Left: Amanda Camling. Right: Jayne Lynde.

The Byron High School Theater and Choir department have been given a generous donation of $3,000 from the Megan Clift Memorial Fund established at the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois. The donation in honor of Megan, from the Clift family, has been used to support many activities and events that the groups participate in.

Here are several ways the donation has been used this last school year:

Byron Choir used their portion of the donation last year towards protective masks to be used while singing. The masks are specially designed singing masks to allow the students to breathe better while they are singing and wearing the mask.

Each choir member was also given a refillable water bottle to remain hydrated while they are singing. The water fountains were unavailable to them last year, so the water bottles benefitted them during class. The choir also used a portion of the donation to help a student participate in the Illinois Music Educators National Honor Choir virtual event.

Jaidyn Newton submitted an online application and was accepted to be a part of this national honor choir. She spent three days in virtual sessions preparing music with a nationally recognized choir director. From these sessions she was prepared to record for the final concert performance video.

Byron Theater Troupe used their donation of funds to pay for students to attend the virtual Illinois State Theater Fest. The students spent several days attending virtual workshops on various details of acting.  They also watched recorded musical performances of high schools who presented their performance at convention.

Each year the Shining Star Award is presented to the outstanding theater and choir students, typically from the senior class. This year the theater award was given to Jayne Lynde and the choir award was given to Amanda Camling. The success of the Shining Star donations and other donations from “Friends of Megan” help to continue the assistance that is given to the Byron Theater and Choir and its membership. The choir and theater students are very appreciative of the support from the Megan Clift Memorial Fund established at the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois and the friendship of Ed and Beth Clift.

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