Nick Brust (Woodwinds)
Nick attended New England Conservatory in Boston where he studied with Jerry Bergonzi, Frank Carlberg, Ran Blake, John McNeil, Donny McCaslin, and Miguel Zenón. He graduated with honors in May 2012 with a Master’s degree in Jazz Performance. Prior to attending NEC, Nick attended the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with Walt Weiskopf, Harold Danko, and Chien-Kwan Lin. Nick graduated in May 2010 with a Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies and Music Education. Nick has continued his studies in New York with Will Vinson and Lage Lund. In addition to teaching and playing Nick is also a bandleader and composer.
Nick has many influences on the saxophone, but the most prominent voices that have influenced his style in recent years are John Coltrane, Michael Brecker, McCoy Tyner, Robert Glasper, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Kendrick Lamar, Terrace Martin, Kenny Garrett, and David Sanborn.
Diana Charos Reilly (Flute)
A graduate of the prestigious Juilliard School pre-college division, Diana was a student of Brad Garner and had the honor of performing at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center. Additionally she auditioned for, and was invited to participate in master classes with legendary figures such as Julius Baker, James Galway and Jeffrey Khaner. Mrs. Reilly holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Hartt School of Music where she studied under John Wion of the New York City Opera and continued her graduate studies at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. She received further training at Ithaca College and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.
Diana presently leads many flute ensembles at the NJYS, and serves as a flute instructor at Farleigh Dickinson University and Westminster Choir College. Formerly she served as the private flute instructor, master class coach, and director of summer programs at Kent Place School in Summit, N.J. Additionally, she was appointed flute instructor and chamber music coach at the Garden State Music Festival, St. Elizabeth College, Convent Station, N.J., and flute instructor at the Skidmore Summer Flute Festival at Skidmore College.
Al Elefante (Woodwinds)
Al attended Newark and New Providence public schools before graduating from New Providence High School. He went on to receive a B.A. from Kings College and study music performance at Manhattan School of Music. He studied clarinet with Charles Passhaus, Charles Russo, and Leon Russianoff. After a stint in the U.S. Army Band, he attended Dorn & Kirschner’s repair school and worked as a musical instrument repair technician there until 1992.
After D. & K. closed in 1992, Al continued to repair instruments and teach private woodwind lessons on his own until opening Elefante Music in 1996.
Kyle Moffatt (Woodwinds/Piano)
Kyle has a B.M in Jazz Composition and Performance from Berklee College of Music, M.M. in Jazz Composition at New England Conservatory.
He has performed with Bob Brookmeyer, Joe Lovano, Don Byron, Andy McGhee, and Max Weinberg, as a member of the Rainbow Band (Berklee College of Music), Jazz Composers’ Workshop Orchestra and Jazz Composers’ Ensemble (New England Conservatory), and with the Brian Lewis Big Band, Greg Hopkins Jazz Orchestra, Beantown Swing Orchestra, and Joe Pino Sextet. Kyle has appeared at clubs and festivals including Somethin’ Jazz, The Garage, Silvana, Small’s, Caffe Vivaldi, North Shore jazz Festival, Chianti, Opal Room, Real Bar and All Asia Café.
Kyle was the Recipient of the Joe Viola Scholarship Award and the Sadao Watanabe Award at Berklee College of Music. He has also taught at Camp Encore-Coda, a summer music program in Brookline, Maine.
Robert Pispecky (Woodwinds)
Robert served the music education community for over 34 years. He was the Supervisor of Music, Visual Arts and Dance for the Edison School District and was previously Supervisor of Music, Art, Tech and Drama for the North Plainfield School District.
Mr. Pispecky’s New Jersey teaching experience includes elementary classroom and instrumental music, middle school instrumental music and high school band. Groups under his direction have traveled through the U.S. performing in various festivals and competitions, winning first place and superior ratings.
As a freelance woodwind specialist he has performed in the tri-state area with a variety of music ensembles, shows and headliners including Bobby Rydell, The Captain and Tennille and many more. He currently serves on the Executive Board of the NJ Music Administrators Association (NJMAA) after serving as President of the Organization.
Mr. Pispecky holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education, A Masters of Arts Degree in Instrumental Conducting, a Masters of Education Degree and certification as a music teacher, supervisor and principal.
Stefanie Santoro (Flute)
Stefanie holds a Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance from the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University. She currently studies with Judith Mendenhall, the principal flautist of the American Ballet Theater.
Stefanie teaches flute, piano and voice to over 30 students ranging from kindergarten to adult, and has created and directed a flute camp to promote flute technique and repertoire in a group setting.
She has performed at Carnegie Hall with the Montclair State University orchestra, and flute ensemble; in chamber ensembles; and, in the pit orchestra for Montclair State University’s productions of Sweeny Todd, A Chorus Line, Carousel, and Poulenc’s opera, Dialogue of the Carmelites.
Stefanie is also a vocalist, and was part of University Singers, and the Montclair State University chorale. She has performed Mozart’s Requiem, and Mahler’s third symphony with University Singers and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Stefanie is a founding member of Les Non Triolets, a trio consisting of flute, double bass, and piano. The group performs a wide variety of music from classical to jazz.
Steve Ujfalussy (Woodwinds/Piano)
Steve is from a musically talented family in Ridgefield Park, NJ. While attending high school there he began his musical studies with saxophonist Frank Elmo (Joe Cocker, Julian Lennon) and was one of 55 NJ students selected for the NJPAC Jazz for Teens program, run by jazz legend Rufus Reid. Steve then attended New Jersey City University, double majoring in Jazz & Classical Saxophone. During this time he studied with many renowned saxophonists: Tim Ries (Rolling Stones, Maria Schneider Orch) Walt Weiskopf (Frank Sinatra, Steely Dan), Jim Snidero, Jane Ira Bloom, Dan Willis, Roger Rosenberg, and Allen Won. Steve has been teaching and performing throughtout the metro area since 2000. He taught woodwinds & piano at Ackerman’s School of Music in Midland Park, NJ for 5 years. Steve joined Elefante Music in January of 2007.
Currently he is a member of New Arts NYC (www.newartsnyc.com) a group of artists & musicians hosting concerts in Central Park. Steve is also a member of NOLA Preservation Society, a non-profit charity organization dedicated to the cultural preservation and revitalization of the Gulf Coast region. Steve contributes time to their local programs as well as in New Orleans through musical performance, music therapy, and instruction.
Steve is a versatile musician who can perform and instruct a variety of instruments, including: all saxophones, Bb & Bass clarinets, flute, and piano. Steve has performed with: The Village Vanguard Orch, Paquito D’Rivera, Benny Golson, the New York Voices, Charles McPhearson, Byron Stripling, and Conrad Herwig.
“…We chose Elefante because we wanted a school that was serious about music and musical education… We’ve been happy with the rental program and the lessons. Students can master the basics or go further in their musical education and it really depends upon the goal of the student. The place is always calm and organized and kids seem generally happy. Now, she’s looking forward to possibly taking guitar lessons as well!” – Suzanne