Project Two returns for holiday concert

Most have gone on to separate colleges, but the members of Project Two Music will reunite this Christmas break at Huntley High School.

The student-run group, made up of six singers and a six-piece band, will perform “Home for the Holidays” 7 to 9 p.m. Dec. 28 at the high school’s performing arts center, 13719 Harmony Road, Huntley.

A more elaborate performance than the group has ever put on, the concert will feature the addition of a 14-piece horn section, as well new Broadway music and holiday songs.

Tickets cost $5 for students and $10 for adults, with the proceeds benefiting the high school’s thespian troupe.

“It’s our way of giving back to the high school that we mostly all came from,” said 19-year-old Dylan Ladd, who founded the group and serves as director and one of its singers.

A graduate of Huntley High School, Ladd is now a freshman at Valparaiso University in Indiana, where he’s studying music education. He hopes to teach music one day, perhaps manage a theater.

Ladd created The Jersey Kids in 1997, an entirely student-run music group dedicated to the Broadway music from “Jersey Boys.” After a couple of years, The Jersey Kids expanded into Project Two, adding more musicals, choreography and live instruments.

They’ve performed throughout the area at venues such as Del Webb Sun City, the McHenry County Fair and the Huntley Fall Fest, along with their many performances at Huntley High School. Over the summer, members, ranging in age from 16 to 22 years old, recorded an album that’s available on iTunes.

“Things are going in a direction I never thought it would even be close to going,” Ladd said.

For the upcoming performance, the group recruited more musicians and has added new songs and new arrangements of songs, Ladd said.

“A lot of the music we do regularly is going to sound different because we’re rewriting some of the parts,” he said.

All members basically are volunteers, with the money raised either going back into the group or toward fundraising, he said.

“We have a lot of really talented people. They should be getting paid because they’re so talented,” Ladd said. “I see us going further at this point ... I feel like it could be really big.”

Ladd has been working to raise money so the upcoming performance can be videotaped and shared with other theaters. He’d love to see the group book performances throughout the Chicago area.

The additional horn section at the upcoming show is expected to create quite a performance, he said.

“The band is just something I’m sure we’ll probably never be able to replicate,” he said. “That’s why I’m trying so hard to get this video to happen. I want this to be the memory we have.”

For information on the group, visit

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