By Dan McGrath
The Christmas/semester break rolls in at an optimum time for Leo High School, in part because the week leading up to it was challenging on several fronts.
Leave it to the world-renowned Leo Choir to bail us out and restore our equilibrium.
After a 20-month hiatus brought on by COVID restrictions, the Choir is back and sounding better than ever. They simply stole the show as the headline act at the Harold Washington Cultural Center’s Winter Wonderland Christmas Pageant on Saturday, Dec. 18. The 1,000-seat auditorium was up and clapping along to the Choir’s signature version of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” and Rob Smith’s mesmerizing rendition of “Hallelujah” prompted a standing ovation. Freshman Keith Harris’ “Give Love This Christmas” drew a similar reaction.
Rob Smith is a two-sport athletic standout with college aspirations, but a serious knee injury in the season’s first football game has cost him his senior year of football and basketball. A tough break, but rather than pout or feel sorry for himself, Rob has poured himself into music. “Hallelujah” is a really tough song to handle, but in his debut as a soloist, Rob delivered it like a seasoned pro. We’re very proud of him.
Choir members are among the best ambassadors Leo has—not only talented singers but good students, good citizens and all-around good guys. Our peerless Choir Director LaDonna Hill is a Leo treasure and a Leo Hall of Famer, as of October 2021. And Leo High School is a special place that remains relentless in its mission: to prepare young men for lives as responsible, productive, engaged citizens.
Factor in a 4-1 basketball team that’s No. 19 in the Chicago Sun-Times’ metro area rankings and it’s a good time to be a Leo Lion.