Swing shift

Student Bianca Mathis listens to a trumpet solo from band member Ed Beales.

The music of Fats Waller, Duke Ellington and Glenn Miller was written before the students and patients at Matheny were born. But the children’s dining room was swinging when members of the Chatham Community Band Jazz Ensemble visited on a recent Thursday evening and presented a concert of tunes from the 1930s and ’40s. The band has been playing throughout northern New Jersey since its formation in 2007.

Programs such as this are coordinated through Matheny’s music therapy program, which employs various types of music to help develop students’ and patients’ cognitive, physical, emotional and social skills. In addition to inviting musical groups such as the CCB Jazz Ensemble to present musical programs at Matheny, the music therapy program also makes it possible for students and patients to attend outside concerts and theatre presentations.

The front line, from left, saxophonists George Estes and Peter Grice and trumpeter Ed Beales.