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October 18, 2013

Student of the Week: Jack Reeder

by Faith Middleton

Jack Reeder is a Junior at Centennial who is involved in Thespians, French Honor Society, NHS, Mu Alpha Theta and Expressions choir. He is the President of the Centennial chapter of Tri-M, and student director of the Centennial choral department. This school year, Reeder auditioned for the All-State production of Grapes of Wrath and landed the role of Jim Casy as well as the opportunity to rehearse and perform alongside talented drama students from across Illinois. The All-State performances will be in January.

On top of being involved in many school extracirricular activities, Reeder is the Principle Conductor of the St. Patricks Youth Orchestra. Student musicians from the Champaign-Urbana area assemble to rehearse and perform music for the community.

The Online Centinal interviewed Reeder about his school and extracirricular activities.

The Online Centinal: How do you maintain good study habits?

Jack Reeder: “I’m a list person. I try to keep detailed lists of everything I need to do and check things off as I go along.”

OC: What do you like about being at Centennial?

JR: “I like how you can participate in a wide variety of activities [at Centennial].”

OC: What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your two-and-a-fourth years of high school?

JR: “My motto for this year is ‘stuff happens’. I’ve learned this through academics and extracirriculars. If something bad happens you have to let it roll off your back.”

OC: What inspired you to form St. Patrick’s Youth Orchestra?

JR: “[The orchestra] was founded to provide an orchestral music group for students in the area who might not have that at school or might not have time to do other ensembles like ECIYO. It’s also a place where they can meet fellow musicians and a place we can make beautiful music.”

OC: What are your plans for your college major?

JR: “Right now definitely conducting, either choral or orchestral. Thankfully I’m able to experience both of those with St. Pats and with being the student conductor of the choral department here.”

OC: How do you feel about All-State?

JR: “It’s an incredible experience because I get to know kids from all over the state who are good at and love performing. It allows me to be a part of a huge production, and that’s awesome. It’s a huge, wonderful, humbling experience.”

OC: Have you enjoyed directing the national anthem at Centennial sporting events and choir concerts?

JR: “It’s a great honor to lead our national anthem and be the head representative of Expressions at these performances. Plus, it gives me an opportunity to hone my skills in a relatively stress-free environment.”

OC: What do you like to do in your limited free time?

JR: “I like to listen to music, hang out with friends, and lead the orchestra.”

The next St. Patrick’s Orchestra concert is October 25th, at 7:00. It is free of charge and will be held in the St. Patrick’s parish center located at 708 W. Main Street in Urbana. The concert will feature selections from Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, as well as other songs. There will be free cake after the concert.

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