Scholarship recipient sings Chorale's praises

Heritage Chorale looking for scholarship applicants

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By Ashley Lisenby

Digital Editor

Heritage Chorale, an Oak Park community-based chamber choir known for performing some complex religious and secular works, has offered one high school student the opportunity to practice and perform with the choir since 2012.

In April 2012 Oak Park and River Forest High School senior Sarah Coffman, who started her term with the Chorale in January of that year, was the first scholarship recipient. She went on to study music at Lawrence University.

Sarah Gruendler-Ladner was the second recipient.

"It was a great way to make connections and experience a new repertoire that is more challenging," said Sarah Gruendler-Ladner, 19, a former Chorale scholarship recipient and freshman at Valparaiso University studying Elementary Education and music.

The Elmwood Park native applied for the scholarship in the fall of her senior year at Walther Lutheran High School in Melrose Park.

She knew about the chorus because "a few members are good friends with [her] grandparents" and she had seen the chorus perform before.

After applying, auditioning and waiting for about a month, Gruendler-Ladner found herself singing with the Chorale for its spring concert season the second semester of her senior year.

"Choir has always been one of my main focuses," said Gruendler-Ladner. "It was a little tough though," she said referring to the late night concerts and practices. "But it was fun and a great experience learning from them."

Application season has rolled around again, until Nov. 30, and the Chorale is offering another high school student the same opportunity Coffman and Gruendler-Ladner received. If the student successfully completes the season, scheduled from January to April of 2014, he or she will receive a $1,000 reward to put toward studying the vocal arts after high school.

"I learned a lot about responsibility in a choir where they're all adults and they're really focused," said Gruendler-Ladner. "I learned how to step it up and perform and how to balance everything."

For more information about the Heritage Chorale Scholarship for 2014 call (708) 848-9066 or email Geoffrey Roupas at

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