“Lift every voice and sing.”
The words of the Negro anthem resonated in the auditorium at Stocks Elementary School Thursday afternoon, from the mouths of the Edgecombe County High School Gospel Choir. The program marked the end of Stocks’ month long black history celebration.
The performance ended with group founder Kristian Herring lending his powerful vocals to the song “Total Praise.”
“Lord, I will lift my eyes to the hills, Knowing my help is coming from You,” the choir sang.
“The music that’s written to it is just so classic, so calming. The message is one of praise, adoration to God,” Herring said. “It’s become a popular anthem in African American churches.” Richard Smallwood is the original songwriter.
“It talks about how you lift your hands in total praise to God and being grateful for opportunities to do whatever you’re supposed to be doing,” Tony Suggs, group advisor, said.
The 50-member high-school choral group’s calling is singing. One of those group members is Juwahn Anderson, a student at Edgecombe Community College who joined the choir as a student athlete at Tarboro High School. His favorite choral song is “He Reigns.”
“It talks about Jesus dying but how He reigns still,” Anderson said. “It’s an upbeat song, fast tempo. It lifts your spirit.”
Anderson said he believes the group’s performance taught the Stocks students “how to believe in something, believe in God.”
“There’s something out there other than what they see in everyday life,” Anderson said. Another spiritual selection the group performed Thursday was “Ezekial Saw the Will.”
“The Negro spirituals take you back to slavery times,” Suggs said.
“Sad” is the way that songs like “Ezekial Saw the Will” make first grader Zy’Nyiah Jones feel.
On the other hand, first grader Jozarra Pettaway said she felt happy because “they were singing gospel music.” She leaned her body in a backward motion to illustrate her favorite part of the program – when the choir swayed to the beat of the music.
“There’s a lot of choreography in everything that we do,” Suggs said.
“It made me feel good. I just liked their music,” said Haley Driver, a first grader. She said her
favorite song was “the one where they kept getting higher (pitched) and they were in a circle (in ‘Ezekial Saw the Will.’
At the end of the performance, Stephanie Alston, principal at Stocks, said she didn’t think it was possible for the group to sound any better than they did the last time she heard them, but they did.
“I was absolutely amazed when I first saw them at a pageant. They were so coordinated and so poise and their voice range,” Alston said. The message that the group conveyed to the audience is one of artistic interpretation.
“Singing is like a second language,” Suggs said.
Herring started the choir 20 years ago as a sophomore in high school. Now, he is the assistant principal of SouthWest Edgecombe High School.
Herring said the group, comprised of members from all four county high schools, is a “chance to build camaraderie amongst the schools” and an opportunity for artistically inclined students.
“The majority of them are not athletes. Some of them aren’t straight ‘A’ students. It gives them that outlet. Otherwise they wouldn’t have that chance to express themselves,” Herring said.
“It’s an avenue, it’s a refuge. This is the one place they belong. It starts changing their lives,” Suggs said.
“Lift every voice and sing.”
ECPS awaits county budget decision
In 10 days, the Edgecombe County Board of Commissioners could approve its 2013-2014 budget. Because of the proposed cuts to the Edgecombe County Public School (ECPS), there officials are likely waiting nervously for the results.
During the board's June 3 regularly scheduled meeting, officials of the ECPS made pleas during a public hearing by asking the board of commissioners to rethink the proposed budget cuts.
- Firemen concerned about town's faulty fire hydrants
- Conetoe storm destroys mobile home, damages 3 houses
- ECPS awaits county budget decision
- Local News
AIB judging under way
The America in Bloom (AIB) judges are in town, and Tarboro’s AIB committee rolled out the red carpet for them, beginning with Sunday supper at the home of AIB committee member Candis Owens.
“I am really excited about these judges,” Owens said “It looks like they have been selected specifically for Tarboro, because they’re both historic preservationists.”
James R. “Jim” Abraham is a professor of historic preservation at the Savannah College of Art and Design, while Ed Hooker, III is the historic architect and cultural resource manager for Fort Riley, Kan., according to the judges’ biography.
- Brother, sister offer relief from the heat
- AIB judging under way
Trey Wells throws a pitch in the fifth inning Friday night for Tarboro in the 15-under game against SouthWest.
Tarboro beats SouthWest 16-11
SouthWest, who is winless this year, fought back time and time again and took advantage of 18 walks and the six errors Tarboro committed. SouthWest has a team filled with 13 and 14-year olds playing against older players. They were able to hold their own though and take advantage of different situations.
- Jones, Pittman starting new semi-pro team in Tarboro
- Tarboro beats SouthWest 16-11
You, too, can be a slacker spy
Think you're a loser just because you dropped out of high school and never finished the military training you began?
Think you're a dud just because you work as a security guard even though you dreamed of becoming a global savior?
Well, don't beat yourself up. You, too, can become an international superspy like Edward Snowden.
- You, too, can be a slacker spy
Pinetops-Caitlin Layne Whitley and John Robert Webb were married on June 8, 2013 at half past three in the afternoon at Pinetops Baptist Church.
The Reverend John Melancon performed the ceremony. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Michael Whitley. Grandparents of the bride are the late Mr. and Mrs. James Carlton Jernigan and the late Mr. and Mrs. Clifton Lane Whitley.
- Obituaries Archives
Zesty Mexican Meals Made Fast
Flavors from south of the border are always a crowd favorite. They're also a quick, easy way to get dinner on the table in a hurry. Celebrity chef AarÛn S·nchez shares his favorite weeknight recipes, which use easy, flavorful ingredients to get families out of the kitchen and at the table in record time. "As a chef with a young family, I love creating delicious dishes that are quick and easy to prepare," S·nchez said. "My new Ortega recipes bring that flavor and simplicity together. Enjoy."
- It's grillin' time!
- Great fondue
- Budget Friendly Deliciousness
- Zesty Mexican Meals Made Fast
Edgecombe Events June 19
Edgecombe Events should be submitted by noon the day before publication. Items eligible include notices of local meetings and activities of non-profit organizations, clubs, schools and civic groups in the community. Information should be brief and typewritten, neatly printed or via e-mail. Questions? 823-3106 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Leave a daytime contact phone number.
- Edgecombe Events June 19
- Our Community
WALTON EARNS SCHOLARSHIP
John Ronald Walton, a 2013 graduate of Edgecombe Early College High School and son of John and Lesa Walton, is presented a $2,000 scholarship check by Edgecomber County Farm Bureau Presidet Tom Proter. Walton is enrolled at NC State University for the fall semester.
- Edgecombe County Public Schools announces 2013-2014 teachers of the year
- WALTON EARNS SCHOLARSHIP