JJMS Senior Sing-a-Long

Before the winter break, the seventh and eighth grade choirs spread holiday cheer by visiting senior citizens in local residential facilities. The seventh grade ensemble boarded busses and headed for Somers Manor. The following day, the eighth grade choir visited residents at Waterview Hills and then Salem Hills. Parents cheerfully volunteered to serve as chaperones.


Over 100 students assembled at each location. In Waterview Hills, they entered the multi-purpose room and were introduced to enthusiastic residents. The choir was led by the teacher Elena Gambulos-Cody, and Jonathan Faiman provided piano accompaniment. Beautiful voices filled the room as students sang five familiar melodies such as “Good Day Sunshine,” by The Beatles, and “One Short Day,” from the musical, “Wicked.”


After the performance, the students distributed lyrics to six popular holiday classics and invited the residents to sing and dance along. Together they enjoyed tunes including “Let it Snow,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Frosty the Snowman,” “Jingle Bells,” “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” and “Jingle Bell Rock.”


Students mingled with the residents as they shared conversation and distributed handmade ornaments. Feelings of joy and compassion were palpable and contagious. Waterview Hills Activity Director Sue Orc shared, “Elena and I have been doing this for years. John Jay students are extremely well behaved. They are always polite and involved…I look forward to this event. The residents will talk about it for weeks!”


Resident Virginia Mead shared her enthusiasm. “I was in chorus and sang with a group in Armonk. I love music! This was a beautiful concert. I haven’t heard this music in a long time.” Students Sarah Smith and Eliza Turriago were also pleased. Sarah said, “I would do this every day. It was so awesome!” Eliza added, “I think it was really fun. Others should do this!”


“This experience changes the students,” explained Elena Gambulos-Cody. “They leave with a different sense of who they are. The seniors want to be treated with respect and love and not be forgotten. We hope to shower love and help to pay it forward.”





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