Stone Martin earns prestigious scholarships

ALO piano student excels in competitions

Stone Martin

Stone Martin

Hartsville High School junior Stone Martin is receiving some of the most prestigious accolades an 11th grader can achieve. In March, he won the Pee Dee District South Carolina Federation of Music Clubs (SCFMC) auditions, where he successfully competed against winners of other state districts. Most recently, he earned two scholarships--the Josephine B. Davis Piano Scholarship and the Elizabeth Crudup Lee Scholarship--from SCFMC that will enable him to attend Brevard Music Center (BMC) this summer.

Now in its 80th year, the BMC is a summer home for young musicians. Located in Brevard, N.C., on 180 acres, the institute is nestled in lush mountain terrain. Four hundred students from across the country enroll to study their musical passion. The center has two divisions in music, one for high school students and one for college students and older. The high school division enrolls approximately 180 students from ages 14-18. Programs of study include orchestral studies, piano, composition and voice. 

As a student in the piano program, Martin will take weekly private lessons, as well as classes in piano literature, performance practice and more. In addition to having practice time, he will participate in weekly studio and master classes with faculty and guest artists and rehearse with world-renowned concert soloists. Students at BMC also have the opportunity to attend a variety of orchestra, chamber, and opera performances at the center.

In addition to his studies at Hartsville High School, Martin is enrolled in the Accelerated Learning Opportunities program (ALO) at Coker, which is part of the Partners for Unparalleled Local Scholastic Excellence (PULSE) program. He currently studies piano with Dr. Ryan Smith, assistant professor of music and director of the summer piano institute at Coker College. Dr. Smith is also an instructor with the PULSE program. 

“Stone was introduced to the PULSE program and he is thriving,” says Smith. "Just two years ago, this student didn't read music when he began. By the end of the semester, he was playing at the level of someone who had studied for several years."

Smith continued by saying that Martin passion for the piano is evident in playing. "After enrolling in Applied Piano, he is now playing at the college level or better."

Archie Torain earns superior rating in vocal competition

ALO student advances to NATS state battle

Archie Torain.

Archie Torain.

Hartsville High School (HHS) sophomore Archie Torain received a superior rating at the Mid-Atlantic region's National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition. The win enables him to compete at the state level, and advanced to the national preliminaries with another victory, placing in the top 5 out of hundreds of competitors. 

NATS is an organization that promotes singing through competitions and programs that showcase talented singers and performers. Top performers in each region compete against other top artists from around the country. Students of NATS members start the process by performing during regional auditions. Three singers from each regional category advance to a national online screening round, where entrants will submit a video of their performances for adjudication by a panel of national judges. 

Torain is a student at Coker College through the PULSE Accelerated Learning Opportunies (ALO) program, studying voice with Lee Ousley. At high school, he is a member of the Advanced Honors Choir and the HHS Singers. He also studies with Dr. James Beaumier, HHS choral teacher. At the competition, Kim Roberts, Hartsville Middle School magnet chorus teacher, served as Torain's accompaniest. 

Dr. Serena Hill La-Roche, Coker PULSE facilitator, said, "Archie’s voice instructor and I are thrilled with the vocal progress he is making, and are proud that he has a chance to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity for growth and self-discovery."

Charleston Symphony Orchestra to visit Hartsville schools

Jan. 21 event to include community concert

The Charleston Symphony Orchestra (CSO) is coming January 21 to perform at local Hartsville schools to promote the arts and encourage students to engage in the creativity of music. Each session is designed to show students how music can tell a story using instruments, melody and rhythm. The CSO musicians include those from string, woodwind, brass and percussion sections. 

A community concert will conclude the day's events, all sponsored by the Sonoco Foundation. The public is invited to attend.

