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Today's Concert Program

The program

The Classics

Come Fly With Me
Anything Goes
Call Me Irresponsible
Luck Be A Lady

James Van Heusen
Cole Porter
James Van Heusen
Frank Loesser

Adult Chorus

They Can't Take That Away From Me
I've Got You Under My Skin
The Girl From Ipanema

George Gershwin, arr. Mark Hayes
Cole Porter, arr. Teena Chinn
Antonio Carols Jobim, arr. Paris Rutherford

The Love Story

Mona Lisa
Make It Another Old Fashioned, Please
I Worship You
Time After Time

Jay Livingston & Ray Evans
Cole Porter
Cole Porter
Sammy Cahn

Youth Chorus

It Don't Mean a Thing: The Best of Duke Ellington

Take the "A" Train
Mood Indigo
Satin Doll
It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)

arr. Kirby Shaw/ed. H. Kernizan

Billy Strayhorn
Duke Ellington, Irving Mills, & Albany Bigard
Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington & Irving Mills

Let's Get Jazzy

You'd Be So nice to Come Home To
Cheek to Cheek
Fly Me to the Moon

Cole Porter
George Gershwin
Irving Berlin
Bart Howard

- Intermission - 

Adult Chorus

My Funny Valentine

Pablo Beltran Ruiz, arr. Kirby Shaw
Richard Rodgers, arr. Mac Huff
Richard Rodgers, arr. Russ Robinson

The Transatlantic American

Beyond the Sea
La Vie En Rose
Never On Sunday
Where Can I Go Without You

Charles Trenet & Albert Lasry
Louis Guglielmi
Domenico Modugno
Manos Hadjidakis
Victor Young

Youth Chorus

Honeysuckle Rose
God Bless the Child

Thomas "Fats" Waller
Billie Holiday  & Arthur Herzog Jr.


Can't Take My Eyes Off of You
My Way

Bert Kaempfert & Milton Gabler
Bob Crewe & Bob Gaudio
Jacques Revaux & Claude Francois

Adult Chorus

The Way You Look Tonight

Jerome Kern, arr. Kirby Shaw

Helen Kernizan

Meet the Performers


Ms. Helen Kernizan is the Youth Chorus director with Rise Up Chorus. Her biggest passion is educating young people to become the best musicians possible. Her educational philosophy is guided by three tenets: all children have a right to an education in the Arts, have the ability to be musical and improve musicality regardless of musical aptitude, and have the capacity for music literacy. Since 2017, Ms. Kernizan has worked as the Choral Director at the Township of Ocean Intermediate School (TOIS), where she directs both its Choir and Select Choir. At TOIS, she collaborates with colleagues to organize the District’s Annual Music in Our Schools Month Concert series and the Intermediate School’s Annual Arts Cafe. In addition to her work with Rise Up Chorus and in a public school setting, Ms. Kernizan is the K-8 Chorus and Music Chair with the Central Jersey Music Educators Association (CJMEA). She is responsible for organizing Region II Intermediate and Elementary Honor and Region choirs. CJMEA consists of six counties: Hunterdon, Monmouth, Mercer, Somerset, Middlesex, and Union.

Markos Kandilis


Markos Kandilis is a native Jersey Boy of Greek and Italian descent. The endless support of his family and community led him to an early entrance into the world of professional performance as a chorus member of the Metropolitan Opera House of New York City at age ten.

His performance abilities developed through many musical and theatrical productions during his formative years at and studies at Westminster Choir College. He earned numerous accolades and leading roles, catching the attention of Royal Caribbean Productions who cast him as a Featured Soloist, Vocal Captain, and Headliner for their renowned fleet of shows.

After several years at sea, Markos returned to New York City to progress his career and life on land. He now splits his time between Greece and Italy while pursuing a Master’s degree in Songwriting at Berklee College of Music and continuing to perform and direct voiceover and music projects.


