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Music and a message

As part of a project to encourage young people to volunteer, the Scotia-Glenville Choralaires will be seen on WMHT next March. The Choralaires are one of 11 regional school choirs invited to take part in musician and philanthropist Tim Janis' special called Celebrate America.

The group met with Janis to record its portion of the show Tuesday, Oct. 28, under the direction of high school music teacher Jessica Crisci.

"Celebrate America" is a joint project involving Tim Janis, WMHT and dosomething.org, a Web site that provides information to young people about volunteering in their communities.

Crisci said it was a valuable learning experience for her students to meet and work with someone who has a resumE that includes working with accomplished actors and performers. Janis is most well known for his work that he calls "Music with a Mission." His philanthropic projects have included working with Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Ray Charles, Andre Previn, and The New York Philharmonic. He has also produced fundraising programs for PBS along with George Clooney and James Earl Jones.

Crisci said when she was first contacted by Janis about the project, she was apprehensive about adding something else to her students' already strenuous schedule. However, she said, once she looked into what the project was about, she felt that the lesson in music and humanity was too great an opportunity to pass on.

"I have to admit I was reluctant at first," said Crisci.

"This is such a busy time of year for us, preparing for the holidays. But as I did a little research, I thought about the fact that these kinds of opportunities don't always come around, and I thought it would be a really memorable experience for the kids, so we went for it."

The Choralaires travel each year to perform at an adjudicated festival to places like Virginia Beach, Washington, D.C. and Annapolis. They also received a "superior" rating for the past six years.

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