High Five Choir focuses on an inclusive culture through music

WINNEKTA, Ill. (WLS) -- Coming together through the power of music.

The inclusive choral group called High Five is preparing to take the stage for their Fall Choral Concert later this week.

The High Five choir is one of nine choirs at New Trier High School but definitely the most unique.

"High Five is a group of students that comes together through the power of music and singing. We build long standing friendships and we raise disability awareness or ability awareness and we serve as agents of change for out school, our community and our world," said Sue Vaughan, choral music director and adviser.

Students of all abilities uplift and support each other in rehearsal. Making sure everyone's voice is heard.

"Everybody has a place in high five. It doesn't matter if you can play an instrument of have perfect pitch it's a place where you can come and be with friends and learn to celebrate music and be included," High Five Choir member Reese Dekker said.

The focus is music but for many students it's more about the lasting friendships they have built.

"It's more about friendship and about community because it's a place to meet friends and meet people of all different types of abilities so I've learned more about that," Choir member Hannah Yulish said.

Students are also taking away a sense of understanding and acceptance for the differences of their fellow choral members.

"Everyone Communicates in a different way so I've learned how to communicate with people and social boundaries and things like that," High-Five member Lauren Piotorowski said.

"It's learning how to communicate with kids of all abilities. Some are verbal or nonverbal. You have to record things on iPads for some," said member Bella Trogla.

Everyone has a voice, a part and a chance to see their passion come to life.

"There is the feeling that you get when you witness high five in action and I say this all the time I think music and singing is the vehicle that brings out the best and it's humanity at its best," Vaughan said.

High Five will perform at New Trier High School's Choral Concert this Thursday at 7:00 p.m.
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