Lemont Performs with Jennifer Hudson at We Day

Students of Lemont (Illinois) High School’s band program shone in the limelight when they performed with Grammy and Academy Award-winning artist Jennifer Hudson at We Day Illinois last spring.

Lemont and Chicago’s King College Prep performed with Hudson in her rendition of “Whatever Makes You Happy,” popularized on the hit TV show “Empire” earlier this year.

“We were chosen by the producers because they wanted a well-rounded and skilled band that moves and plays well and that is located relatively close to the performance and rehearsal venue,” says Matt Doherty, Lemont’s associate director.

According to the event’s website, We Day brings together world-renowned speakers and performers—from Malala Yousafzai and Martin Sheen to Demi Lovato—with tens of thousands of youth to kick-start a year of action through We Act. Attendees cannot buy tickets to the event, instead earning their ticket through community service projects.

“As participants in the larger We Day event, Lemont band students had a unique opportunity to experience what other people their age are doing or have done on a service level for themselves, their families, their communities, their country or their world,” Doherty says.

But that’s not all his students brought away from the experience. “We discuss the power of music often, and it was clear that this performance’s scope and intended audience got our students and even their parents excited despite the extra scheduling and long nights during one of the busiest and most stressful times of the year.”

Photo credit Vito Amati. All rights reserved.

About author

Emily Moneymaker

Emily Moneymaker is a graduate from the University of Southern California (USC) where she received a Bachelor of Science in Policy, Planning and Development and a minor in marketing. She has played trumpet for more than 12 years. She marched in the USC Trojan Marching Band and served as the organization's recruitment manager.

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