Meet Our Teachers!rockstar

Ashley Bowen Mondragon
STUDIO OWNER | VOICE | PIANO | MUSICAL THEATRE | WOODWINDS
ashley mondragon

Ashley, founder and teacher of Rockstar! Studios, has been playing and performing music for over 30 years. She earned her BA in Music from the Conservatory of Music from Kean University focusing on classical voice. Her primary instrument, in the beginning of her career, was saxophone, specializing in Jazz Improvisation. Ashley has been teaching voice for over 18 years creating a niche with Musical Theater performers as well as Rock, Pop and Classical Singers both on a professional and recreational level!

Ashley has been the Musical Director for the JP Stevens Theatre Company for the pasy 18 years, as well as the MD for the Academy of Performing Arts in Scotch Plains and numerous studio and community theatre productions. Ashley specializes in Vocal Coaching, Instruction and Health and all of her vocal students are taught with the same classical technique focusing on posture, breathing, articulation, vowel placement and diaphragmatic support. Her students not only become well trained singers, they also build confidence, social and public speaking skills, as well as decreasing performance anxiety and nervousness for all levels of skill and interest for the precollege, college and professional singer! She has a unique and out-of-the-box way of teaching her students, regardless of their experience level. Ashley brings a new edge to all of her lessons and individualizes each one to help bring out the Rockstar! in all of them!

David Mondragon
GUITAR | BASS | PIANO | UKULELE | DRUMS | MUSIC THEORY | COMPOSITION | ROCK BAND

David received his bachelor's degree from Kean University in Classical Guitar Performance and has been teaching Guitar, Bass, Piano and Music Theory/Composition for over 20 years. He has been playing music since he was 9 years old and originally started on the clarinet and piano, then fell in love with the guitar at age 11. Since his teen years, David has been a member of the hard rock/heavy metal band E. Town Concrete, touring the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Japan. The band's music videos were featured on MTV2's Headbanger's Ball, several Playstation video games, and on a Budweiser commercial for the 2004 U.S. Olympic team. David is also the newest member of long time friends and veteran rockers, 40 Below Summer, taking the country by storm with continuing tour dates. Additionally David performs with numerous other bands as well as experience playing guitar, banjo and mandolin in Musical Theatre Productions. 

 

Haley Schila
STRINGS | UKULELE | GUITAR | PIANO 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                               Haley has been playing the violin since the age of 6 and has                                                      been teaching private lessons since 2012. Haley has experience                                                with teaching violin viola, cello, ukulele, beginner guitar, as well as                                              beginner double bass. She recently moved here from                                                                  Pennsylvania, after finishing her degree at Penn State. She                                                        currently teaches orchestra in the Piscataway School District.                                                    With her ability to connect to students of all ages, she creates                                                    a welcoming environment full of energy, while striving to inspire                                                  students to be passionate about their music and share it with                                                      their community.

 
 
 
 

Michael Baglio
DRUMS 

  Michael has been performing and studying music since he was 7 years old, beginning with drum set lessons and later picking up multiple areas of percussion. Besides a drum set player, he has experience performing orchestral, marching, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, and West African percussion. He has played in rock bands, jazz ensembles, latin ensembles, orchestras/wind bands, musical theatre pits, marching bands, and also works as a dance acompanist.
Michael currently studies orchestral and Afro-Cuban percussion at Rutgers University: Mason Gross School of the Arts. He is working towards completing his bachelors degree in Music Education and also a Certificate of Recording Arts. Besides performing, Michael works with multiple high schools in New Jersey as a marching band percussion instructor and also teaches private lessons.
 

 

Darlene Rich

ACTING | YOGA

Darlene Rich is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, NYC, Thomas Edison State College, and The College of New Jersey. She began her yoga practice as a part of the acting training (movement for the performer) while attending AADA; continuing both yoga and acting studies through formal degrees and certification programs. Her philosophy follows the age old adage- when you teach something you then, and only then, begin to master it. Darlene holds degrees in Literature, Theatre, and Masters in the Art: Teaching Secondary English as well as a Teaching Certification for K-8, Theatre and Speech and Communication.  Darlene’s acting/performing credits - gratefully too many to list- includes Off-Broadway world premiere’s including Visions of Kerouac at the Lion Theatre, NYC, and The Hunting Scenes of Lower Bavaria at the Vandam Theatre NYC. Darlene was a resident member of the Shelter West Company under the Artistic Director and mentor, Judith Joseph. While working as a professional actress Darlene continued her studies at HB Studios with Frances Chaney, Aaron Frankel. Austin Pendelton and William (Bill) Hickey. She studied voice with James Gassett and continues her vocal training with Ashley Mondragon. She also studied dialects with David Christopher. Darlene was introduced to yoga in 1974 in Manhattan while attending the Academy of Dramatic Arts. Yoga has continued to be a integral part of her life moving from be a student of yoga to a teacher in 2004 with her 200 hour YTT. She has continued to become certified in many styles and practices including, Yin Yoga, Masala Restorative Yoga, Yoga for Trauma and Addiction and is currently completing her Kundalini Certfication.   She has studied with Shiva Rae, Angela Farmer and Emily Conrad as well as many other wonderful instructors throughout the years. Darlene is thrilled to be leading the Acting and Yoga Programs at Rockstar! Studios, bringing to the private sector her teaching and directing skills of theatre, musical theatre, improvisational theatre, Shakespeare studies and yoga for the performer that she has honed at JP Stevens High School for the past 20 years.

