Grace (grās), n. [F. grâce, L. gratia, fr. gratus beloved.]

1. Exercise of love, kindness, mercy, favor; privilege conferred.

2. Moral, physical, or intellectual beauty; easy elegance of manners.

Webster's Academic Dictionary, 1895

Splendor, Mirth, and Good Cheer: those were the Three Charites or Graces, of Ancient Greek myth. That's also what we hope to spread with the Winter Graces, along with ethos, pathos, hope — and a huge batch of toe-tappin' fun.

Greg Kefalas, Creative & Musical Director

About The Winter Graces

The Winter Graces were formed in 2016 by Greg Kefalas and Jen Arvay Kefalas, the husband-and-wife team behind New York Holiday Singers, Inc., along with Associate Producer Doug Cordes. New York Holiday Singers, Inc. previously created the New York Holiday Choristers in 2011 and Men Singing Carols in 2013, and invented the true “vocal jazz meets holiday acappella” genre with the popular, premium & contemporary holiday acappella entertainment ensemble The New York Holiday Singers.

Greg, Doug and Jen realized that the next addition to the company would of course be a women's ensemble. After looking at what the city had to offer as far as women's performance groups, we decided to create a more contemporary group that would emphasize soulful, heartfelt holiday music set for brilliant three-part treble voices. We wanted to keep the group sophisticated and classy, but with a down-to-earth performance vibe.

Our one-of-a-kind Graces come from all walks of music, theatre, television, and film. They all have a passion for great music, great ensemble singing, and just like Greg, Jen, and Doug, a love of the holiday season!

Meet the Winter Graces

Meet New York City's newest professional carolers. a picture for more.

Jen Arvay Kefalas Founder Executive Director / Alto

Jen has been a Christmas fanatic her whole life, and she's thrilled to be singing with a group of superhero women. Her favorite Christmas memory is a Christmas wedding complete with a green velvet cape! Jen is the Executive & Financial Director of New York Holiday Singers, Inc. where she also sings alto in the New York Holiday Choristers, and loves working with her wonderful husband Greg. Jen has a BFA in Dance/Musical Theatre from the University of Akron, and has been seen in theatre, film, television, opera, and theme parks. Favorite singers include Ella Fitzgerald and Adele. She also makes the best chocolate chip cookies you have ever had, or will ever have.

Christina Bottley Two Year Club Alto

Christina is an actor, singer, pianist, and accordionist based in New York City. After many years of spreading holiday magic with The Voices of Liberty at Walt Disney World, Christina is thrilled to be joining the Winter Graces! The beautiful music, decorations, food, snow, family and friends not only makes Christmas her most favorite time of the year, but also because her birthday happens to be on Christmas! Christina’s love for music and the message each song brings moves her to share her passion with those she is singing with, and to those who are listening. She is a proud member of Actors’ Equity, and is a graduate of the prestigious Atlantic Acting School, NYC.

Elizabeth Schmitz Two Year Club Mezzo-Soprano

From a young age, music has always played a huge part in Elizabeth’s life. She studied classical violin at 7, then began performing in musicals at 13, and eventually attended Berklee College of Music in Boston to continue pursuing contemporary styles, specifically jazz. She then moved to the Big Apple, where she studied musical theatre at Circle in the Square Theatre School, and began her career as a freelance vocalist. She has worked aboard both Holland America and Carnival cruise ships, has been a proud member of both NYHC and NYHS, as well as having been seen performing backup vocals for Nick Jonas at Madison Square Garden. As for her influences, Elizabeth grew up on a mix of classical and jazz music. And after listening to someone like Ella Fitzgerald, who could help but want to sing? www.elizabethschmitz.com

Francesca Caviglia Two Year Club Soprano

Francesca Caviglia is a Connecticut native and a graduate of St. Olaf College where she performed with the acclaimed St. Olaf Choir. When she's not singing carols she can be found teaching yoga, filming and editing video, running laps in Central Park, reciting Shakespeare, and performing Cabaret numbers. She's always down for a hot cocoa and she loves baking Christmas cookies. www.francesca-caviglia.com

Hadley Rouse Joined 2018 Soprano

Hadley Rouse, a native of Owensboro, Kentucky, is a recent graduate of Western Kentucky University where she studied voice and musical theatre. Since moving to New York, she has participated in a national tour with ArtsPower, and has been cast in the premieres of several new musicals. In addition, she has performed across the globe in England, Spain, Ecuador, Scotland, and Canada. Her favorite Christmas memories include singing with two of her closest friends at an annual Christmas party in Kentucky, and singing “Silent Night” by candlelight on Christmas Eve.

Kathee Zenn Joined 2018 Mezzo-Soprano

Originally from sunny California, Kathee is a classical singer currently based in NYC. She holds a degree in Vocal Performance from Westminster Choir College. During her time there, she had the immense pleasure of singing with the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s as a member of Westminster Symphonic Choir. Growing up, Kathee has always started singing Christmas songs right on October 1st (yes, she’s that person…). She is so excited to be a part of the Winter Graces, where singing Christmas songs early is not only accepted, but encouraged! After all, “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!”