Seth Boyden ‘Spotlight’ Features Talents of Parents, Teachers

by The Village Green
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Eric Shorter performing at a previous Seth Boyden "Spotlight" show.

Eric Shorter performing at a previous Seth Boyden “Spotlight” show.

Maplewood and South Orange are chock full of talented students — and parents.

That’s why Seth Boyden School doesn’t just feature an annual variety show highlighting its gifted youngsters, but in recent years has also added the tradition of a parent/teacher talent show that raises funds for the PTA.

This year’s “Spotlight” show takes place Friday, January 30 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. (doors open at 6:30). Tickets are available at the door at $5 per person or $15 per family of three or more. Kids under 5 are free.

The talent spans everything from a kung fu demonstration to musicians and singers who have graced Broadway stages and national touring companies, or played with jazz greats and rock legends. Read more about the lineup below:

  • Wendy Bellermann and Josh Stout will be demonstrating an Indonesian form of kung fu called White Crane Silat (pron. “see-lot”). Silat originated in Indian yoga and was transformed by Chinese monks into a martial art over many centuries. Josh is the head instructor at the New York City White Crane school, and Wendy is an assistant instructor. Between them they have almost a half century of experience with White Crane Silat. Josh also teaches biology at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
  • Bruno L. Lee, also known as ‘The Trumpet Man,’ performs Gospel, Jazz, R&B, Reggae and other genres of music. He has performed at the Newark Symphony Hall in the show “When Praises Go Up.” And currently performs at Hat City Kitchen, Orange, NJ, Papillon 25, the Central Jersey Caribbean Festival, the Gospel Concert Music Series in Ocean Grove, as well as at various houses of worship. Bruno has performed with musicians such as Trumpeters King James Gibbs III and Dave Gordon, singers Dwight West, Angel ‘Lite’ Garrett, Darryl Coley, Tramaine Hawkins, Donald Malloy, and bands; Bet HaShem, Craig Mitchell Band, FELT, Pidgin Droppings, Jan Carden Trio, Soprano star Domenic Chianese and many others.
  • “Señor” Stephen Carberry has been teaching Spanish in the district for over ten years. He enjoys playing music for the school on the morning announcements, in the cafeteria, or in the hallway for our knitters. Sr. Carberry will be playing this evening with his son, Kyle. Kyle studies jazz guitar at New Jersey City University.
  • Bradley Dean has appeared on Broadway in The Last Ship, A Little Night Music, Evita, Company, Man of La Mancha, Jane Eyre, The Story of My Life, Spamalot, and will be seen in Dr. Zhivago this Spring.
  • Kelly Heinze has been an early childhood music educator providing Music Together and Musical Me classes for children ages birth through 2nd grade in Maplewood, South Orange, Millburn, Livingston, Springfield and Union. In her past life as Kelly Aquino, she toured the country and abroad in many musicals as a singer, dancer and supporting actress. She has worked with director Rob Marshall (Chicago and Pirates of the Caribbean) and musical director Keith Lockhart (Boston Pops conductor) on various music productions.
  • Dave Riekenberg is a professional freelance musician in New York City. Dave toured for three and a half years with Woody Herman and the Thundering Herd, and was with Blood, Sweat, and Tears for over eight years. In the jazz world, he has played in the Dave Liebman Big Band since its inception in 1999. He has appeared with many of the notable big bands in New York, including the Vanguard Orchestra and the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra. In addition to jazz and studio work, Dave has worked extensively in Broadway shows. He has held positions in the orchestras of Chicago, Hairspray, and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, among others. He is currently a member of the orchestra for Beautiful, the Carole King Musical. Dave is also a member of the jazz faculty at Lehigh University.
  • Eric Shorter is an award winning poet, accomplished musician, and member of SAG/AFTRA. He’ll be performing an original song on electric guitar.
  • Jimmy Landry has worked professionally in the music industry for over 15 years in many different capacities. He’s held A&R and Staff Producer positions at Elektra Records and Virgin Records. He was also once signed to Capitol Records as an artist himself in the band known as The Wine Field who shared stages with such acts as Maroon 5, LFO, and Good Charlotte. He currently works for Gibson Guitars while also producing, mixing and writing songs with artists such as Javier Colon (winner Season 1 – The Voice,) and Dilana from the show Rockstar Supernova.
  • Bethany Pettigrew and Guada Bas created Step2gether to share their love of dance. In addition to a thriving children’s program, Step2gether celebrates “mature” dancers who come together several times a week for dance classes, occasional performances and a sense of community. They have varied levels of experience and training but they share one common bond… the love of movement.

Seth Boyden Demonstration School is located at 274 Boyden Avenue, Maplewood, NJ.




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