Senior recognized as one of state’s top vocalists


Senior Mila Diaz performs with the show choir at the Chicagoland Show Choir Competition. Diaz was recently named to the ILMEA Vocal Jazz Ensemble and ILMEA District Choir. (Photo courtesy of Mila Diaz)

By Mike Stanford
Senior Mila Diaz was one of 150 people who auditioned for the ILMEA District Seven Choir and one of 350 who auditioned for the ILMEA District Seven Vocal Jazz Ensemble, but, despite the stiff competition, she managed to be apart of the 60 people named to each group.
Diaz’s road in jazz music started three years ago, and since then she has incorporated recordings into her daily life, which she believes gave her the stylistic experience to put her over the top.
Going into the audition, Diaz says she was nervous going into the audition, but choir teacher Jen Troiano believes Diaz was ready to shine under the spotlight.
“Anytime I asked her ‘How are you doing [with music],’ [Diaz] was completely confident in herself,” Troiano said.
After the judges had tallied their scores and the choirs were announced, Diaz was ecstatic.  
“It honestly was really exciting,” Diaz said. “I cried multiple times that day.”
Troiano credits Diaz’s perseverance in independent practice and hard work with vocal coach Colleen Timler for her success. She believes one of the keys to Diaz’s performance was her scat singing, a portion that often frightens students.
Now that Diaz is apart of the Vocal Jazz Ensemble and the Choir, she will participate in the district shows in November where she will be judged again to potentially be recognized on a statewide level.
Diaz hopes she can catch the attention of a college representative at the performances and potentially receive a scholarship, specifically to Columbia College Chicago, where she wants to study vocal performance.
Troiano believes these goals are within reach for Diaz.
“She has goals of being a musician,” Troiano said. “She works hard to make sure those goals are met. She knows how hard she is going to have to work to be a musician.”