Hitting the Right Notes

“We love you!” That’s how members of the Matheny Choir were greeted by a well-wisher from the audience as they made their annual appearance at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark as part of the Holiday Express annual benefit concert on December 10. The choir sang “Snow Globe” and “Frosty” to standing ovations and then joined the Holiday Express band and singers for a rousing rendition of “Happy”, led by Holiday Express vocalist Lisa Rott.

Founded by Tim McLoone in 1993, Holiday Express has more than 100 professional singers and musicians who volunteer their time, along with an additional 1,300 volunteers. The band visited Matheny on November 22, one of about 60 appearances in November and December at hospitals, homeless shelters, nursing homes, and other places where people need cheering up.

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From left, choir member Corey Kent, music therapy director Lynn Coyle, music therapy intern Genevieve Scott, and choir member Bianca Mathis.

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Choir member Natalie Tomastyk, cheered on by a Holiday Express singer.

The choir is part of Matheny’s music therapy program, which uses various types of music to positively affect students’ and patients’ cognitive, physical, emotional, and social skills, helping them realize their potential in society.