Excerpts from the Celebration Singers Newsletter
Seventh Issue - November 1998

A Word From Our President — Dennis Jenkins

The Celebration Singers opened this 1998-1999 season with an encore performance of " A Night At the Movies" at the outdoor Linden Festival held on October 11th. The audience loved the stroll down memory lane as they were treated to a show full of familiar and classic movie songs. The climax was the performance of Sister Act II numbers, "Oh Happy Day" and "Joyful, Joyful" directed by the renowned song leader, Sister Mary Clarence. The Singers then moved on to perform for the Union County Arts Grant Reception on October 28th and again dazzled the crowd.

We are extremely fortunate this year to receive two grants for support from Union County, one from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Department of State through the Union County Division of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, and the other from the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders (Daniel P. Sullivan, Chairman). We are deeply indebted to them for their support not only this year, but for many years in the past.

Under the direction of Tom Pedas, The Celebration Singers and Children's Chorus have brought delight and pleasure to thousands of people over the past several years, and it continues to grow. As we start in on our 60th year in existence, we're able to reflect on the many things we've done and people we've touched. Each performance brings us new friends and followers, so much that our last two concerts were almost sold out. We want to thank everyone who has supported us through the years through financial assistance, ads and boosters, and your "behind the scenes" help. We couldn't make it without you. And to all the singers, both adults and children, we want to personally thank you for your dedication and desire to make The Celebration Singers known throughout the state of New Jersey.

Our Holiday Concert series will begin on December 4th and 6th with the Watchung Stables and Berkeley Heights Tree Lighting ceremonies. We then move on to our Holiday Concert on December 11th and 12th. We are also scheduled to visit several local hospitals and nursing homes during the winter months.

On behalf of the Executive Board of The Celebration Singers and all the Singers, I'd like to extend our thanks and wish you a safe and happy Holiday season.

A Letter of Joy to Fellow Singers!
Kevin R.J. Downey

Sometimes we take for granted the sweet things that have been sent to us from the Man above. I for one have ultimately taken Him for granted, and none more so than in the past year. After taking a season off from the group, I felt a loss inside that was unexplainable.

There were times in my life when music lifted me and times when it humbled me, and there were times when it was my only friend. Think of those songs that with just a simple melody brought us to remember our childhood. Or those three chords that we could have sworn were sung by angels.

After seeing last spring's concert and continuously hearing songs that reminded me of the group, I felt the magic stir within and I journeyed back to the Singers.

Becoming a singer takes practice, but within each of us we have the makings. We are the projectors the amplifiers, the instruments that sing out to the world. So this holiday season and beyond, believe in the words and sing with the joy that lies in your heart. Sing out to the lonely and down-trodden. Raise the roof and with a little faith our choir will again bring out the magic and beauty that lies in another's soul. What you have given to others will surely be given to you. God Bless All this season!

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Tom Pedas, The Celebration Singers and Children's Chorus


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