Meet a Chorister -
Celine DeMatteo (soprano)
Profession: I’m a neurologist in the ICU at the North Shore University Hospital, specializing in spinal cord and brain issues. But my favorite past job was acting as Goofy’s bodyguard at Disney World. All of 5’1”, I ensured that the line was orderly, spaced, that no one got too close to Goofy.
Why did you join GCS? I’ve been thinking about it some time. Like many of us, because of Covid I decided to reorganize my priorities, do something for myself that brings me joy.
Why do you sing? When I am singing a piece of music that really speaks to me, it is freeing: I get this emotion and this emotion gets me. Music helps to de-stress me, so I’m always humming – in my head or out loud. It centers me. It’s sometimes hard for me to put things into words how I’m feeling, but the right piece of music or the right song . . . I’ll hear it and that’s exactly how I feel. It’s cathartic in a way.
My father loves music, mostly traditional music from Bangladesh, where my parents are from. My father sings all the time, he takes any opportunity to sing, and plays harmonium.
Musical history? Limited. I had some piano lessons, sang with my college glee club and the Stamford Chorale. My son, daughter, and I are taking violin lessons together. Kind of amusing to be learning violin at my age. And I’m married to a jazz percussionist.
Other interests? I teach religious education at my church, I’m the Girl Scout Troop Leader for my daughter’s troop, and I’m learning Mandarin. My children are learning Mandarin in school, and I can sort of understand what they are saying to each other. Also, a lot of my patients only speak Mandarin. Our hospital has translation services, but there’s obviously a greater connection if you are speaking to people directly.