Dr. Kimberly Burja, Executive Director, is a percussionist, composer and educator, whose strength lies within the diversity of her experience. As a performer, Kimberly has performed in a wide variety of venues and ensembles such as the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Royal Ballet of London, Wide Open Arts, the International Fringe Festival and American Dance Festival. Dr. Burja has also studied many non-Western musical cultures - a summer residency with master drummer and dance, Godwin Agbeli, studies with Zimbabwean mbira with Erica Kumdidazora-Azim and Newari music with Buddhalal Manandhar at the University of Katmandu, NEPAL. Dr. Burja is currently the Band Director at Tenafly Middle School and is a longtime summer percussion faculty member of the Interlochen Arts Camps. She has degrees from the University of North Texas (BA), University of Miami (MM) and Rutgers University (DMA).
Dr. Darren John Gage, Artistic Director, is a composer, arranger, music educator and percussionist. He ans his wife, Kimberly Burja, co-founded the NJAC in 2001. Darren currently serves as the group's Artistic Director, as well as Director of NJAC's New Music ensemble, Ionisation. His compositions have been performed by ensembles that include Helix! (New Brunswick, NJ), the Society of Chromatic Art (NYC), the Interlochen Faculty Chamber Ensemble (MI), and the faculty at the American Dance Festival (Durham, NC). Dr. Gage is a member of the Music Theory faculty at William University, Montclair State University and Westminster Choir College. He has degrees from Swarthmore College (BA) and studied with Charles Wuorinen at Rutgers University (MM and PhD).
Ms. Victoria Maria Sollecito, Education Director, words at the intersection of the academic, the creative and the administrative in the arts. She has worked for nearly a decade with not-for-profit and educational groups as Stage Manager, Director, Designer and Dramaturge with companies around the state. In addition to her work with the new jersey arts collective, she is the Managing Director of Skyline Theatre Company, Bergen County's resident professional theatre (skylinetheatrecompany.org). She holds degrees from Sarah Lawrence College (MA) where her research focused on sexuality in popular culture and the arts. Her graduate work culminated in a thesis examining the ways in which young people use experiences with musical theatre to form and perform personal identity and to build and maintain voluntary communities. She has served as an adjunct faculty member at Bloomfield College and a corporate trainer in NYC.
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