Tom PedasAn Ambassador of Music

[Celebration Singers Children's Choir]

A teacher affects eternity...there's no telling where his influence may end. --Henry Adams


[TomStaff]
The New Jersey Music Educators Association

honors

Thomas Pedas

A MASTER MUSIC TEACHER

a fine musician and teacher, who
exemplifies the responsibility and dignity
of teaching music, whose dedicated service to the
education of youth is an inspiration to all.
[Celebration Singers Children's Choir]


[Tom Pedas,  Celebration Singers Choirs]

[You Tube]
The Celebration Singers Adult and Children's Choirs performing
Battle Hymn of the Republic - Arr. Peter J. Wilhousky

 

Tom Pedas
New Jersey's answer to ‘The Music Man

[2007 Children's Choir]

Tom Pedas was named ‘Master Music Teacher’ of New Jersey by the New Jersey Music Educators Association for his “dedicated service to the education of youth” and was chosen by the Star Ledger as one of the ‘Extraordinary People’ of Union County.

The Celebration Children's Chorus, formed by Tom Pedas in September 1995, is one of very few tuition-free Children's Choir in the state of New Jersey. It was created to give children the opportunity to learn and perform music, ranging from light classics to Broadway show tunes. "We are a unique group in that the children's choir is an extension of the adult choir," said Pedas. Though there are many individual adult and children's choruses throughout New Jersey, no other children's chorus is sponsored by an adult chorus. Their performances receive rave reviews.

In 2006 Tom Pedas formed the Celebration Singers Young Men's Ensemble to accommodate the boys in the children's choir whose voices either had changed or were in various stages of changing.

As a past director of the Celebration Singers adult choir (1995 - 1999) he directed the opera “Amahl and the Night Visitors”.

[Children's Choir]

In 1979 Tom Pedas founded the Linden Summer Playhouse which he directed for seven years. He has directed musicals for the Scotch Plains Players, Mystic Vision Players, and Hillside Avenue School as well as serving as musical director for Cranford Repertory Company's productions of “How to Eat Like a Child”, “Oliver”, “Anything Goes” and “Fiddler on the Roof”. Pedas was nominated as ‘Outstanding Musical Director of New Jersey’ by the Achievement in Community Theatre Awards for his direction of “West Side Story” for Mystic Vision Players.

Pedas was chosen as guest conductor for New Jersey's 2000 Junior High All State Honor Choir and guest conductor of Region II High School Chorus. He served as Manager of the ACDA All Eastern High School Honor Choir which performed in Boston under Paul Salamunovich, and as Manager of the New Jersey Elementary Honor Choir for the years 1993 through 2000. Pedas has conducted the Central Jersey Regional Chorus and numerous workshops for New Jersey Music Educators Association, American Choral Directors Association and the Richmond Choral Society.

Tom Pedas retired in 2004 after 31 years teaching in New Jersey's public schools at Linden and Cranford only to return to the classroom at St. John the Apostle School in Clark (2007 - Nov 2011).

In 2008, as in previous years, The ACDA (American Choral Directors Association) has selected Pedas's students to participate in the prestigious Junior High National Honor Choir and the High School National Honor Choir. The students, who were selected after rigorous auditions among thousands of students nationwide, will perform at the 2009 ACDA National convention in Oklahoma.

Mr. Pedas has taught award winning choirs at both Linden High School and Cranford High School where his students were consistently chosen for All State and National Honor Choirs receiving ‘superior ’ ratings at state festivals. From 1988 through 1993 the Cranford High School choral program, under the direction of Tom Pedas, averaged 13 students a year selected for the region choir and 8 to 9 students per year selected for the New Jersey All State Choir. At Cranford's Hillside Avenue School Pedas placed the highest number of students in the elementary and junior high All State Honor Choirs as well as having students chosen for All Eastern United States and National Honor Choirs.