Learn more about Markos at

Matthew J. LaPine


Matthew J. LaPine is an active performer, educator, conductor, and composer in central New Jersey. He received the designation Master of Music in Choral Conducting and Music Education from Westminster Choir College of Rider University, where he studied voice and graduated with distinction.  Mr. LaPine is the Founder and Artistic Director of Rise Up Chorus, a non-profit organization whose purpose is to enrich lives through human interaction using music as our commonality. He is Choral Director at Bernards High School, where his choral ensembles have received national acclaim and have performed in various locations along the East Coast. Matthew sings professionally throughout New Jersey as well as for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen (NJ) where he is a soloist, section leader, and guest conductor with the Festival and Chamber Choirs.

Learn more about Matthew at

Maddie Meier

Maddie Meier, an internationally-trained soprano, conductor and teacher from St. Louis, Missouri, received her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and Bachelor of Arts in German with a minor in French from Montclair State University. She graduated in 2020, summa cum laude. During her time at Montclair, she received a full-ride scholarship to study for a year at the Kunstuniversität Graz in Austria. She has done solo voice work with different Baroque Chamber Ensembles in and outside of the United States, and has sung a variety of different operatic and musical theater roles, in addition to concert works. Recently, she has performed as a soprano soloist for Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra and the American Repertory Ballet Theater. She has also performed as the soprano soloist for Handel’s Messiah, in addition to performing Haydn’s Creation with the South Orange Symphony Orchestra. Maddie Meier was a finalist in The Kentucky Bach Choir’s Audrey Rooney Vocal Bach Competition in 2021. She is also thrilled to be collaborating with professional singing ensemble, The Princeton Singers, for their upcoming Fall, 2022 concert series. As a conductor, Ms. Meier has been accepted as a Conducting Fellow at various conducting institutes across the country. She is looking forward to working as a Conducting Fellow with the Princeton Girlchoir this coming Fall (2022), in addition to continuing her work as a Choral Intern with Rise Up Chorus's Adult Chorus. Ms. Meier is the Choral Music Director at Neptune Township High School, where she directs two SATB choruses, in addition to directing the after school dramatic and musical productions. She also directs the school’s international, award-winning a cappella ensemble. She currently resides in Princeton, New Jersey, where she performs and runs her own private voice, violin, piano and language studio (Maddie Meier Music Studio, LLC). In her spare time, Maddie is a voracious reader, who loves to paint, hike, cook and garden.


Moriah Kam


Moriah Kam is the Youth Chorus Intern for Rise Up chorus. She has a passion for educating young minds through self-discovery, games and inquisitive questions. 

She is currently working as the General Music Teacher and Choir Director for Frost Elementary School at East Brunswick. She also graduated with a Music Education with a concentration of choral music as a pianist at Rutgers, Mason Gross School of the Arts. Under the tutilitiage of Karina Bruk since 2018, she hopes that she will be able to advance in her piano studies. She was involved in a variety of ensembles as a member or staff accompanist; Voorhees Choir, Symphony Band, Rutgers Children's Choir, Rutgers Scarlet Singers, St. Luke's Metuchen Choir, St. Luke’s Schola, Roosmoor Interfaith Church and Roosmoor Adult Choir). She has studied and performed in several festivals and facilities including Brevard Music Center (South Carolina), Summer Music In Tuscany (South Tuscany), and Carnegie Hall (New York). She discovered her passion for teaching when privately teaching  in 2018 in the New Brunswick and Bridgewater area. Moriah has a background in musical theater, wind ensemble, sewing and ultimate frisbee!

James Lubrano

As a Collaborative Pianist and Vocal Coach in the US and abroad, James Lubrano has prepared
ensembles and performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kimmel Center and NJPAC.
Highlight performances include the Carnegie Hall premiere of Dan Forrest’s Jubilate Deo, under
the direction of Henry Leck, the UNICEF / Steinway "Peace Piano" World Tour Showcase, the 2023 ACDA National Conference (John P. Stevens High School), 2016 ACDA Eastern Division
Conference (NJ Youth Chorus), the 2015 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic (Eastern Wind
Symphony) and the Colorado College Summer Music Festival. International engagements
include Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica (Celebration Singers), Lied Austria International, and
international tours to England, Scotland, and Italy.

