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Report for America is a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities.

DeKalb Students Are Performing Outside Of The Camera Lens


Many parents haven’t been able to watch their high school musical students perform live because of COVID-19 safety precautions. But one northern Illinois high school is making this possible thanks to the generosity of a local church.  

The DeKalb High School musical department continued performances throughout the pandemic, but some things could only be done virtually.

Angel Smith, the office associate in the school’s music department, said Hopkins Park was one option for performances, but Christ Community Church, next to the school, caught their attention.

“We saw the tent across the parking lot,” she explained. “And we went and looked at it and we were like, ‘Oh, this would be perfect.’ So, we contacted the church. And they've been amazing.”

Two concerts have taken place so far. Smith described the scene: “It was chilly. It was perfect. Some people stayed in their cars. People brought their own chairs, everybody had masks. It sounded beautiful. It really did.”

Smith said the concert brought the students together after being separate for the school year. This is because some are in-person learners while others are educated virtually.

The parents can experience three more concerts May 12, 14 and ending with a Spring Musical Tuesday May 18. All performances start at 6:30 p.m.

  • Yvonne Boose is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.
Yvonne covers artistic, cultural, and spiritual expressions in the COVID-19 era. This could include how members of community cultural groups are finding creative and innovative ways to enrich their personal lives through these expressions individually and within the context of their larger communities. Boose is a recent graduate of the Illinois Media School and returns to journalism after a career in the corporate world.