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 later years, Jeffrey Funaro was added to our management team after years of singing with our groups and impressing with his insight and advice.
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 Choristers (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 Choristers & Men (Bass)
Greg is the one-man army behind New York Holiday Singers, Inc.'s music, websites & programming, audio/video, branding, 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 Founder/President of the boutique digital agency Mattermind. 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 Mattermind, 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 instrumental holiday albums. 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.
Director, Sales & Marketing / Performs in the Choristers & Men (Bass/Tenor 2)
In his day to day as Director of Sales & Marketing for NYHS, Inc., Jeffrey not only plays the role of "Outside Perspective No. 1" to Greg & Jen's ideas, but also handles social media, strategy, and much much more!
Jeffrey Funaro grew up in the Northern suburbs of NYC, and has called the city home for over 15 years. After earning a BFA in Theatre from NYU Tisch (CAP21) and an MA in Music Composition from CUNY Queens College, Jeff performed in the National Tour of John Doyle’s actor-musician version of Sweeney Todd, and regional theatre credits include Godspell (Judas, nominated for Central New York Awards "Best Actor in a Musical" on BroadwayWorld), Joseph…Dreamcoat (Pharaoh), The Drowsy Chaperone (Robert Martin), Beauty & The Beast (Lumiere), and Camelot (Lancelot). It’s not the holidays without teaching his two nieces the old Italian family recipes for cookies and other treats, and a new tradition involves an all-day movie marathon on Christmas Day with his fiance and friends. Visit Jeffrey's site at http://www.jeffreyfunaro.com.