Students perform in music festival at Florence mall

March 4, 2019

FLORENCE, S.C. – Florence One Schools students took the stage at the Magnolia Mall for a three-day music festival, showcasing choruses, bands and step teams from across the district.

“We have a hodgepodge, you just never know what’s coming at you, but whatever they come to sing they always come with great enthusiasm, said Laura Greenway, performing arts coordinator of Florence One Schools. “We welcome them. We are just so glad to provide this to the community.”

Greenway said the festival give the students a confidence in performing, as well as allows them to showcase their talent for their parents.

This year, the Southside Middle School Piano Class took part in the festival for the first time. Greenway said the piano labs were just added to the school last year, and a few students wanted to perform what they’ve learned.

Mharkys Washington, an eighth-grader at Southside Middle, played “Moonlight Sonata” during the Southside piano class performance Friday evening. Washington, who plays music by ear, just began learning to read music in August 2018 with the class, he said.

“Well, it was a hard piece that I had to learn, but I got through it at the end by focusing on it,” Mharkys said.

He said it was hard for him to stop trying to play by ear and focus on reading the music.

Tami Washington, Mharkys’ mother, said it’s a blessing to get to see her son perform.

“I know that it’s always been in him,” Tami said. “This is something God has blessed him with so I’m just watching him flourish.”

Over the years, the festival has grown from a two-day festival to a three-day festival. Greenway said more and more groups wanted to participate in the event so they decided to expand it to Thursday to Saturday instead of just Friday and Saturday.