DARLINGTON, S.C. – Nearly 250 talented students from across the Darlington County School District (DCSD) joined together Jan. 10 for the annual All-County Music Festival, hosted by Coker College.
The festival aims to broaden the music education of Darlington County students and provide opportunities for more advanced training in instrumental and vocal music through clinical study and performance.
The 249 middle and high school students formed the DCSD All-County Vocal and Instrumental Music Ensemble. Music instructors nominated the students based on musical knowledge, showmanship and talent. Each year, the ensemble is granted the chance to receive in-depth music instruction from expert guest clinicians before performing in front of family, friends and the community.
Marisa Johnson, DCSD’s Arts and Innovative Programs coordinator, praised the students and their instructors for another outstanding All-County Music Festival.
“This year was our largest student ensemble in three years,” Johnson said. “I am amazed at the talent we have in Darlington County School District. We value the arts, and we want to provide our students with rich experiences. This festival provides those experiences and gives opportunities for students to exhibit their talent and creativity.”
The ensemble performed pieces such as “Ukrainian Alleluia” by Craig Courtney, “I Sing Because I’m Happy” by Rollo Dilworth and “Mansions of the Lord” by Randall Wallace and Nick Glennie-Smith.
Guest clinicians this year included Dr. Dustin Ousley of Coker College and Mr. Christopher Martinez of North Augusta Public Charter District. Cole Davis, band and chorus teacher at Mayo High School for Math, Science and Technology, served as the emcee. Kim Roberts, chorus teacher at Hartsville Middle School, and Marlin Ketter, band teacher at Hartsville Middle School, served as middle school clinicians. Coker College graciously hosted the festival inside the Elizabeth Boatwright Coker Performing Arts Center.
For more information about music and the arts in Darlington County School District, please visit www.darlington.k12.sc.us.