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Instructors

Mrs. Rebecca Costanzo

Rebecca Costanzo attended Trenton State College (College of NJ), receiving a BA in Music Education in 1986. She taught instrumental music at the high school and middle school levels in NJ for a number of years before starting a family.  She was the founder of the Pocono Area Homeschool Band which she directed from 1998 through 2005. Coming to Knowlton Fine Arts in 2009, she enjoys teaching the band instruments and directing ensembles. She also serves as Adult Choir Director at First Baptist Church of E. Stroudsburg, Pa. Mrs. Costanzo homeschooled her three boys for a total of 11 years and considers it to be her most significant life work.

Mr. Gil LeDuc

Gil is a witer-publisher member of ASCAP and also teaches violin, guitar, bass, mandolin, ukelele, and piano at Valley Music Center in Long Valley since 2008.  He also was the founder and coordinator of the Morris County Chapter of Songwriters (NashvilleSongwritersAssociationInternational) for 8 years, and is currently the Music Director at the Ironia Free Methodist Church  in Randoph where he also directs and is involved with the Coffehouse performances.  Gil was chosen amoung 1200 entries for the show  "Jingles," which was recorded in Burbank and was a pilot program for CBS under the Mark Burnett productions.  Gil also worked with and taught Robbie Mizzone (Fiddle) of the Sleepy Man Band which became nationally famous after perfoming on the David Letterman show. Other students include Katie Ruvane who continued her studies at  Belmont Music College in Nashville. Gil is currently working with upcoming singer songwriter, Victoria Land.  Gil has also produced the Bobby Hollar Albums (Debt Crisis and Reignition) and is currently playing guitar in the local Brass Roots Band based out of Hackettstown. For more info visit: www.willisgillismusic.com

 

Dr. Elizabeth Pearce

God designed us to make and enjoy music from the very beginning; that there is music in the world reflects His heart of beauty, love, and transcendence. Music connects us to His heart and to one another, often helping us express what cannot be said in words. We use music to worship our Creator, to celebrate the joys of creation and to help us grieve and lament as well. We also love music because we can simply have fun with it! I hope to bring each of these musical "purposes" into our choir classes this year, helping our students to reflect on God's design for music and to participate in each of these ways.

My own musical journey began when I was just three years old, with piano lessons from a wonderfully talented and passionate teacher. I took piano lessons through my teenage years, eventually pursuing training from Grove City College professors in both piano and organ before I graduated high school. I took up clarinet in fifth grade as well, participating in school band, marching band, church orchestra, district and honors bands, and school and community theater orchestras. In college, I was invited to accompany the Grove City College Touring Choir on piano for three years, touring with them and rehearsing five days a week. Through this experience, as well as accompanying vocal majors for their private lessons and recitals, I learned something of vocal/choral performance and choir directing. Once married, as we began to grow our family, I enjoyed leading the children's choir at our church to help our youngest covenant members raise their voices in praise. I've also directed the adult choir at our church for seasonal special music in worship. I continue to play the piano just about every week for morning and/or evening worship at our church, alongside several other talented pianists.

When I'm not making music, I spend most of my time homeschooling our three children and managing a Christian mental health group practice in Washington, NJ. Working as a Christian psychologist is incredibly fulfilling, as I have the opportunity to incorporate God's Truth from Scripture alongside God's wisdom from the "natural sciences", that is what psychology has to teach us about God's design for human emotion, thought, behavior, and relationships. What an honor to come alongside people, to learn their stories and walk with them toward healing and wholeness.

What else gets me excited? I love learning and marveling at God's Word and God's world! I love food (I've never met a cuisine I didn't like - one of my favorites is Thai!) I enjoy getting outside when I can, bicycling, hiking, exploring nature, playing games and doing puzzles; and I relax with my family and two cats during my down time. (What is that??)

It is my great joy to lead students at KFA in how to use their voices to express what is in their hearts. Especially worship of our great Creator, but also simply to have fun and celebrate the gift of music and singing as a group!

Mrs. Nicole Riddick

Nicole Riddick has danced for years and her background includes: modern, contemporary, hip hop, jazz, and African.  For almost ten years, she has been the New Calvary Baptist Youth Pastor.    For the last eleven years, she has been the Daughters of Zion Dance Director and Choreographer.  Nicole is the mother of two little ones.

Mrs. Tracy Van Auken

 

Our talents are the gift that God gives to us... What we make of our talents is our gift back to God”     Leo Buscaglia

Tracy Van Auken has been teaching Musicianship, Recorder, and private and group piano and guitar instrumental lessons at Knowlton Fine Arts for over ten years.  She also teaches private lessons at Valley Music Center in Long Valley.  She plays flute in the Lafayette Federated Church Worship Team and Orchestra, and is also a member of the Handbell Choir.
 
Music gives students something they can succeed at through practice, which gives them a sense of purpose and pride.  Mrs. Van Auken believes in a flexible manner of instruction, responsive to the unique atmosphere of a given class.   Through patient and encouraging teaching and reinforcement, her desire is to help her students identify and reach their musical goals, and to enjoy the process! 
 
If you don't recognize her name, you may remember Tracy Wartman, who was thrilled and blessed to get married (to a musician, of course!) this year.  Her son, Bryan, serves in the US Navy, and Tracy and her husband Herb live in Forest Lakes, Byram with her daughters, Amanda and Jackie.