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About our Director, Lara Reem:

Ms. Reem holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Music Education. She is pursuing doctoral studies in the Learning Design and Leadership Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has served as a teacher of vocal music at Washington Community High School, beginning her 25th year in Fall 2019. At WCHS, Lara teaches three choirs, assists with instrumental music, teaches History of Rock and Music Theory courses, and works with the Panther Academic Coach program for freshman and sophomore students. In addition, she is a co-producer and music director of the annual school musical, the producer of the annual Madrigal Dinner, and prepares students throughout the school year for Illinois Music Educators and Illinois High School Association events.

Lara attained National Board certification in 2012. From 2011 to 2014, Lara also served on the National Federation of High School's Music Committee as the Section 4 representative and continues work for the NFHS on the Article Review committee.

Lara is the recipient of a One Class at a Time award, the Silver Apple service award, the WCHS Excellence in Education Award, and in May of 2017 received the Outstanding Music Educator of the Year award for Illinois; she has served on numerous school committees, ranging from Insurance to Evaluation to Professional Development. Lara has served previously served as a director of the Peoria Area Civic Chorale’s high school ensemble and a member of Nova Singers. She maintains active membership in National Association for Music Education and the American Choral Directors .

About our Accompanist, Carol Spayer:

Carol Spayer, accompanist for the Chorale since 2004, has retired from her position as a counselor at Peoria Central High School, after 10 years of service. Previously, she was a music teacher and accompanist for 24 years. She earned her bachelor's degree in music education from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1977. In 1996 she earned her master's degree in Liberal Studies, and in 2002 she earned her master's degree in human development and counseling, both from Bradley University. She is a proud “Nina” to two grandsons, and is a genealogist who loves to do family research and is active in the Peoria County Genealogical Society.

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