staff

 

CANTAFF
Joe Cantaffa

Founder, Creative Director and Arranger

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Joe Cantaffa is an instructor for the Entertainment Technology program in the Fine and Performing Arts Center (F.P.A.C.) at Howell High School in New Jersey. He teaches music production and operates the school’s student-operated record label, Next2Records. Cantaff is a member of the Board of Directors for the New Jersey Music Educators’ Association and serves as the production manager and coordinating chairman for its All-State Chorus/Orchestra/Jazz programs. He presents in-service workshops and lectures around the country regarding music curriculum, arranging, contemporary a cappella music, and the use of technology in the classroom. Additionally, he has held faculty positions for the Westminster School of the Arts/Rider University teaching tour management. Joe Cantaffa holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music from Rutgers University and a Master’s Degree in Music Education from Mason Gross School of the Arts, and is a voting member of The Grammy Awards/RIAA.

Coolest Experiences to Date:  I started The RockNRoll Chorus. Being a Dad.

Guilty Pleasure: Caramel Apples

BRUCE
Bruce Timmerman

Director of Backline and Safety

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Bruce is an Electrician with IBEW Local 400 for the last 14 years, who has actively participated as a volunteer firefighter for more than 20 years, holding several positions on the Executive Board. In 1996 Bruce was named “Firefighter of the Year” by Dover Township, NJ. An active participant in fire service, Bruce is a Level I Certified Instructor with the Division of Fire Safety. Bruce was also an Emergency Medical Technician for many years, helping to teach classes to new trainees. A member of Monmouth County 4H as a teen, Bruce remained active in 4H, as a member of the Board, as a volunteer-leader, and he served as Chairman of the Monmouth County 4H Fair for 5 years. He also served as a Board Member for the NJ State Fair Association. Bruce has been a staff member of RNRC since it’s inception, performing in many functions, whenever and wherever needed.

Coolest experience to date: June 1992, the day my daughter was born!

Guilty Pleasure: NASCAR!

ERIC
Eric Thompson

Director of Operations and Assistant Creative Director

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Participating as a cast member in the company’s primary season, Eric has been a part of The RockNRoll Chorus family from the very beginning. He holds the positions of Director of Operations/Assistant Creative Director. In May of 2010, Eric graduated from Muhlenberg College with a BA in Theater and Business. He has many years of experience in a cappella music, and loves the world of performance/entertainment. In addition to working for The RockNRoll Chorus, he is an admissions representative for Muhlenberg College.

Coolest Experience to Date: Attended a Stevie Wonder concert

Guilty Pleasure:  NASCAR, House of Cards

UNCLE GARY
Gary Weiss
Cast Calendar Manager

Gary Weiss is with RNRC for his 5th summer tour. Gary is a volunteer fireman for 44 years. Gary has multiple certificates in safety and Fire Prevention and Fire Protection.  Gary is also a level 2 certified instructor with the Division of Fire Safety. In Gary’s 71 years of life he has done many things. He was a member of the US Army, a volunteer fireman for 48 years, truck mechanic, truck Driver, medical office manager, fire Inspector, Belmar Beach Badge attendant, and is currently working with Rock N Roll Chorus as the Cast Calendar Manager.

Coolest Experience to Date: Scuba Diving in Fiji

Guilty pleasure:Eating too much good food

CHRISTIE
Christie Scott

Tour Manager

Uncle GaryChristie is currently the choir director at John F. Kennedy Memorial High School. She graduated summa cum laude from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in 2012. Her Bachelor’s Degree is in Music Education. She played the clarinet in several collegiate-level ensembles, including the Grammy-nominated Rutgers Wind Ensemble.

From 2012-2015, Christie taught general music at Iselin Middle School. She also directed the choir program, doubling its numbers and establishing two additional extracurricular ensembles: Select Choir and Men’s Choir (IMpulse). Before teaching at Iselin Middle School, Christie worked with band students at Copeland Middle School (2008) and Montgomery Upper Middle School (2012). She has worked with marching bands at Edison High School (2011), JFK High School (2013), Hopatcong High School (2013-2014), and Hackettstown High School (2012-2014).

Christie is also registration manager for the NJMEA All-State Mixed Chorus and Women’s Chorus. On the weekends, Christie leads team-building programs on a low ropes & zip-line course at the Jockey Hollow Girl Scout Camp in Mendham, NJ.

