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."

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.