RED BANK, NJ - On Sunday, December 20th, members of the Chorus of the Atlantic performed for the inpatient rehabilitation unit at Riverview Medical Center, Red Bank.
The group of male a cappella singers spread a little holiday cheer as one of their outreach missions in Red Bank.
The men, members of the Red Bank Area Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society performed traditional holiday favorites, sung in close 4-part harmony, under the direction of Kirk Thomson, of Fair Haven. A quartet also performed a Christmas tune for the audience of a couple dozen patients at the facility.
One unnamed patient was in tears as the chorus closed their program with “Silent Night”. He had been a patient since October - longer than most. Kelly Pico, director of the rehab unit said later the man was thinking of his family and his long struggle to get home. The man will be going home Tuesday.
Another man, who for years had portrayed Santa Claus in Red Bank, said he was deeply moved by the tenderness with which the chorus sang and he was happy to hear the harmony. He especially enjoyed a quartet singing, “Coney Island Baby” - one of his favorites.
“They definitely made Christmas very special around here,” Pico said. Some patients were exercising in an adjoining room. One patient commented to Pico that it was a terrific break from routine to have wonderful music while doing their exercises.
A patient named Josephine was treated to a special performance as the only audience member while the men were warming up prior to the show. She seemed to enjoy the special attention lavished on her by the singers.
“There is something about singing that is very special,” said Allan Dean, public relations spokesman for the chorus. “It can be very intimate and move people to tears; or it could cause their hearts to swell with pride; or make them smile from ear to ear - ideally, all at once. We, in the Barbershop Harmony Society, want to make music part of every life.”
The Red Bank chorus performs throughout the year at several events in town, including: Flag Day and 9/11 ceremonies with the Red Bank Elks at Riverside Gardens Park, Red Bank Street Fairs in the spring and fall and strolling the streets singing carols as part of Red Bank RiverCenter’s Holiday Harmonies.
The group routinely performs at Long Street Farm, Holmdel, during Harvest Home Days, Middletown Township Public Library, and other venues in Monmouth County.
The Chorus of the Atlantic welcomes visitors to their rehearsals after January 1st. They meet Tuesday evenings from 7:30 – 10:00 p.m. at the Red Bank Middle School, Harding Road, Red Bank. For more information visit www.redbankchorus.org
About the Chorus of the Atlantic
The Chorus of the Atlantic is the singing component of the Red Bank Area Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society and is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded with the mission to provide cultural enhancement and arts education to all audiences at the Jersey Shore through high-quality performances and to encourage and promote the education of its members and the public in music appreciation, and; to initiate, promote and participate in charitable projects, and; to promote public appreciation of barbershop harmony.