SHINE!, LLC was originally formed to provide a choral music curriculum for a specific school (St. Isaac Jogues Catholic School in Hinsdale, IL). St. Isaac’s had (and still has) a music teacher and a band program, but a choir program was not offered. In its inaugural year (2002-03), one choir of 47 students was created. The following year, the number of participants more-than-doubled, and fast-forward to today where St. Isaac’s (through SHINE!) has 4 choirs featuring over 200 young performers.
In addition to the Hinsdale program, SHINE! has directed musicals and various Illinois schools (shows have included Seussical, Annie, Bye Bye Birdie, Godspell, Guys and Dolls to name a few) and has offered clinics and workshops in show choir and musical theater in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Arizona.
SHINE!’s founder, Julie Barger Petrando, holds a degree in Music Education from the University of Illinois as well as post-graduate work in Educational Leadership from the same institution. In 2016, Mrs. Petrando will celebrate her 25th year of teaching and has worked with performers in grades K-12. Currently, Mrs. Petrando is the proud creator of the award-winning middle school showchoir “Cadence”, who has been named grand champion at numerous competitions in recent years. Highlights of Julie Petrando’s teaching career have included directing her children’s choir to be selected to perform in two 4-month runs of Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat alongside Donny Osmond at the Chicago Theater, and directing a themed concert featuring veteran Broadway performer Timothy Shew.
As the founder and director of SHINE!, LLC, Julie Petrando believes her most important life-experience has been to be the mother of three children, each of whom is unique in personality, talent, and interests. Mrs. Petrando feels strongly that this has helped to familiarize her with the busyness of a household and the natural anxieties that tend to come with adolescence. These experiences remind her daily that her interaction with children should always be handled with care, high expectations, and empathy.