Coolest Experiences to Date:  Studying abroad in Rome as a student at Rutgers (2011), running my first 5k (2015), JFK Show Choir earning perfect scores at our Music in the Parks competition (2016).

Guilty Pleasure: Law and Order: SVU, bottomless root beer floats at Red Robin, and saying hello to dogs on the street.

MISS FREDI
Fredi Walker-Browne

Performance Coach & Stage Director

frediwalkerbrowneA_smallFredi Walker-Browne is show-biz veteran who works as an actress on Broadway and television, a writer, and director. Fredi was blessed with the experience of creating the role of JoAnne Jefferson in the musical Rent which won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 1996 Tony award for Best Musical. She has played many great roles including Rafiki in The Lion King and was most recently seen in Nora Ephron’s hit play Love, Loss, & What I Wore, and on Showtime’s Emmy award-winning series The Big C. Her directing credits include: The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told by Paul Rudnick, When The Chickens Came Home to Roost by Lawrence Holder and Scandalous People by Myla Churchill. She dedicates most of her non-performance/ production time to arts education. She is a vocal instructor, a member of the Director’s Program for her alma mater, New York University’s Dramatic Writing Department and is proud to be on the staff of The RockNRoll Chorus.

Coolest Experience to Date: Professional/Artistic – Creating/Playing JoAnne   –   Personal – my marriage (12 years and counting :-)

Guilty Pleasure:  LAW & ORDER on Netflix

LAUREN
Lauren Ferguson

Vocal Coach, Art Director, Photo, Web Manager

Lauren obtained her Masters in Music and Music Education from the University of Florida in 2016 and BA in Music Education in 2012 from Kean University. Her capstone project, Integrating Children’s Storybooks in the Music Classroom, has become the heart of her elementary music instruction. Ms. Ferguson is currently teaching K-8 General and Instrumental Music in Elizabeth, NJ. A flute player by trade, Lauren also enjoys playing ukulele, bass guitar and singing. In her free time, Lauren enjoys creating mixed media art.

Coolest Experiences to Date:  Snorkeling in Bermuda and touring with RNRC

Guilty Pleasure: 80’s New Wave Music & Gummy Bears

JOSH
Joshua Rosenberg
IT Overlord, Website Administrator/Developer

Josh joined the RockNRoll Chorus team in Summer ’15. He graduated from Freehold High School in 2017, and now is a student at Northeastern University, class of 2022. At NEU, Josh is currently pursuing a bachelor of science in Computer Science, with a minor in music performance. He also works as a course assistant for the College of Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University, and is looking forward to all of the experiential learning coming in his near future.

Josh plays saxophone, flute, and piano, and was highly involved in his high school music program, where he served as saxophone section leader, and was a member of marching band, concert band, jazz band, and pit orchestra.At the end of his high school career, he was awarded the Semper Fidelis Award for Musical Excellence by the Marine Corps. He was also a member of the 2017 All-Shore jazz band, as 2nd chair tenor saxophone, and All-Shore symphonic band, as 3rd chair alto saxophone. Now, he is the 1st chair saxophone of the Northeastern University concert band. Josh also has a second degree black belt in karate, and has been studying the martial arts since he was 5 years old.

Coolest experience to date: Saxophone solo at Disney World in Florida!

Guilty Pleasure:  Chocolate

BILL
Bill Guerro

Security

unnamedBill is a retired police detective for the City of Absecon in Atlantic County, NJ. He was an Officer for 14 years, of which he spent 5 years as an Undercover Narcotics Detective, working with the Atlantic County Prosecutors Office and the Atlantic City Field Office of the US Drug Enforcement Administration D.E.A. He also spent 10 years as a Volunteer Firefighter with the City of Absecon.

After retiring from the Police Department, he found Photography as a Professional Sports Photographer. He worked for the Minnesota Twins Baseball Club as their Spring Training & East Coast Games Photographer for 5 years, photographing their games against the NY Yankees, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies and Baltimore Orioles. He also worked for ICON Sports Media a stock Sports Photography Agency in California, where he photographed The Philadelphia Phillies, Philadelphia Flyers, as well as Rutgers Football on a regular basis. He has had many photographs published in Sports Illustrated, ESPN the Magazine among others.

