Connecticut High School Jazz Choir Performs at London Olympics

The Real Ambassadors, the 14-member jazz choir at the Greater Hartford Academy of Arts, directed by NAfME member Dianne Mower, recently returned from their successful performance at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Their trip was profiled in an article in the Southington Citizen.

“When the members of the jazz choir first got the news they’d been accepted as the only high school group in the nation to perform at the Olympics, they had less than a month to raise $70,000 for travel, food and transportation expenses.

By holding fund-raising shows, they managed to pay almost all of the money back to Capitol Region Education Council schools, which offered to loan the jazz choir the money because the trip was last minute.

On top of fundraising, the jazz choir had to find the time to practice to perform two 40-minute sessions in London. They had to practice three hours per day, every day in July, until they left on their trip.

Mower, who has been the jazz choir’s director for the past 18 years, was proud of her students for working so well under pressure. She said it was ‘pretty miraculous’ how well the jazz choir members worked together to repay the money loaned to them and dedicated the time to practice.

‘My first thought was, Phew, we got through it. It was wonderful,’ Mower said. ‘Even the preparation week, they learned so much. They learned how to talk off the top of their heads with reporters, and with hard work anything is possible.’”

Read the entire article: “Southington teens return from London Olympics

Nick Webb,  August 15, 2012 © National Association for Music Education