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D36 Alumni Spread Holiday Joy with the NTHS Swing Choir

Seven Winnetka Public Schools alumni are members of New Trier High School Swing Choir, which will have performed for over a dozen community events in December by the end of next week, including three local Rotary Clubs, Michigan Shores Club, and the downtown areas of Glencoe and Wilmette.

Alumni Rachael Chiao (Washburne Class of 2014), Lucas Kane (Washburne Class of 2014), and James Snyder (Washburne Class of 2014),  all of whom attended Crow Island School, reflected on their D36 experience and how it has impacted their interests in high school. "Thanks to D36's commitment to the arts, I was prepared for the caliber of music classes at New Trier. The D36 schools solidified my passion for music, and I know that I'll carry music throughout the rest of my life," says Chiao. According to Kane, "For me the 'Winnetka Experience' has been a wonderful way to learn and explore creativity. All of the arts classes I was subject to in D36 have shaped my identity in high school and will continue to shape me as I grow up. I have always been encouraged to achieve my fullest and been allowed to flourish in a wonderful, accepting environment." Kane says he first fell in love with being on stage during a Crow Island Spring Sing. "Throughout my time at D36 I was offered lots of opportunities and the flexibility to pursue my interests," shares Snyder. He notes that his choir experience in D36 "established my love for music and my intention to pursue it through high school."

In addition to their Swing Choir involvement, Chiao, Kane, and Snyder are involved in a variety of other performing arts, leadership, and athletic activities at New Trier. They have enjoyed performing throughout the North Shore this month. "The holiday season is all about festivity and joy, and we hope that our music inspires those feelings," says Chiao. Snyder adds that, "We don't rehearse for ourselves as much as we rehearse to share our voices with others across the community."

The talented group performed at the annual Winter Vocal Jazz Concert on Tuesday, December 19, 2017, in the new McGee Theater at the New Trier Winnetka Campus.  It was the first official performance of the year in this new space, featuring the Swing Choir performing their holiday set of songs, directed by Nathan Landes, and Varsity Voices performing a variety of vocal jazz repertoire, directed by David Ladd.