Rebekah Sterlacci is the Supervisor of Visual and Performing Arts in the Piscataway Township School District. Previously, Rebekah taught Vocal Music at Schor Middle School in Piscataway for eleven years. Rebekah holds a Bachelor of Music Education and a Masters of Music Education from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and is currently pursuing her Ed. D. in Educational Leadership at Rowan University. Rebekah is passionate about research in the areas of arts integration/creative education, student-led learning, and the arts’ impact on issues of social justice.
In 2012, Rebekah was awarded the Teachers Who Make Magic Award and the NJ Governor’s Teacher Recognition Award. In Piscataway, Rebekah supervises and supports all arts programming (music, visual art, dance, and theater) for the ten schools in the school district. Rebekah is proud to be in her tenth year with the Rutgers Children’s Choir and is the conductor of the Rutgers Scarlet Singers and the Chorale of the Rutgers Children’s Choir through the
Mason Gross Extension Division at Rutgers University. Rebekah has been called on to present at educational and music conferences, review arts grants in Middlesex County, and initiate partnerships between schools and the greater community.
Rebekah resides in Somerset, NJ and is grateful for the men in her life: Jason – for making her work possible with support and understanding, and Jonas – for being a constant creative inspiration!
Megan Suozzo is the Choir Director at Piscataway High School. Previously, she taught K-6 Vocal Music in Portland, Oregon. Megan holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Ithaca College. At Ithaca, Megan was a member of the Women’s Chorale under the direction of Janet Galvan. Her primary instrument was piano, and she was an accompanist for the Ithaca Children’s Choir. Megan is currently pursuing her Masters of Music Education from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.
Megan is excited to return to the Rutgers Children’s Choir for a second year as the conductor of the Choristers and Chamber Choir. She is grateful for the opportunity to work with the inspiring staff and singers!
Megan resides in Somerset, NJ, where she lives with her husband, Josh, and dog, Pumpernickel.
Benjamin Berman, Conductor, Little Knights Choir
Christina began her musical journey in the 4th grade playing alto saxophone. From there she switched to tenor saxophone in middle school and high school, playing in the school jazz band and marching band. While she loved being an instrumentalist, she always wanted to sing but was always too afraid to sing in public. Finally, in high school, Ms. Nigro joined acapella on a whim and was influenced by her teacher to audition for regions choirs. By her senior year, she had been a member of the All-State Women’s Chorus, All-Shore Chorus, Region II Jazz Chorus, and even had the opportunity to perform at NJPAC and the State Theatre with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Currently, Ms. Nigro is a Senior at Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts studying Music Education with a concentration in voice. She studies privately with professor Judith Nicosia and works at the Bridgewater School of music teaching private lessons.
Kayla Ryder, a New Jersey native and Mason Gross School of the Arts senior, is thrilled to be working with the Rutgers Children’s Choir for a second year. Ms. Ryder studies Music Education with a concentration in voice at Rutgers but also loves performing and singing in choirs herself. She is a past member of the Voorhees Choir, current member of the Rutgers University Kirkpatrick Choir, as well as a 2016 winner of the Chamber Music Competition at Mason Gross along with fellow intern Christina Nigro. Ms. Ryder made her SongFest debut in June 2017 as a young artist and studied with Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzer as well as Javier Arebola. Masterclasses included Libby Larsen, Jake Heggie, Martin Katz, Schubert scholar Graham Johnson, Kayo Iwama, Roberta Alexander, Barbara Clark, and Sanford Sylvan. Ms. Ryder hopes to continue on to a Master’s degree in either Performance or Speech and Language Pathology and hopes one day to rehabilitate singers as a Vocologist.
Susan Davies, Piano
Ms. Davies holds a Bachelor’s degree in piano performance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She has been the Minister of Music at the Holmdel Community United Church of Christ in Holmdel, NJ for over ten years, directing, playing organ, piano, mandolin, guitar, and leading all aspects of a diverse music program. She lives in Freehold, NJ with her three boys. Ms. Davies is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Mrs. Sterlacci and all the wonderful, talented conducting staff and youth.
Originally hailing from Maine, Samuel Rowe received his Bachelor of
Music degree in organ performance from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in May 2016, where he studied under Antonius Bittmann and Renée Anne Louprette.Currently the music director at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Montclair, NJ, Mr. Rowe served previously as Minister of Music at the United Methodist Church of New Brunswick, Director of Music at the Presbyterian Church of New Brunswick, and as organ scholar to Mr. Mark
Trautman at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Englewood. As a soloist, he has performed recitals at the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul in Lewiston, ME, and at Christ Church Episcopal in New Brunswick, NJ. He has performed in masterclasses for Felix Hell, Dr. Kimberly Marshall, and Michel Bouvard. As a pianist, he has worked as a ballet accompanist for the Rutgers Dance Department, the Lustig Dance Theater, and the Cecchetti Council of America International Summer School in Holland, Michigan. He is also the pianist for the Newark Boys Chorus, and is a staff accompanist with the Rutgers Children’s Choir & Scarlet Singers.