Rainier Youth Choirs brings on new middle school choir director

Jackie Grant will lead choir; group draws students from Kent, Auburn, Federal Way and other cities

Jackie Grant. COURTESY PHOTO, Rainier Youth Choirs

Jackie Grant. COURTESY PHOTO, Rainier Youth Choirs

Jackie Grant, of Maple Valley, is the new director of Rainier Youth Choirs middle school choir.

Rainier Youth Choirs, in its 16th season and based in Covington, attracts members from Auburn, Burien, Covington, Des Moines, Enumclaw, Federal Way, Issaquah, Kent, Maple Valley, Puyallup, Renton, Snoqualmie and Sumner.

The middle school choir, Colla Voce, is for students in grades 6 to 8. Rehearsals are on Monday nights starting Sept. 26 at Cedar Heights Middle School in Covington. Applications are being accepted at RainierYouthChoirs.org.

Grant is a National Board certified teacher with a masters of music degree from Boston University and a bachelors in choral music education from Central Washington University in Ellensburg, according to an Aug. 24 Rainier Youth Choirs news release. She taught for 17 years in the Tahoma School District at the middle school level.

Grant is establishing a music studio in Maple Valley teaching private voice and piano lessons.

“We are so excited to finally have Jackie on staff,” said Leora Schwitters, artistic director and founder of Rainier Youth Choirs. “Over the years, I’ve been so inspired and impressed with her compassionate, uplifting teaching style in the classroom and how musically her groups have always performed. She has a beautiful modeling voice, and knows how to develop that beauty of tone and artistry in her young singers.”

There are openings for singers in grades 2 to 12 in all four choir levels which meet weekly on Monday nights from September through June.

Brian Hoskins, choral director at Lindbergh High School in Renton, directs the high school ensemble, Consonare; Schwitters, retired from the Kent School District, directs the grade 5 to 7 group, Bella Voce; and Brittney Clegg directs Primo Voce, grades 2 to 4, assisted by Brad Wills. Both Clegg and Wills are elementary music specialists in the Kent School District.

Rainier Youth Choirs is a nonprofit, community-based organization with no religious affiliations. The group offers an exceptional, affordable and family-friendly youth choral music education and performance program that fosters teamwork, self-discipline, accomplishment and pride.

Rainier Youth Choirs is partially funded by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Washington State Arts commission, the City of Kent Arts Commission and 4Culture.

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