 

 

Rachel Phelan 
ACTING 

Rachel is a graduate of AMDA College and Conservatory of the Performing Arts, and an alumnus of Rockstar! Currently, Rachel is playing Meg March in Holmdel Theatre Company's production of Little Women. She recently performed in Centenary University’s Summer Repertory productions of Nunsense and Jesus Christ Superstar. She’s also a current cast member in their TYA touring productions of Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical, and Miss Nelson is Missing. Rachel has been a permanent cast member of the cabaret Let’s Broadway in New York City for the last three years. Other acting credits include Tracy in Hairspray (Algonquin Arts Theatre), CB’s Sister in Dog Sees God (Circle Players Theatre), Martha in Spring Awakening (Rockstar! Studios).

 

Samantha Tirone
DANCE  

Sam is an MSU Theatre Studies and Dance graduate. Sam has retired from 12 years of Competitive Dance and 20 years of performing on stage. She has choreographed over a dozen shows for multiple community theatre companies throughout the state including Westfield Players, EVP, Main Street, JP Stevens High School and most recently Rockstar! Studios. She has choreographed for 8 years at WHS. Sam has also choreographed award winning routines in the world of Competitive Dance. Additionally she has worked with MAMS in Matawan and choreographed for their middle school productions as well as their summer theatre workshop program.

 

 

 

Theresa Orth 
DANCE | CHOREOGRAPHER | YOGA

 

 

 

Julia Foti
DANCE | CHOREOGRAPHER | YOGA

Theresa began dancing at the age of 2 and was invited to join a competition team at age 4. She trained in all genres of dance from Central Jersey Dance & Gymnastics including being on the Central Jersey Dance Company from age 2 to 18. She was also a member of the All Star Team, Jersey Girls Dance Team from age 11-18 and was co-captain for the 2012-2013 season. In 2013, Theresa won first place and overall high score for her ballet solo. She also trained in ballet at New Jersey Ballet throughout most of her college years. Theresa loves teaching ballet to her students because it is the foundation of dance and it especially helps with their technique in other genres of dance. It is a joy to see the smiles on their faces after accomplishing something they have worked toward on the dance floor. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Deaf Studies from The College of New Jersey. She hopes of going to graduate school for her Doctorate of Audiology Degree in 2019.

            Julia Foti is a current Rutgers University student pursuing a BFA               in Dance with Mason Gross School of the Arts and B.S. in                         psychology. She grew up in a competition studio but since then,               she has performed works by Randy James, Stephanie Batten                   Bland, Dance Heginbotham, and John Evans. Julia has                             performed in various dance productions in NYC with Muhammad             Moves and Artist. Over past summers, Foti had the opportunity to             study with Paul Taylor Dance Company, Mark Morris Dance                     Group, and Yin Yue Dance Company. Julia is a certified vinyasa               yoga teacher, RYT 200-HR TT, with Om Factory NYC. With her                 extensive knowledge in dance and yoga, Julia hopes to create                 encouraging environments for young dancers to explore their                   creativity and gain confidence in themselves.

 

Guest Artists

 

Matthew Petrucelli
ACTING

 

 

 

 

        Matthew Petrucelli is a New Jersey native actor and educator. He          received his BFA in acting from Montclair State University, and is          currently working towards his MFA in acting at Rutgers University          Mason Gross School of the Arts. He holds his New Jersey                    Teaching Certification as a Teacher of Theater for grades K-                  12. He taught and helped build the drama curriculum at BRICK              Peshine Academy in Newark, NJ. Matthew also spent a year                training at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London where he                received extensive classical training.

        As an actor, Matthew has performed in various productions in the          US and Europe ranging from musicals, plays, and devised                    original     works. Matthew was seen in J.M. Meyer’s Bride of the          Gulf at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and                                              Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure both in London on the                  Globe Stage, and in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Matthew has            been in various musicals such as Jesus Christ                                        Superstar, and Annie.

        Matthew is a graduate of JP Stevens High School, and a former            student of Rockstar! Studios, where he was taught and mentored          under Darlene Rich and Ashley Bowen. He is excited to work                alongside such talented faculty, and to be part of the Rockstar!              team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

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ROCKSTAR! STUDIOS  |  350 Mountain Avenue  |  Suites 1 & 2  |  Middlesex, New Jersey 08846  |  (732) 667-5636  |  info@rockstarmusicstudios.com