“Mr. Pedas is a person with many talents,” said Superintendent of Schools Lawrence Feinsod.“ Through his efforts, Cranford had many students in state and regional choral groups. We've had more of our students involved than many other towns.” Of the 240 New Jersey students selected for New Jersey's Elementary and Junior High Honor Choirs twenty-one of the students, the largest number of students chosen from any single school in the state, were enrolled in Mr. Pedas's vocal music classes at Hillside Avenue School in Cranford.

During his tenure at Hillside Avenue School, Pedas had more than 200 Students chosen for All State Elementary and Junior High Honor Choir. Eight of his students also were chosen for All Eastern United States Honor Choir, while nine were chosen for National Honor Choirs. Likewise, while he taught at Cranford High School, more than 150 of his students were selected for state and regional honor choirs.

Twenty-eight of Tom Pedas's vocal music students were selected through competitive auditions for 2000 New Jersey Elementary and Junior High Honor Choirs, an annual event sponsored by the New Jersey Music Educators Association and the American Choral Directors Association.

[Tom Pedas conducts NJ 2000 All State Junior High Honor Choir]

Under Pedas's direction the Cranford High School Madrigal Singers were selected to perform at the Garden State Arts Center, the National Music Conference in Philadelphia, Epcot Center in Florida, Notre Dame Cathedral in Montreal and, as the first place winner out of 43 choirs, at the Williamsburg Music Festival, performing at William and Mary college for over 5000 band and choir members from throughout the Eastern United States.

Tom Pedas has performed with various choral groups at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall and, as assistant director of the Metropolitan Greek Chorale, directed a concert for the president of Greece in Athens Greece. He has also acted in shows at Cranford Dramatic Club, the union County Arts Center, and Plays in the Park and has directed shows for the Scotch Plains Players, Mystic Vision Players and the Cranford Repertory Theatre.

In 1993 Pedas successfully ran the New York City Marathon.

Tom Pedas was born in western Pennsylvania to Greek immigrant parents. Tom rejected his parent's efforts to enroll him in the family grocery business electing to pursue music education as a career. In the early 70's Tom Pedas was instrumental in revolutionizing the cruise industry by introducing cultural and educational programs aboard cruise ships, a concept launched by his brothers and sister.

Tom Pedas received his B.A. in Music Education from Edinboro (PA) State University and his M.A. in Choral Music from Teachers College, Columbia University. He has served on the board of directors of the American Choral Directors Association of New Jersey, the Central Jersey Music Educators Association and the Choral Procedures Committee of the New Jersey Music Educators Association.

[Choir]
Please visit our concerts.
  • Music Memories - May 2010
  • A Sparkling Season - Dec 2009
  • We Will Rock You - May 2009
  • Joys of the Season   Part I     Part II   and Part III
  • 70th Anniversary Celebration
  • One World Many Voices
  • Amahl and the Night Visitors

  • NOTEWORTHY

    [Celebration Singers Children's Choir]

    [MusicLine]

    Tom Pedas is an ambassador of music to children. His music is a rainbow of promise which says “Come out and give it a try and have a good time”. He has been a mentor to thousands of students many of whom have made music their chosen profession.

    Tom Pedas is dedicated to enriching lives through music. He believes that “The greatest gift a teacher can give is to inspire.” He notes that “A choral director once did that for me when I was in high school.”

    Tom credits his teachers who inspired him to embrace teaching as a career and his high school choral and band instructors for their profound influence on his life. His music career was launched in third grade at the Washington School in Farrell, Pennsylvania when his classroom teacher, Miss Catherine Jankovich, taught her students to play the ‘Flutetophone’. Tom's older brother, Ted, arranged for trumpet and piano lessons for the young musician and escorted him to local musical productions particularly at the famed Kenley Players in Warren Ohio.

    [Tom Farrell High Band]  [Sam Campagna]
    Tom Pedas (1956) is shown above with his junior high school
    choral music teacher, Mr. Samuel J. Campagna, at Farrell Junior High School, Farrell, Pennsylvania

    Index
    Tom Pedas, The Celebration Singers and Children's Chorus

    [MusicLine]



    [Conductor][piano]
    e-mail Tom Pedas at: tpedas@aol.com