Thursday, March 2, 2005

Choirs help celebrate Black History

Staff Writer

Holly Springs schools celebrated Black History Month with songs and by honoring those in the community.

At the Primary School, the second grade honor choir, under the direction of music teacher Carol Trott, performed traditional African American spirituals. The Ole Miss Men’s Glee Club, under the direction of Don Trott, performed at the school and at Holly Springs High School and Marshall Academy Thursday.

Michael Brookings, a Holly High graduate and now a freshman at Ole Miss, was among the 50 men who sang African American spirituals.

City School District Superintendent Judy Smith praised the elementary students for their attention at the cultural affair, saying they are learning the proper behavior for assembly as opposed to the lively school spirit that is appropriate for events held in the gymnasium.

Other events taking place on the various campuses included a student-led program by second grade during the PTA meeting at the Primary School Thursday evening and a Black History Month program held at the Intermediate School Monday, February 28, to honor Smith and other community leaders.

Carol Trott was pleased at the reception and attention given by students, faculty and parents at the primary school.

“The students spent the previous week learning about concert behavior in music class so this was a chance for them to practice listening in a formal concert setting, as well as allowing them to see what type of behavior is expected of a performer while on stage,” she said. “The student body was very well behaved and many seemed to enjoy the music performances by both choirs. It was also a special treat to have a former Holly Springs High School student singing in the choir.”

Black History Month is observed each year during the month of February - a time set aside to honor African Americans who hold an important place in the history of the United States.

“Music has always been an integral part of African-American life because it serves many purposes,” said Trott. “It records history. It unites people, protests wrongs, and helps one endure tough times. It raises the spirit and cleanses the soul. It celebrates life.”

The second grade honor choir performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” “Black History Rondo,” “Free At Last,” “Over My Head,” “Follow the Drinking Gourd,” and “Yonder Come Day.”

The Ole Miss Glee Club sang a number of spirituals ending with “Go Down Moses.”

Music director Don Trott, now in his third year at Ole Miss, said the concerts presented in Holly Springs was an opportunity to get the Men’s Glee Club out in public.

“Getting men singing in the choir is a challenge in itself,” he said. “And as students see it, they know they can do it, too. And it was a chance to hear another group (second grade).”

Trott said the concerts are also a recruiting tool for the development of not only the Men’s Glee, but the Ole Miss Women’s Glee, the Concert Singers, the Women’s Ensemble and the Chamber Singers.

He praised the audiences in Holly Springs for their attentiveness which he said “speaks well of the schools.”

Trott said he encourages any students who want to attend Ole Miss and sing to call the office at 662-915-5115 for information.

The second grade honor choir members include - Angelica Zinn, Passion Faulkner, Christa Johnson, Jasmine Yancey Muhammad, Shakayla Johnson, DeAndrea Coleman, Elundria Gatewood, Lakyra Malone, Autezia Sellers, Ancharreca Crane, Dillan Hoey, Bobbie Govan, Jayda Aldridge, Quanneisha Campbell, Kaylan Moore, Brittany Ingram and Cilicia Evans.

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