Saint Isaac Jogues’s Show Choir has two performances this month, first in the 22nd Annual Chicagoland Showcase on Friday, March 6, and in the Wheaton Warrenville South Choral Classic on Friday, March 13.
Cadence, SIJ’s Show Choir, is a traveling, competitive group of 6th, 7th and 8th graders who perform throughout Chicago and the Midwest. “This year, Cadence features 50 students from Saint Isaac Jogues,” explains Julie Petrando, director of Cadence. “In 2002, some SIJ moms who had sung together in high school wanted to put together a choir for their own children.” The moms recruited Julie Petrando in 2002, and within two years, interest in the choir program had quadrupled. “We began with 47 kids in grades kindergarten through 8th grade and by 2004 we had 200 kids,” she adds. Over the years, Petrando has fine-tuned SIJ’s choir program, creating four separate non-audition choirs for interested students. Cadence, the only competitive choir, has since evolved into an award-winning group that has taken home the first place prize in the Chicagoland Showcase three times. “I think we tell a great story in our show,” says Petrando. “These kids work hard and deserve to do well.”
Rosie Conway // Photography by Joel Lerner