Coolest Experiences to Date:  Working for the Minnesota Twins Baseball Club, photographing their games in Spring Training in Ft Myers, Fl as well as regular season games in Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore.

Guilty Pleasure: Baseball / Ice Cream

JOHN
John Vines

FOH1, Audio Engineer

John Vines has been the front of House engineer for the Rock and Roll Chorus since the 2014 Summer Tour. John is a multi-instrumentalist with a focus on Percussion, and has his Masters in Orchestral Performance from Temple University, where he studied with Alan Abel, Chris Deviney, and Phil O’Banion. John also has Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education degrees from Rowan University, where he studied with Dean Witten and Don Liuzzi. Since 2010, John has also been a member of The Creeptones, and experimental Rock group focused on technology-driven performance and composition. John began to learn Sound engineering on his own when he was 14, and was mentored by Jeff Levine at Organic Sounds prior to joining the RockNRoll Chorus Staff.

Coolest Experiences to Date: Taking Timpani lessons backstage at the Kimmel Center from Don Liuzzi / Making Bass Drum mallets with Alan Abel.

Guilty Pleasure: Youtube Videos

JOE
Joe Boguslawski
Gear Transport, Truck Driver

unnamedCZ Joe wears his hair long and his moral convictions high. He has owned Mr. Cycle Parts for 33 years. He is a Motorcycle Racing Champion and a Stockcar driver, tuba player barbershop quartet singer, and also sings lead and background for the Holy Echoes. He is a member of the Time Squares Church NYC Men’s Praise Choir and participates in ministry and world-wide missions.

Coolest Experiences to Date: Missions Trip to Zambia Africa

Guilty Pleasure: Chili Dogs at The Hot Grill

RICK
Rick McCarrick
Bus Driver

IMG_20160124_093252113Rick has been a bus driver for sixteen years and this will be his fourth tour with RNRC. Rick has driven in 46 states and all across Canada. Rick started his own tour company six years ago and offers many tours all around the country. Before driving a bus, Rick spent 8 years in the United States Marine Corps.

Coolest Experiences to Date: Being a member of Crossmen drum and bugle corps 85-87 and Marine Drum and Bugle corps 87-95. Getting married March 29 2016.

Guilty Pleasure: Reality TV and my dog Chip

RENZO
Renzo Isaiah T. Espinosa

Merchandise Manager, Truck Manager, Videographer

Renzo is a former RockNRoll Chorus cast member of the 2012 and 2014 Tour casts. Graduated from Parsippany Hills High School, he is currently studying at County College of Morris (CCM) for Computer Science and attends Kean University. Renzo participated in the theater program at CCM and served as an actor, tech, and recently held the position of Set Construction Assistant. When he isn’t studying, Renzo is working at Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown as an Usher and behind concessions. He continues to follow his music passions despite his major and participates however he can in the arts.

Coolest Experiences to Date: Attending the Press Event for Bandstand: The Musical and meeting Pentatonix

Guilty Pleasure: Cookies and Cream everything, Oreos, and Netflix

WOLF
Matthew Wolf

Vocal Coach, EMT

Matthew Wolf is currently in his fourth year as Choral Director and Director of Fine & Performing Arts at St. Augustine Preparatory School in Richland, NJ. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from West Chester University in 2013 with a dual B.M. in Music Education and Vocal Performance and starting his teaching career in Dallas, TX before returning to New Jersey. At the Prep, Matthew directs four curricular choirs, one extracurricular choir, and oversees the Fine & Performing Arts Department and clubs. During his tenure at St. Augustine Prep, the Music & Choral program has seen rapid growth in both numbers and accomplishments, including placement in All-South, All-State, and All-Eastern Choirs. Additionally, he serves as a volunteer EMT in a 911 setting at the very busy Monroe Township Ambulance & Rescue Association with a call volume of about 5,800 calls per year. He also serves on the Board of Directors at Monroe as the organization’s Treasurer.

Coolest Experiences to Date: Being Drum Major of the 300+ member Golden Rams Marching Band.

Guilty Pleasure: Grey’s Anatomy

NATALIE
Natalie Lorenzo

Production Assistant, Monitors Mix


Natalie Lorenzo has been an active member of the RockNRoll Chorus since 2013. She is both honored and elated to make the transition from cast to staff. Natalie graduated from Howell High School’s Performing Arts Program (FPAC) with an Acting focus. Throughout her performance career, she has performed with Jefferson Airplane, Foreigner, Sarah McLaughlin and Jay Leno. She is pursuing a Marketing major with a music minor at Hofstra University. Natalie hopes her musical passions will lead her into a bright and prosperous future in the music industry.

