All-City Choir blends voices in concert
FLORENCE, S.C. – Florence One Schools high school students presented the 41st All-City Choral Concert on Monday night at Wilson High School.
The All-City Chorus sang songs such as Handel’s “Hallelujah, Praise the Lord” and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “How Far I’ll Go.” The chorus consists of students from South Florence, West Florence and Wilson high schools.
Florence One Schools Performing Arts Coordinator Laura Greenway said the All-City Chorus helps the students learn to work together and under different circumstances.
“I don’t think any of the high schools really have a choir that big, and so putting these groups together, they get the experience of having a large-choir experience,” Greenway said. “It’s almost like learning a whole new kind of music, because all of the schools have their own unique way of teaching music. We try to introduce them to new ways to learn.”
Greenway said it’s exciting to see the students come together to perform the music that each school has been working on individually.
Francis Marion University assistant professor of music industry Mary Frances Coleman conducted the chorus. Together the chorus sang four songs.
“To have that many voices singing at you is heart-stopping; it’s so moving,” Coleman said. “Multiple times I had to hold back tears up there, but to be in the presence of so many people who all love music just as much as I do is even more moving than just having the voices up there.”
According to Megerlyn Davis, the Wilson High School chorus director, the district selected Coleman for this year’s All-City Choral Concert because she is relatively new to the area, and it would be good to let her see the district’s art programs.
Before the All-City Chorus sang, each school presented a piece. The South Florence choir, directed by Erick Figueras, sang “O Love” by Elaine Hagenberg. The West Florence choir, directed by guest Alonzo Davis, sang “I Will Always Love You.” The Wilson choir, directed by Megerlyn Davis, sang “Elijah Rock.”
South Florence High School junior Kara Snowden took part in the All-City Chorus for three years. She also took part in the All-City Junior Chorus.
“It’s actually really fun,” Kara said. “You get to meet new people, and you all have similar interests.”
Kara said taking part in the choir has taught her that you can do anything you put your mind to.
The students began working on the music almost a month before the program, but they practiced together as a choir for the first time the day of the concert under the direction of Coleman. According to Davis, the students started practicing at 8:30 in the morning and and ended around 2 p.m.