WEST ORANGE, NJ – Members of the Roosevelt Middle School choir helped to ring in the holidays on Dec. 5 at the township Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Under the direction of Phil McLaughlin, RMS music teacher, the group performed several holiday favorites, often in two- and three-part harmony including "Silent Night," "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and "Joy to the World."

The singers who performed were: Meghan Titus, Rachel Favetta, Evelyn Pereira, Safiya Graham, Alyssa Stone, Justin Peters, Ugonma Chima, Selena Modeste, Jamari Servance, Melanie Maciejak and Celastina Pemberton.

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“This was a small group of singers chosen from the Roosevelt Middle School Select Chorus to sing for the event,” said McLaughlin. “They dedicated an extra day per week for rehearsal in addition to their regular select chorus rehearsal schedule, and the students were all very excited to participate in the tree lighting ceremony. They had a great experience and hope to return in the future.”

Township residents gathered in front of town hall to enjoy the singers as well as performances from Unique Performance Arts Center. Mayor Rob Parisi welcomed attendees and said he was enthusiastic about the time-honored township tradition as he counted down to the tree lighting with local children.

Roosevelt Principal Lionel Hush was on hand to enjoy the student’s performance

“The tree lighting ceremony is a lovely tradition the town celebrates,” he said. “It’s great to see a community come together in the spirit of the holiday season. I was honored to have Roosevelt included in the services and was extremely proud of the students that performed. They did a wonderful job for their community.”

Editor's Note: All photos were taken by Cynthia Cumming.