State Stories


St. Rita Honors Heart of the Arts Nominee Ethan Gray

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Chicago’s St. Rita High School honored senior Ethan Gray during its monthly all-school awards ceremony on Tuesday, February 3, 2015 in the school chapel. Ethan was named the IHSA’s nominee for the 2015 NFHS Heart of the Arts Award. A talented musician, actor and artist, he has overcome significant health issues that required him to be home-schooled through eighth grade. Click here for Ethan’ story.

During the ceremony, Ethan performed three songs with the St. Rita Jazz, including a song that featured a solo on saxophone. Clips from all three songs are below. The photo above shows Ethan and his family along with members of the St. Rita faculty, including music faculty member Cindy Gradek (far left) who brought Ethan’s story to the IHSA. The final clip shows the St. Rita students and faculty giving Ethan a standing ovation after receiving his award plaque from IHSA administrator Matt Troha.

Ethan playing with St. Rita Jazz Band (center, seated)


Ethan playing saxophone solo (standing)

Ethan playing guitar (standing far left)

St. Rita students & faculty give Ethan a standing ovation