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Singers - Classic Choral Music

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Members: 23
Latest Activity: Apr 2, 2013

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Comment by Julian M. Young on September 6, 2010 at 10:14am
Darlington boy sings his way to Princeton

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FLORENCE -- A 12-year-old boy from Darlington will embark on a journey today to Princeton, N.J., and he’ll be singing all the while.

That’s because he has been accepted into the American Boychoir School, one of the most elite boys choirs in the world.

A year ago, Smith was part of a play, Aladdin Junior, at Darlington Middle School.

From the start, he said he liked being in the play.

“You got to do cool stuff like make new friends, wear costumes and sing,” Smith said.

It was the first time he had done anything like that.

Smith had never sung in any organized group.

“I just used to sing around the neighborhood,” Smith said.

One day at school, teacher Mark Railey, also the director of the Florence-based Palmetto State Boys Choir, approached Smith.

Railey introduced himself and showed Smith a clip of Libera, a touring boys choir from the U.K., and asked him if he’d like to do something like that.

In his usual casual calm and collected manner, Smith said, “Sure.”

Soon after, he auditioned for the Palmetto State Boys Choir and was accepted.

“What I like the most about the choir is that everyone is really nice to each other,” Smith said.

The Palmetto State Boys Choir is open to boys ages 8 to 18 years old. The goal is to help members build a musical gift that will last a lifetime while learning to be upstanding members of the community.

Railey said that Smith was rough around the edges in the beginning, but he was excited about him and his potential.

When asked how he felt after his first concert, Smith replied, “It made me feel really good about myself.”

“He’s an exceptional child, and he has a very clear tone,” Railey said.

Early on, Railey taught Smith to read music and the finer points of tone recognition.

“He has the right temperament to be a part of a professional choir. He’s calm. He gets along with people very well. He’s articulate, polite, and he learns very, very quickly,” Railey said of Smith.

As part of being a member of the Palmetto State Boys Choir, members get to go on field trips such as visiting Lake City recently to see the American Boychoir in concert.

After the concert, Smith took the opportunity to do an audition and was invited to a formal audition in New Jersey.

It’s safe to say the formal audition went well because a little while later the American Boychoir informed him that he had been chosen.
 

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