Tom Pedas, Music Director, (1995 - 1999)
The Celebration Singers Children's Choir
The Celebration Singers Young Men's Ensemble
Please visit The Children's Choir 15th Anniversary Concert
The Celebration Singers Children's Choir, a tuition free school founded by Tom Pedas in
is sponsored by the Celebration Singers, an adult non-profit organization not affiliated with any church or school.
Tom Pedas, a former music teacher with the Cranford and Linden Public Schools, created the Children's Choir to give talented singers between the ages of 9 and 13 a tuition free opportunity to learn and perform a variety of music, ranging from classical to Broadway. "We are a unique group in that the children's choir is an extension of the adult choir," Pedas said. Though there are many individual adult and children's choruses throughout New Jersey, no other children's chorus in sponsored by an adult chorus.
"In Europe," explains Tom Pedas, there are many opportunities for families to sing together in community choirs. That experience is lacking in this country. The Children's Choir performs selections on its own and also performs in concert with the Celebration Singers adult choir thus giving an intergenerational flavor to their concerts.
The Celebration Children's Choir consists of 80 youngsters from several different communities. From 1995 to the present it has provided a tuition free choral experience for over 500 area children. Many of the members have gone on to join The Celebration Singers adult choir. Director Tom Pedas is very proud of the children. "Individually they are the top scholars, the top athletes, the leads in their school musicals and the students that consistently represent New Jersey in
All State, All Eastern and National Honors Choirs."
Director Tom Pedas is very proud of the children. "Individually they are the top scholars, the top athletes, the leads in their school musicals and the students that consistently represent New Jersey in All State, All Eastern and National Honors Choirs."
Tom Pedas created the Young Men's Ensemble in 2006 to accommodate boys whose voices either had changed or were in various stages of changing. As a result they could no longer sing the treble music that the children's choir was learning. This group bridges the gap between the children's choir and the adult choir. The group participates annually in the "Festival of Harmony" sponsored by the Rahway Jerseyaires and have developed a liking for the challenge of singing barbershop music.
Tom Pedas's devotion to his students and his relentless quest for artistic superiority have produced award winning choirs at both Linden High School and Cranford High School where his students are consistently chosen for All State and National Honors Choirs receiving superior ratings at state festivals.
As a past director of the Celebration Singers adult choir, 1995 - 1999, Pedas directed the opera Amahl and the Night Visitors.
Tom Pedas is also the founder of the Linden Summer Playhouse and has directed musicals for the Scotch Plains Players, Mystic Vision Players, Hillside Avenue School, Cranford Dramatic Club, Cranford Repertory Theatre and directed Les Miserables and West Side Story at Scotch Plains Fanwood High School. In 2001 he played the role of the father, Bellomy, in the Cranford Dramatic Club's production of The Fantasticks.
Tom Pedas, received his B.A. in Music Education from Edinboro State University, PA, his M.A. in Choral Music from Teachers College of Columbia University, and attended graduate classes at Westminster Choir College. Mr. Pedas was named "Master Music Teacher of New Jersey" by the New Jersey Music Educators Association. He is a past guest conductor for the New Jersey Region II High School Chorus and the Junior High all State Honor Choir.
Tom Pedas, Music Director, (1995 - 1999)
The Celebration Singers is a non-profit New Jersey choral entertainment group of mixed-voice singers from the Union, Middlesex, Morris and Essex County areas and have been serving regions extending from Rockland County, New York to Trenton, New Jersey for more than 70 years. The group rehearses weekly and performs approximately 20 concerts per year. Their Annual Spring and Holiday Concerts have become a tradition as have our performances at nursing homes, hospitals and senior citizens centers.In 2007 they received the "Pride in Cranford" Community Service Award.
The group was founded in 1938 as the Esso Choristers, the company choir for the Standard Oil Company (which became Exxon) in Elizabeth, New Jersey. It all began 60 years ago at the Bayway Refinery when a male chorus was formed at Esso in Linden, New Jersey. When World War II military service prevented the men from continuing to participate, the female employees and families of the Esso men organized the Women's Chorale to carry on the musical performances. The women contributed to the war effort and boosted morale by entertaining at Camp Kilmer, Fort Dix and veterans' hospitals.
In 1978, the Exxon Choristers found sponsorship by the Township of Union and became the Union Choristers until 1980 when the group became a nonprofit independent organization and adopted the name Celebration Singers.
The adult choir has grown to 50 members. The Celebration Children's Chorus consists of 80 members who enjoy a tuition free musical education under the leadership of the current director and founder, Tom Pedas. The Young Men's Ensemble has 18 members.
The Celebration Singers is funded in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Department of State, through a grant administered by the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs For more information visit online at: www.celebration-singers.org.
From each and every member of the former Esso Choristers, Exxon Choristers, Union Choristers, and the present Celebration Singers and Children's Choir, we say thank you thank you for allowing us to bring our love of music and the joy of choral music to so many from 1938 to the present.
Vice President Dora Carbone
Treasurer Ray D'Amato
Secretary Judy Hailey
Vice President, Publicity Jane Ryan
Vice President, Concert Staging Eugene Kobliska
Vice President; Concert Appearances Carmelyn Marinaro
Assistant to the President Cheryl Wallace
Grants Dennis Jenkins
Tom Pedas, The Celebration Singers and Children's Chorus