Visual and Performing Arts Department

Fine and Performing Arts

  • ALL Rahway students will have equitable access to a high quality arts education, which includes music, dance, theatre, and visual arts. Rahway Arts Students will not only create and/or perform artistic work for its own sake, but in service of skills and habits that will benefit them throughout their entire lives. These include cultural awareness, creativity, collaboration, organization, preparation, perseverance, self-efficacy, independence, hard work, and cultivating a sense of purpose. The Rahway Fine & Performing Arts Department prides itself on intentionally integrating social and emotional learning (SEL) into its curriculum. The SEL competencies our students develop include self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. 
     
    Rahway Arts students will not only create and perform their own work, but also make relevant and personal connections to artistic work by artists across diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural contexts throughout history - up to and including the present. Through these connections, Rahway Arts students find their own unique place in the great legacy of human achievement in the arts. 
     
    Joe Elefante
    Supervisor of Fine & Performing Arts, Family & Consumer Science and Technology Education
    732-396-2961
    jelefante@rahway.net

     

     Biography

    Joseph Elefante has traveled 4 continents as a pianist, saxophonist, vocalist, composer, arranger, and bandleader. He has musically directed, conducted or played countless musical theater productions, including several at the Paper Mill Playhouse and Jersey Boys on Broadway and National Tour.


    Mr. Elefante founded the Joe Elefante Big Band in 2001, which was the house band at Cecil's Jazz Club for three years, and was featured on ABC's Nightline and in the Wall Street Journal. He was named a Jazz Ambassador by the Kennedy Center, and has toured Eastern Europe and the Middle East as a jazz pianist for the U.S. State Department. He has also been selected to the prestigious BMI Jazz Composers Workshop in NYC and the Betty Carter: Jazz Ahead program at the Kennedy Center.
     Two of his compositions for jazz ensemble, Hollywood and Vine and Preach It!, are published by C.L. Barnhouse. He is also in his third year as artistic director of the 80-voice Celebration Singers adult choir in Cranford.


    Mr. Elefante taught middle and high school choir, jazz, music theory, and theatre in Berkeley heights for 7 years before joining Rahway Public Schools. He received a BA in Music Performance from New Jersey City University, an MA in Educational Leadership from Montclair State University, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Educational Leadership Policy from Texas Tech University.