Coolest Experiences to Date: Choreographing her college a cappella group Makin’ Treble’s set at the  International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCAs)

Guilty Pleasure: Rock climbing and dancing as if no one is watching

 FOSTER
Ashley Foster

Vocal Coach, Social Media Manager

Ashley graduated with her B.A. in Choral Music Education from the University of Delaware, where she spent her time performing in a variety of different capacities spanning from UD Opera Theater to the internationally acclaimed UD Chorale. As a four-year member of UD’s coed a cappella group, Vocal Point, she served as Assistant Performance Director in 2014 and Performance Director in 2015. During her time in the group Vocal Point secured several Wildcard, Quarterfinal and Semifinal victories as well as placing Third at ICCA finals in 2014. Ashley was also a member of Cape Harmony, a professional all female a cappella group based in Cape Cod, MA where she spent a summer performing in venues all over the Cape. She has been featured on 4 studio albums as a soloist and vocal percussionist, as well as several singles with her current groups, all female powerhouse, Polaeris and Downbeat, a coed ensemble comprised of Vocal Point Alum.. When she’s not performing, Ashley teaches Middle School Choral Music full-time in Ridgewood, NJ and remains a force in the a cappella world through coaching, choreography, arranging and adjudicating.

Coolest Experiences to Date: Compete in ICCA finals

Guilty Pleasure: Watching makeup tutorials

CANDICE
Candice Kleiman

Social Media

Candice is a former cast member of The RockNRoll Chorus and is excited to make the transition to staff. She is currently a sophomore at Drexel University majoring in music industry with a concentration in business. She is a singer-songwriter, guitarist, and harpist and is self-taught on several other instruments including piano and ukulele. She is in many musical ensembles including the Drexel Cleftomaniacs a capella group and the rock ensemble. At age 13, she recorded and released an EP of 4 original songs and more recently released a single called “Magnet” with more originals coming soon. She also has a music account on Instagram with over 36k followers (@CandiceLeeMusic). She is well versed and skilled in social media.

Coolest Experiences to Date: Performing at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, meeting Ariana Grande and Meghan Trainor, recording and releasing original songs. 

Guilty Pleasure: pickles

KAYLAH
Kaylah Cantaffa

Stage Hand

Kaylah Cantaffa is Level II Entertainment Technology major at Howell High School, conservatory program, FPAC. She has worked various shows and events including, Mary Poppins and the Freehold Regional High Schools District Fine and Performing Arts Showcase. Kaylah is also a recording artist, playing several instruments. This will be her second year on staff for the RockNRoll Chorus national tour.

Coolest Experiences to Date: U2’s 50th anniversary of the Joshua Tree concert

Guilty Pleasure: Big band music, rewatching CoCo until the end of time

MITCH
Mitchell Ritter

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Mitchell Ritter is the official staff cinematographer and photographer for Rock and Roll Chorus.  Mitchell Ritter is only a junior in high school and he has already worked with big name companies and organizations to broadcast and popularize their brands through photography and cinematography.  

Coolest Experiences to Date: Traveling to Iceland and being able to travel the whole entire island in less than a week shooting for different companies. 

Guilty Pleasure: Photography and Railroads 

 

ROBERT
Robert Lombardi

Stage Hand

Rob Lombardi is an Entertainment Technology student in the FPAC program at Howell H.S.
An avid guitar player, he was a member in the Back in Black and Gold band (2016-2017), has created dozens of home made films and wrote, directed and produced meme news weekly.  Robert has aspirations of attending film school in Los Angeles.

Coolest Experiences to Date: Vacation to Paris and London

Guilty Pleasure: anything chocolate and listening to 50s music

TOM
Tom Cirillo

FOH2 

Tom has been playing drums for 12 years. His favorite drummers are Gavin Harrison, Benny Greb and Steve Gadd. He once entered a contest online where the premise was to play 10-15 seconds of a signature Gavin Harrison groove and ended up being one of the winners. That felt pretty unreal. 

Coolest Experiences to Date: being able to tour with RNRC!

Guilty Pleasure: …hmm, does Taco Bell count?