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Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Grammy-winning vocal Jazz group comes to perform, workshop with students

Ivan’s Parents
New York Voices Performing with the Niles North Vocal Jazz ensemble “Take One”

This Saturday, Mar 16. 2024, the New York Voices, a well-known acapella group who has toured across the world, came to Niles North High School to workshop, and then performed with the Niles North Vocal Jazz ensembles.

New York Voices, originally started in New York’s Ithaca College, and released their first album in 1989. The Group consists of Darmon Meader (tenor), Peter Eldridge (baritone), Lauren Kinhan (soprano), and Kim Nazarian (soprano). All of the members have since established themselves as educators at colleges like Berklee College of Music.

On that Saturday they worked with different groups early in the morning close to the whole day, and then our very own Niles North vocal jazz ensemble performed with them on stage. Schools from nearby states came to also get a workshop from the group, as well as people from nearby states coming just to see the group perform.

Niles North is known as one of the best high school vocal jazz programs in the country. The program started in the 1990s and has won many awards and performed across the country and internationally ever since. 

 Livvy Altemeier, a member of the Niles North vocal jazz ensemble “Take One” who workshopped and then performed with the New York voices that evening shares her experience:

 What did you think of the New York voices festival?

It was a nice hearing like all the like the the high schools, colleges and universities that came to get a clinic And then getting to sing with the New York voices. It was great. They are really fun personalities especially Kim! The first time I met her she was really intense. But once I got to like sing with her more, I didn’t have to be anxious, and I felt more comfortable with singing out to her because I felt like I didn’t have to be so scared to sing. 

What did you learn? 

She helped with like pitch matching as well as our solos and how to feel lyrics of our songs more. And that really helped with learning our songs. I learned to just have fun, you know? Because it was like, Oh my gosh, famous people are here. 

What was your favorite moment? 

Probably Bohemian Rhapsody. When we got to go up there and sing and have a little mosh pit. It was really fun. They’re singing great. And then we come in and we’re like, boom. Yeah, we’re back up singers.

How does this event affect you as a musician? 

It helped me understand music a little more. It helps me think more about how I project my singing. Like when she came to like our choir classrooms. She helped us like with our notes, when we go to low notes, or do slides to low notes. Thinking about it like a pin going to the back of your head. And I do that like a lot.

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About the Contributor
Ivan Shalaev
Ivan Shalaev, Reporter
Ivan is a senior at Niles North. Ivan is a part of six music ensembles at school and is also involved in theater.

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