Choir Performs Powerful Songs


Miah-Reese Govan

Two February performances, one for Valentine’s Day and one for Black History Month,  by the WTMS choir were shown during student advisory on February 28, 2022. 

The songs by African- American artists were performed and recorded by the WTMS choir on the cafeteria stage.

“You never really hear people do that,” Mr. McNamara, the choir teacher, explained about the reason for performing a song for Valentine’s Day. “I want to showcase a song that was big for my childhood and hopefully introduce it to the students. “

The choir began practicing on January 11th virtually and continued practicing weekly once students returned to school after a brief 2 weeks of remote learning. They sang “I’ll Be There” by the Jackson Five. During this time they focused on producing emotion in their musical performances to sound like they truly are “meaning what (they’re) saying.” The choir recorded their performance on February 24, during  2nd and 3rd periods.

“I think that there were a lot of aspects that we struggled on, but for the most part the people who are serious about being in the chorus I believe that they did really well,” stated Eli Martinez, an 8th-grade member of the choir. “As a collective unit, there’s a lot of things we could all work on, and hopefully for our spring concert we can gain more knowledge on being more mature, and also finding our tones and our pitches and where we’re comfortable singing at.”

The choir also began practicing “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” The song was originally a poem by James Weldon Johnson, a leader in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1900. Later on, music for the poem was composed by John Rosamond Johnson, and a school choir at the segregated Stanton School in Jacksonville performed the song publicly for the first time in Florida to celebrate President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. Soon the song became what is known today as the black national anthem.

“We do this because it is very important to American culture,” Mr. McNamara said. “It helps establish unity within a community.” 

The video was played in homerooms on February 28th, during the Black History Month Student Advisory meeting.

“I absolutely recognized both of the songs,” stated Ms. Carnevale, an ELA teacher. “I thought the performance was amazing. Everybody sounded clear. Everyone was looking at the camera. Everyone was stellar!”

WTMS Choir Performences: