If you're looking for something musically enticing, professional musicians, or a band for your next event Way Past Midnight is the ensemble for you. As certified teachers we offer workshops for aspiring musicians of all ages. We are a New Jersey / New York based music group available for parties, weddings, special ceremonies, festivals, opera events, concerts, holiday caroling, corporate events and more!
Members of Way Past Midnight have won competitions, toured abroad, earned college degrees in music and education and have performed in a variety of musical venues. Way Past Midnight’s musicians have also performed in concert in Rome, Italy, Paris, France, Vienna, Austria, domestically in Carnegie Hall and notably with Chuck Berry and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons,
Way Past Midnight members have written original songs, produced movie soundtracks, served as lecturers and vocal technicians at several Universities. The group's musicians are currently music teachers, choral, band and musical theater directors. The name of the ensemble originated from collaborating together until way past midnight, after a variety of successful students’ showcases.
Mara Adler-O’Kelly - By the time she was 14, Mara was singing background vocals for local popstars and celebrities and had been selected to tour Japan with the San Francisco Girls Chorus. She subsequently sang on a Grammy winning album with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus and can be heard singing in the background of the film “The Talented Mr. Ripley.” At 15 she landed her first role, singing a solo with the San Francisco Opera, among many of the great singers of the early 2000’s. At the ages of 16, and 17, she was selected to sing the Role of Mimi in La Boheme, and Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro with the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Melody Stevens took the opportunity during Covid-19 quarantine and the shutdown of Broadway to record and send out daily to friends and family 539 songs in multiple genres. These songs included 14 of her originals.
Melody has a Bachelor of Music degree from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and a Master of Music Degree from Westminster Choir College at Rider University. Currently, she is the music director for Red Bank Catholic High School, and teaches a full studio of private voice and piano students. She teaches music theory and music history at the college level. She has also served as a musical theater vocal coach/technician at Fairleigh Dickenson University in New Jersey.
Evita Belmonte, vocalist, and percussionist
As a young child, Evita enjoyed watching The Ed Sullivan Show on television with her family. The popular variety show was chock full of entertainers hosted by Ed Sullivan, the well-known syndicated columnist at the time for the New York Daily News and Chicago Tribune news group. There was also the sedate Lawrence Welk Show where she saw musicians playing the accordion and was tickled by the bubbles floating around the name of the show’s host in the opening of the show.
Those shows were inspiring and eventually led to once-a-week lessons for Evita to learn to play the accordion. At the same time, in elementary school her other musical involvements were singing in the church choir as a young soprano turned alto because they needed singers who could remember the harmonies and continue to sing loud enough on the musical selections. There was also the school band where Evita and other students were instructed by the music director on how to play rudiments on the drums for the band, orchestra and Drum and Bugle corps.
Patricia Lazzara, flutist, has distinguished herself as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician. She is a three time winner of the Artists International competition in New York City and gave her critically acclaimed New York recital debut at Cami Hall.
“Evita and Melody of Way Past Midnight have performed as a duo at my restaurant several times and I keep inviting them back. Their sound is beautiful, unique, and they play and sing in varied styles. My staff and customers enjoy them, and the music has even attracted some new customers in from off the street. Highly recommend.”
-- Fran S, owner of Beach Grille in Long Branch, NJ
"I have had the pleasure of experiencing two wonderful performances of the “Way Past Midnight Ensemble”. Last year we saw them perform in an outdoor festival. I was very much impressed with the range of styles of the performers. They offer everything from Operatic numbers to down home soul/blues numbers. 'Way Past Midnight' with the Bella Luce Ensemble had another outstanding performance in Old Bridge at St. Thomas church. Again, the talent was apparent in the various styles and pieces chosen. This was a delightful event with the ushers getting up to do harmonies for the finale, “Climb Every Mountain”. They sure know how to deliver a celebration of song! Do yourself a favor, get out to see this local talent, they will not disappoint. "
-- Judy K, Jackson, NJ
"Way Past Midnight has been performing at Musicians Workshop, bringing high quality concerts and educational performance based events for students of every age and talent level. Way Past Midnight's blend of professionalism, and gentle guidance with students truly gives them a unique experience of learning and having fun on stage! The staff at Musicians Workshop always looks forward to Way Past Midnight events as they are always entertaining and unique. Way Past Midnight is one of New Jerseys most exciting bands and programs for any students that are interested in everything from Broadway to Hollywood movies. Musicians Workshop loves Way Past Midnight!"
-- James S. owner of Musicians Workshop, Manalapan, NJ
"My 9 year old grandaughter and I take piano lessons with Melody. She mentioned that she was performing so we went! I cannot tell you how captivated we both were the entire time, we were mesmerized! One was more talented than the next! We were local! I suggest anyone who appreciates the arts to try and catch a performance for an elevated entertainment experience! Btw, Melody is an excellent piano teacher!"
-- Judy R, Matawan NJ
"My husband and I attended the Viva La Beat on May 15th at St. Thomas the Apostle RC Church, and we enjoyed it so much that we would like to provide a testimonial. Way Past Midnight and Ensemble Bella Luce performed all different genres of music, from opera to rock. The music and voices were incredible. The entire audience, including ourselves, were engrossed in this beautiful concert. We are so looking forward to the next one."
-- Robin M.
"Over the past few years I have enjoyed watching the evolution of and listening to the amazing band Way Past Midnight. From concerts on the front porch of Melody's home, intimate coffee house events, and full orchestra concerts in Churches, the set lists represent a well crafted and diverse range of music / vocals from rock to opera making for most pleasing and very enjoyable performances."
-- Larry C, Manalapan, NJ
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