About New York Holiday Singers, Inc.
Our company began in 2009 with the husband-and-wife team of Greg Kefalas & Jen Arvay Kefalas, both Christmas and holiday season fanatics, wanting to bring fun vocal holiday entertainment to New York City. You see, they had organized caroling nights with their friends back in Ohio during the late 90s, going door-to-door in neighborhoods, caroling for folks, and found it immensely gratifying.
So, in 2009, and now living in NYC, they formed the "original" New York Holiday Singers. In 2011, we added the New York Holiday Choristers, who inherited the Singers' songbook. That same year, the Singers refocused as a premium jazz & contemporary headlining group.
In 2012, Doug Cordes was added to our management team after two years of singing with our groups and impressing with his insight and advice. The following year, 2013, saw the addition of our third fantastic group, Men Singing Carols, and in 2016 we added the Winter Graces. (Obviously, we like to stay busy.)
Our team absolutely adores the holiday season, and it shows in everything we do. We handle just about everything you see & hear 100% in-house, and we always try to bring the same level of care to everything we create. Bringing the holidays to life isn't just a business to us; it's a passion that we hope shines through. Find out more about each member of our team below.
Jen Arvay Kefalas
Founder - Executive & Financial Director / Performs in the Singers, Choristers & Graces (Alto)
Jen handles all of NYHS, Inc.'s booking, finances, and external contacts, as well as managing the company's scheduling and singer-wrangling, which is almost a full-time job itself!
A native of Northeast Ohio (Cleveland and later Bainbridge, OH), Jen came to New York City in 2004 and has worked in theatre, film, TV, opera, choir, and most recently, holiday acapella. Jen spends most of her days working reservations, sales & accounting support, digital content/website management, and generally filling in wherever needed at Print, a farm-to-table restaurant in New York City. Outside of her day job and NYHS, Inc., Jen is usually found obliterating her kitchen by making delicious sweets and other concoctions. Example: She once corned a beef brisket and made her own mustard, just to see if she could. (Answer: she could, and it was amazing.)
Jen, like her husband, has been a Christmas fanatic her whole life, starting from her fledgling years in Cleveland. Her favorite old Christmas memory was going to downtown Cleveland as a child to see the Christmas Lighting Ceremony. As an adult, her favorite Christmas tradition is putting up the tree at midnight on her & Greg's wedding anniversary, December 8th!
Founder - Musical, Creative/Marketing & Tech Director / Performs in the Singers, Choristers & Men (Bass)
Greg is the one-man army behind New York Holiday Singers, Inc.'s music, websites & programming, audio/video, and branding, and much of our photography, creative/design, phone systems… you know what, let's just say he does quite a bit!
Another Northeast Ohioan (Canton, OH), Greg is the Chief Brand Officer (and former CTO) for Chicago-based integrated digital agency VL Group, who purchased his previous company where he had originated a world-class digital media delivery & streaming platform used today by companies like Live Nation, IMVU, Music Today, and many more. So he's had music and technology in his veins for a very long time! Besides his work with NYHS, Inc. and VL Group, Greg spends his time improving his design, photography, or video editing/production chops… or scratching out reams of concepts for new video game worlds in his notebooks… or being picky about coffee, and much more.
Greg is also gradually becoming a recognized expert on winter holiday traditions and folklore, having been interviewed in print and on NYC-area radio regarding topics such as caroling and Yule, which he has a funny way of pronouncing. He's loved the Christmas season his entire life, and has released two instrumental holiday albums under his solo music alter-ego, Luquado. An eternal optimist, Greg loves nothing more around the most wonderful time than bringing joy to peoples' hearts, and he believes very strongly in the potential for the holidays to bring out the finest in people.
Associate Producer / Performs in the Singers, Choristers & Men (Tenor)
In his day to day as Associate Producer for NYHS, Inc., Doug not only plays the role of "Outside Perspective No. 1" to Greg & Jen's ideas, but also wears hats for design, creative, strategy, and much much more!
Hailing from Birmingham, AL, Doug attended Auburn University where he toured the country with the Auburn University Singers. After he received a BFA in Visual Communications, Doug landed a job in Nashville, TN, where he also pursued side jobs in musical theater and recording. Doug shortly after followed his passion for music and performing to the center of the performing universe - New York City. When Doug's not singing with various NYHS, Inc. groups, he's also continued to perform in theater and revues across the country, and continued to work as a freelance graphic designer, illustrator, and more.
Doug, like the rest of our management team, possesses a deep love of the holiday season. He has memories spanning back of the candlelight service at his childhood church in Alabama followed by a lazy brunch with his family on Christmas morning. Doug loves being outside and swimming, is a live music, theater, and movie nut, and can often be found doodling away, tinkering with ideas. He loves tickling his niece & nephew via Facetime and also playing the role of Doting Uncle.