Twin pasts, divergent futures: Richards seniors going their own ways
BY CHERYL DANGEL BARTOLINI Correspondent January 10, 2014 2:36PM
Connor (right) and Collin Page have led parallel lives throughout high school. After graduation this spring, their lives will take different paths. | Supplied photo by Bob McParland
Updated: February 14, 2014 6:12AM
Connor and Collin Page may not look alike, but for 17 years, these twins have lived parallel lives.
Seniors at Richards High School in Oak Lawn, Connor and Collin have much in common, if not their appearance.
They are the sons of Brenda and Rick Page, of Oak Lawn. Both are excellent students, members of the National Honor Society and have received Honors with Distinction, the highest academic honor that a student can receive in Community High School District 218.
In addition, they sing. Both Connor and Collin are members of the show choir.
Yes, in the past 17 years, there have been differences. But on the surface, they are slight.
Collin is this year’s captain of show choir. He participated in the All-State Chorus and the school musicals, plays the French horn in band and is an Advanced Placement Scholar. He also plays soccer and is on the speech team.
Connor, on the other hand, volunteered with the National Honor Society to make fleece blankets for pediatric cancer patients. He also participated in the school musicals. In addition, he is a member of Richards High School’s Junior ROTC.
Together, they both enjoy show choir.
“It’s my favorite activity because we have a collective group effort,” Collin said. “We have to work together for a goal, to get a good sound and strong dance movements. Competing is a lot of fun. We rehearse for four months straight, so you get close to others in the group, and I enjoy being around everyone.”
He also enjoys participating because his brother is there.
“I like being in show choir together,” Collin said. “It is fun being in an activity with your brother. It is interesting to see each other push ourselves, especially vocally. Last year, we both had solos in the show, which was cool.”
“Collin has done a good job taking up the captain role in show choir. It is interesting to see what kind of leader he’s become,” Connor said. “It is interesting to watch him and follow through with whatever he tells us to do.”
Connor, who enjoys Junior ROTC, said there are similarities.
“There is a close tie between ROTC and show choir because both have the same standards. You have to work hard, and it is physically exerting,” he said.
But while the twins are very close, now — a few months shy of their high school graduation — they are about to embark on separate paths.
Collin wants to become a choral teacher. He would like to attend Illinois State University next school year and eventually earn a degree in choral education. In his spare time, he also enjoys playing the piano and guitar and says he “isn’t bad at the trumpet.”
Conversely, Connor plans to join the Army. He wants to go on active duty for four years and then enter officer training school.
Both say their father has been their biggest mentor.
“We butt heads on a lot of issues but he has a really strong work ethic and has rubbed off on me,” Collin said. “We strive to do everything the best.”
“When I told him I wanted to join the Army, he said he would support me if it is what I really wanted to do. He wasn’t necessarily fine with me joining the Army, but he’d support me,” Connor said.
Collin credits his music teachers with his success, including Charles Martin, his band director; and choir directors Brian Lonergan and Josh Hammann.
“They told me not to be afraid to go into what you want to do,” Collin said.
Connor also appreciates the help he received from the choir directors.
“They were good at pushing me to achieve to the best of my abilities,” he said.
They acknowledge that their career choices are a radical change from the past, when most of their thoughts and decisions were in sync.
“Our senior year has definitely been different,” Collin said. “For the past three years, we’ve had six classes together. When my brother decided to go into the Army and I was all out toward my music, it was interesting.
“Soon we will be separating and going our own ways. We have to support that. As a brother, you have to understand and say, ‘I know that’s what you want to do and I’m going to let you do that. Whatever makes you happy.’ ”
“I always knew Collin would be a musical teacher since freshman year when he got really involved in music,” Connor said. “I was quite undecided up until the beginning of this year and I had nothing in mind. That’s when I found out I wanted to join the Army. I’m not worried about separating. We have faith in each other to keep each other going.”