HIGHLANDS, NJ – When it comes to school budget cuts, music is among the first to go.  This is of great concern to performing artists everywhere.  The Red Bank Area Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society started a program 5 years ago to help support vocal music in our schools.  The Barbershop Festival of Harmony for 4th Graders is a cooperative program between Atlantic Highlands Elementary School, Highlands Elementary School and the Red Bank Area Chapter.

In May, a barbershop quartet visited the 4th grade music class at both schools and demonstrated harmony and sang a few songs to the students.

The Matinee Idles Barbershop Chorus performs for students at Highlands Elementary School.

On Monday, Atlantic Highlands students were bussed to Highlands Elementary for the annual concert.  The program began with the students performing songs, a cappella, or without accompaniment, from songbooks entitled Keep America Singing.  The books were purchased by the Red Bank Chapter 5 years ago for both schools. The children sang songs like, I Love the Mountains, I Got Rhythm, My Favorite Things, What a Wonderful World and You Are My Sunshine at the performance.

Students from Atlantic Highlands and Highlands Elementary Schools perform songs a cappella.

The Matinee Idles, a senior men’s chorus and a sub-set of the Chorus of the Atlantic, performed for the students  – as well as two quartets; The Classy Seniors and The Bayshore Four.

Ms. Galessetti, the school’s superintendent/principal, thanked the Red Bank Chapter for their performance and for bringing the program to the students year after year.  Ms Galessetti noted there were likely to be a few stars among the students in the attendance.  

The men of the Chorus of the Atlantic are always pleased to share their love of music, especially with young audiences.  If you know a man that enjoys harmony, the group has open rehearsals every Tuesday evening at 7:30 p.m.  They meet at the Red Bank Middle School, Harding Road, Red Bank until school lets out for summer.  During the summer months, the group meets at St. Anselm’s Roman Catholic Church in Tinton Falls.  Singers of all levels are welcome.  For more information you may visit

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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...