Area woman to take over Music Together program
SPARTA — Music Together Sparta Center Director Debbie Disanza of Wantage has been creating memories for 12 yearsbut also bringing the joy and importance of music into local families lives. Disanza is passing down her reins to a young woman who is no stranger to the importance of music.
Heather Donnelly of Sparta will take over the center as director when Disanza steps down.
Heather Donnelly grew up in Frankford Township and attended High Point Regional High School. In high school, she became a standout, catching the eye of the Paper Mill Playhouse and was asked to train and perform at their summer conservatory, alongside then unknowns Anne Hathaway and Broadway sensation Laura Benanti. As a young child Donnelly started performing at 5 years old, and never looked back, performing locally and regionally her entire life.
“As a baby I was exposed to a 4D experience of music, which helped me build my skills,” Donnelly said. "As a family we were always singing and dancing in the house, performing on stage, or going to watch musicals, and performances.”
Donnelly majored in TV/Radio Communications and minored in Theater at Rider University/Westminster Choir College. After graduation, Donnelly had some TV work but realized it was a tough lifestyle.
“Trying to decide if I should eat or go on auditions was always a toss-up,” Donnelly said. “I decided to start looking for a job in my major and got a quick stint with Mugs Media before landing a job as a co-host and news anchor at Clear Channel.”
Working very early in the mornings allowed Donnelly the opportunity to audition again, and landed Donnelly a ton of voiceover work.
“Being able to use my voice to create characters, and also sing was a dream come true,” Donnelly said, “You can take more risks and worry less about people watching you.”
Once Donnelly became a mom, she decided to hang up her headphones to raise her children. She signed up for her first Music Together class when her oldest, now 7, was 6 months old.
“I knew firsthand the importance of music at an early age, so watching my own children and others thrive in class was tremendous” says Donnelly. It is proven that EVERY child is born musical, and is as much a natural skill as walking and talking. We understand the importance of practicing walking and talking with our children everyday. Research has shown music milestones are equally as important to the brain and they need to be nourished.”
Disanza had Donnelly’s three children in her classes for 17 sessions, and knew Donnelly would not only make a wonderful teacher, but the perfect center director.
“Heather was one of those moms who understood the importance of what was going on in and out of class,” says Disanza. “When I decided to hand over the center, I knew she would be a perfect fit. She has the talent, her personality is just like mine, and she is so enthusiastic!”
Although Disanza is handing over the center, she will continue to teach at the Sparta Lanes and N.J. Swim location.
“I still love to teach, and I still love spreading the philosophies of Music Together. It will be nice to just teach and not worry about the administrative end,” Disanza said.
For more information on classes please visit www.singasongnj.com, or call 973-400-8719.
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