Arts & Entertainment

Children's Performer Mr. Ray Rocks Youth Appreciation Week in Livingston


LIVINGSTON, NJ — Livingston children were invited to sing along, dance and play a variety of instruments during a special Youth Appreciation Week (YAW) performance by children’s entertainer Mr. Ray at the Livingston Community Center to celebrate the 21st annual YAW.

The two-hour concert featured classic children’s tunes like “If You’re Happy and You Know It” and “Head Shoulders Knees and Toes” as well as the musician’s original songs.

Alan Karpas, president of Healthy Community Healthy Youth (HCHY) and lead coordinator of YAW, recognizes children’s love for music. According to Karpas, it was important to bring a children’s performer in the spirit of this week’s events.

Sign Up for E-News

“Everything this week is about the kids,” said Karpas.

Mr. Ray, also known as Ray Andersen, began performing for children in 1994 when a friend invited him to perform at a day camp. After the camp’s director hired Andersen to sing for her kids part-time, his newfound career sparked.

“That was it for me,” said Andersen. “I have a rapport with children and elderly folks, and I just love kids.”

Andersen said he wanted to make the concert as interactive as possible. Since he felt the venue’s stage placed him too far from the children, he moved to the floor next to their seats. According to Andersen, he often does this to make performances more intimate, letting kids strum his guitar and sing solos.

Children and parents filled the performance space, many joining Mr. Ray in front. Three-year-old Kiera Yong danced along with the eager crowd of spectators. According to her mother, Livingston resident Yong Yong, this was a big feat.

“She’s usually a shy kid so I’m really happy that she’s in front,” said Yong. “She sings a lot at home so I like concerts that draw her out to be with the crowd.”

Yong has taken her children to several YAW events, including the LEGOs workshop with Stephen Schwartz. She said that Kiera has enjoyed spending time and playing with other kids, and her son built a windmill he was very proud of. They look forward to the family festival at the Livingston Town Oval on Saturday.

Youth Appreciation Week concluded with the annual Diversity Festival at the West Essex YMCA on Sunday.

This article was written by Molly Glick, a Morristown-Beard High School senior, as part of the TAP into Livingston internship program. Molly recently committed to Northwestern University to study Journalism in the fall. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Free Flavors Soft Serve Ice Cream (Jr. Cup or Cone) With Coupon

May 23, 2018

Fairfield, NJ - Flavors Homemade Ice Cream is offering a FREE soft serve ice cream (jr. cup or cone) when you spend $10 or more with coupon.

Flavors Homemade Is located at 653 Rt 46 West (1.98 mi) in Fairfield, New Jersey 07004 next to Jose Tejas.

*Homemade Ice Cream

*Italian Ice


*Fresh waffles 

*ice ...

Evolve Cycle And Fitness Presale Happening Now!

CALDWELL, NJ - Evolve Cycle and Fitness is now offering 10 classes for only $90. That’s only $9 a class when you purchase before its official Grand Opening on Friday, June 1, 2018. 

Only two weeks left to take advantage of this limited time offer! Call Martha at 973-979-5919 or click here to sign up.

Evolve Cycle and Fitness is a Premier Fitness Boutique ...

Upcoming Events


Thu, May 24, 6:30 PM

Heritage Middle School , Livingston

Livingston Public Schools Presents: 6th to 7th ...



Thu, May 24, 7:00 PM

Livingston Public Library, Livingston

Understanding Hearing Loss

Health & Wellness


Thu, May 24, 7:30 PM

Heritage Middle School , Livingston

Livingston Public Schools Presents: 6th to 7th ...


Montclair HS Student Reported Sexual Assault in All-Gender Bathroom, Officials Say

May 17, 2018

MONTCLAIR, NJ - According to published reports on Wednesday, Montclair Police officials are investigating allegations of sexual assault reported to have occurred in a bathroom at Montclair High School.

Montclair police officials state that officers received a report about an incident at the high school of a sexual nature that occurred around 3:18 p.m. on Monday. The ...

Still Time to Register for Livingston's Fall Intown Soccer

May 14, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Although a late fee may be applied as of May 13, registration is still open for the Fall 2018 Intown Soccer season in Livingston, including the high school co-ed program.

Livingston Soccer Club's (LSC) Intown program is all about sportsmanship, making friends, getting some exercise and learning a bit about soccer along the way. LSC provides the following ...

10-Year-Old Cancer Patient Receives Donation from Randolph Hockey Family

May 21, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ — While the inter-town hockey battles on the ice between Randolph and Roxbury are fierce at every age level, when it comes to real-life battles off the ice, there is no hesitation to offer help to their neighbor.

Such is the case with a recent gesture of unity and support from the members of the Randolph varsity hockey team, when they came together to ...

A Royal Pain

I went to a big wedding over the weekend.  It was in England.

I like to think I was invited, but according to the Royal Guards and the Thames Valley Police I was not.  But more about that later.

You see, not too long ago I received an evite addressed to me from H&  Curiously, it was in my spam folder with a warning message. For an evite it was pretty ...