1) 11:00-11:40 AM
Hartsville Middle School, grades 6-8
40-minute Woodwind Quartet performance 

2) 11:00-11:40 AM
Hartsville High School, grades 9-12
40-minute Woodwind Quintet performance 

3) 11:00-11:40 AM
Hartsville High School, grades 9-12
40-minute String Quartet 2 performance

4) 11:00 AM-11:30 AM
A Kidz Place Day Care, Pre-K
30-minute Percussion Duo performance 

5) 1:00 PM-1:30 PM
Southside Early Childhood Education Center, 4-5K
Approximately 30-minute Percussion Duo performance

6) 1:00 PM-1:40 PM
Hartsville Middle School, grades 6-8
40-minute String Quartet 1 performance

7) 12:50-1:30 PM and1:40-2:20 PM
West Hartsville Elementary,grades 5-6
Two back-to-back, 40-minute Woodwind Quintet performances with 10-minute break

6) 1:00-1:40 PM
North Hartsville Elementary, grades 3-5
40-minute Brass Quintet performance

7) 1:00-1:40 PM
Carolina Elementary, grades 3-5
40-minute Woodwind Quartet performance

8) 12:45-1:35 PM and 1:40-2:20 PM (dismissal at 2:25)
Thornwell Elementary, grades 1-5
Two back-to-back, 40-minute String Quartet 2 performances with 10-minute break 

7:00 PM-8:00 PM, Free community concert
Coker College, Watson Theatr

Featuring the String Quartet 1 and Brass Quintet 

ALO students perform in Coker College recital

Hartsville High School students Sarah Floyd, Nicole Hyman and Alex Morrison presented a recital of songs at Coker College on Sunday, February 23. The performance was the culmination of training received through the ALO program of the Partners for Unparalleled Local Scholastic Excellence (PULSE) initiative. The performance included selections in contrasting styles and periods ranging from classical to modern. All music was sung from memory and highlighted foreign language skills. Floyd, Hyman and Morrison have been enrolled in the ALO program since its inception in 2011.

Encouraged at an early age by the church organist, soprano Sarah Floyd knew she wanted to pursue music. She performed a range of works including “Va Godendo” by Handel, “Jazz Man” by Britten, and “The Simple Joys of Maidenhood” by Frederick Loewe from Camelot. However, it was the Schubert, “Liebhaber in allen Gestalten” that her voice shone in its clear tones and German phrasing. She will be attending Coker College in the fall of 2014 to pursue a major in music.

Tenor Alex Morrison showed his versatility through compositions by Benjamin Britten, Henry Purcell, Gabriel Faure` and Stephen Foster. His performance of “Kansas City” by Richard Rodgers from Oklahoma showed off his vocal and acting skills. Morrison says, “I liked my music classes because they made me feel good the better I got. I feel like I accomplished something. Now I want to teach others so they will enjoy music.” Morrison plans to major in music education when he graduates this year.

Soprano Nicole Hyman auditioned for the ALO program after becoming involved in community and school theatre. She says, “The courses took discipline. It was more work than I thought. I really respect what singers do after taking these courses.” Hyman opened her performance with Scarlatti’s “Se Florindo `e fedele.” Hyman and Floyd completed the recital with a lively duet as Galinda and Elphaba in “What is this Feeling” by Stephen Schwartz from Wicked.

HHS student excels in music through ALO program

Sarah Floyd earns scholarship from Sandlapper Singers

Sarah Floyd

Sarah Floyd

When given the opportunity to study voice at Coker College in 2011, Hartsville High School student Sarah Floyd jumped on board, and hasn't looked back since. The class was made possible through the Accelerated Learning Opportunities (ALO) offered by the PULSE program. 

The learning (or singing) has paid off for Floyd. She was recently awarded the Katie Quackenbush Scholarship from the Sandlapper Singers. This prestigious group is considered to be South Carolina's premier professional choral ensemble, with a stated mission "to present American choral music in a uniquely entertaining, inspiring, and engaging style and to provide educational opportunities for young singers."

Floyd was one of the first students to enroll in ALO classes, and she readily accepts the challenges to be successful. She is a member of the choir and advanced choir, as well as a senior enrolled in the International Bacculaureate program at HHS. She has earned numerous awards, including a superior rating at last year's state-wide NATS competition where she competed against some of the best students in South Carolina.

Floyd's instructor is Serena Hill-LaRoche, assistanct professor of music at Coker College. She is also the PULSE coordinator for Coker.