.

Joe Elefante

Hello New Jersey Playwrights

Hope it has been a good year for all of you. It is once again time to be thinking about submitting one-acts for Jersey Voices. For those of you who have already sent along submissions for Jersey Voices '11 - thank you! For those of you who have not, I want to remind you that the deadline is coming up soon - this years DEADLINE is MARCH 15th. So please put the finishing touches on those plays sitting on you desk/desktop and send them along. This year we are only accepting submissions by e-mail to the address listed below. This transition has been a few years in coming and now it's here.

Play submissions of any genre (including short musical and dance pieces), style and length up to 20 minutes running time will be accepted through March 15, 2011. Selected pieces will be performed in our Black Box Theater in Chatham on the last weekend in July and first weekend in August.

If we've not chosen your work in the past, please don't give up on us. Each year we have produced new pieces by an author whose work we've passed over in the past; it usually has more to do with trying to balance 6 separate pieces for an enjoyable evening of theater than it has to do with the quality of the piece which has been passed over. In fact, under these circumstances, we have often held over a piece we've liked and given it consideration in the following year. Some of these 'holdovers' have subsequently been chosen, produced, and favorably received.

I'm looking forward to seeing your work this year and, as I know that many of you come to see Jersey Voices, to seeing you again this summer. If you have not already introduced yourself, when you're in the audience please stay for the reception we have after each performance and introduce yourself. We'd love to meet you.

If you have any questions, visit our website at www.chathamplayers.org or send me an e-mail at jerseyvoices@chathamplayers.org. We're accepting scripts this year by e-mail only to:

Best regards,
Bob Denmark, Producer
Jersey Voices '11

Friday, February 4, 2011

"Too Much Public Theater?"

Latest column in Elefante on Entertainment: "Too Much Public Theater?"

Brand new National Endowment for the Arts Chairman and perennial firebrand Rocco Landesman made some typically controversial comments at a conference in Washington last week.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Joe Elefante Big Band Returns

The Joe Elefante Big Band Returns

Sunday, January 30th, 7:30-10:30pm

Trumpets Jazz Club & Restaurant
6 Depot Square, Montclair NJ
(973) 744-2600 * www.trumpetsjazz.com
$10 cover/$5 min.

After a hiatus or nearly five years, the Joe Elefante Big Band is returning to Trumpets, one of the venues it played frequently before becoming the house band at Cecil’s Jazz Club for three years. From 2001-2006, the Joe Elefante Big Band was featured on ABC’s Nightline and the Fine Living Network. Nat Hentoff of the Wall Street Journal wrote: “During the evening, I could barely stay in my seat at times and often shouted in sheer pleasure...The crisp, charging brass section of the Elefante band would have delighted Duke Ellington, and the surgingly cohesive reed section recalled the sound of the Benny Carter and Thad Jones big bands...If the Joe Elefante Big Band gets booked into rooms for dancing as well as listening, there might be a revival, across the age spectrum, of transcendent romance on the dance floor.”

Come celebrate the re-emergence of this internationally acclaimed, original jazz orchestra. Be sure to make a reservation at (973) 744-2600 – it should be a MADHOUSE!

Monday, January 10, 2011

"Happy New Year, Music World"

Our latest entry in Elefante on Entertainment:

"Happy New Year, all! Here’s to the dawn of another great year in the music world. There’s a lot to look forward to in the coming year so, with no further ado, let’s get started:" click here to continue