Rainier Youth Choirs Recruits New College Choir Director


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

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 college choir, Colla Voce, is for students in grades 6-8. Rehearsals are held Monday evenings beginning September 26 at Cedar Heights Middle School in Covington. Applications are accepted at RainierYouthChoirs.org.

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

Grant is in the process of establishing a music studio in Maple Valley to provide 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 have been so inspired and impressed by his compassionate and uplifting teaching style in the classroom and the way his bands have always performed musically. She has a beautiful model voice and knows how to develop this beauty of tone and artistry in her young singers.

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

Brian Hoskins, choir director at Lindbergh High School in Renton, conducts the high school ensemble, Consonare; Schwitters, a retiree from the Kent School District, leads the 5th-7th grade group, Bella Voce; and Brittney Clegg conducts Primo Voce, grades 2-4, assisted by Brad Wills. Both Clegg and Wills are elementary music specialists in the Kent School District.

Rainier Youth Choirs is a non-profit, community-based organization with no religious affiliation. The group offers an exceptional, affordable, family-friendly youth choral music education and performance program that promotes teamwork, self-discipline, achievement and pride.

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

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