Regionally, Mr. Lubrano has performed with the Eastern Wind Symphony, Encore Orchestra of
New Jersey, Grammy-nominated Rutgers Wind Ensemble & Symphonic Winds, Rutgers
Symphony Orchestra and the Monmouth Symphony Orchestra. He can be heard on the Eastern
Wind Symphony’s album, Elements (2019), featuring music of composer Julie Giroux.

Mr. Lubrano has accompanied Connecticut & New Jersey All-State Choirs, NJ-ACDA, NJMEA
& CJMEA Honor Choirs, Princeton Girlchoir, Monmouth Civic Chorus, and Manhattan Concert
Productions. At Wagner College, he served as a collaborative pianist and vocal coach for Opera
Workshop and the college choirs. As an experienced choral pianist, Mr. Lubrano has worked
with many distinguished conductors including Anton Armstrong, Jerry Blackstone, Rollo
Dilworth, Lynnel Joy Jenkins, Jennifer Sengin, Sandra Snow, and Brandon Williams. Mr.
Lubrano has coached Broadway performers and soloists of the Metropolitan Opera, and has
served as Music Director/Accompanist for over 150 musical theater productions. Currently, Mr.
Lubrano is a collaborative pianist for the Ridge High School Choirs, The College of New Jersey
Chorale, Celebration Singers Adult Chorus, Rise Up Adult Chorus, and the Music Director at St.
Andrew’s Episcopal Church in New Providence, NJ.

James Lubrano holds a Master of Music degree in Collaborative Piano Performance from
Rutgers University, where he studied with Barbara Gonzalez-Palmer. He is in high demand as an
active freelance pianist and coach throughout the NJ, NY, CT, & PA area.


Florence Simons


Pianist Florence Simons enjoys a varied career as a piano teacher, accompanist, music director and performer. Florence has been a staff accompanist at Westminster Choir College, has accompanied for various elementary and middle school choirs and orchestras and has played for workshops, master classes, and recitals. In addition to teaching piano for various community music schools, Florence also maintains her own private piano studio in Princeton New Jersey where her students have participated in master classes, given Dr. James Goldsworthy, and prestigious competitions such as the Mid Atlantic Music Teacher’s Guild and Golden Key Festival. Florence’s other great love is musical theater where she has accompanied/music directed over 20 productions for various musical theatre summer camps and community theaters in the New Jersey and Pennsylvania area. Favorite shows include, 13 the musical, Urinetown, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown and Avenue Q. Currently Florence teaches piano and accompanies all musical productions, recitals, and musical theater classes at Music Nation Academy in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. She also accompanies the middle school orchestra at Martin Middle School in Marlton, New Jersey and is the pianist/accompanist at Tuckerton United Methodist Church in Tuckerton New Jersey. She loves teaching and passing on the gift of music!

Taylor Goodson

Taylor Goodson is active as a freelance percussionist in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area, participating in performance with members of the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, the New York City Opera, and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at many notable venues in both New York and New Jersey.  He is the principal tympanist of both the Montclair Orchestra and the FEA Symphony and he performs regularly with a multitude of ensembles, including the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra and the New Jersey Festival Orchestra. He is also active as a member of the New York Percussion Group, a New York City-based percussion ensemble, and Festival Percussion, an educational percussion quartet in the New York/New Jersey area.


Mr. Goodson is a member of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM, Local 802) and the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP).

Learn more about Taylor at

Paul Cuffari


Paul Cuffari is a young and emerging talent as a bassist, songwriter, composer, and educator. He has been playing the bass and collaborating professionally for listeners around the world since he was 18. He has recently completed his BM in Jazz Bass Performance at William Paterson University and an MBA in Music and Entertainment Industries at the same school.

As a bassist, he has played in three continents and some of the premier music clubs in America including the Blue Note, The Bitter End, Blues Alley, and the Jazz Showcase. When he was 19, the late great trumpeter Wallace Roney (Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams, Art Blakey), hired Paul to be the bassist in his final quintet. He toured worldwide and recorded Roney's last album with the group. He has also been fortunate to share the stage with Lenny White, Enoch Smith Jr., and is studying with master bassist, maestro Buster Williams. 

"Strong, walking bass by Paul Cuffari. His bass dances along, beneath the music, in a very creative way" -Dee Dee McNeil, with Musical Memoirs (2019)

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