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.

Francesca CavigliaSoprano

Francesca Caviglia hails from Connecticut and holds a degree in Vocal Performance from St. Olaf College where she was a soloist with the acclaimed St. Olaf Choir, as well as performing in their annual Christmas Festival. Currently based in New York City, she can be seen performing everything from Opera to Shakespeare to Cabaret and Variety. Her favorite holiday activities include snuggling up to watch the Christmas lights twinkle in the dark, listening for the hush of falling snow, and recounting the year she and her father saved the church Christmas Pageant by hiking through the snow with a guitar and a fake book.

Nicole ChoateSoprano

Nicole, a New York City-based singer & actress from Dallas, TX, is a graduate of the Bass School at Music at Oklahoma City University. Nicole has always been a fan of Christmas music; at age 12 she recorded a Christmas CD with her aunt Ellie Choate, an accomplished professional harpist. She has performed as a soloist in holiday concerts in Oklahoma City, and is thrilled to continue spreading cheer here in NYC with this wonderful group of ladies! A favorite Christmas memory for Nicole involves the year she and her brother asked Santa for a sled… in Dallas?! On Christmas morning, that sled was under the tree, and there was even snow on Valentine's Day, proving that Christmas magic is still magical even if it comes along later than expected!

Elizabeth SchmitzMezzo

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 Winter Graces sibling ensembles the New York Holiday Choristers and New York Holiday Singers, 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

Emily ElletMezzo

Emily grew up in a family of musicians. As a child, she got annoyed at having to share the melody line with her siblings when singing along with the radio and instead began to explore creating her own harmonies (hats off to her incredibly patient — and strong-stomach'd — parents). Of course her sisters copied her efforts, but a few years down the line, the trio found themselves spontaneously singing three-part harmonies to Disney songs while making dinner, so it was worth it. Emily is so excited to be bringing those three-part harmonies back into her life with the Winter Graces! She is a professional actor, singer, and audiobook narrator in the New York City area; keep up with her work at www.emilyellet.com.

Jen Arvay KefalasAlto, Founder & Executive Director

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 Singers and 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 BottleyAlto

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.