Crowd pleasers

Members of the Matheny Choir received three standing ovations when they performed at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark as part of the Holiday Express Christmas Spectacular benefit concert. Singing “Last Christmas” and “Little Drummer Boy,” the Choir members then joined in with the Holiday Express singers for a rousing version of “Lean on Me.”

Holiday Express is a Monmouth County-based volunteer band whose mission is to deliver music, food, gifts, financial support and friendship to those in need during the holiday season. The band visited Matheny on December 11 and invited the Choir members to join them at NJPAC on December 21. The Choir is part of Matheny’s music therapy program. Its members perform throughout the year at a variety of venues, including the Peapack-Gladstone tree lighting ceremony.

Above: Matheny adult patient Taty Manousakis sings along with Holiday Express’ Byron Smith and music therapist Alissa West.

Below: Matheny student Yasin Reddick and music therapist Megan Chappius, left, harmonize with Holiday Express singer Mary D’Arcy. D’Arcy played Christine in the Broadway production of Phantom of the Opera.