January 18th, 2017

Southside Middle School Student to Sing in National Honor Choir

From SCNOW Morning News

More than 4,000 choir students from across the nation auditioned, and only 300 made the cut. Tripp Taylor of Southside Middle School is one of those students.

This March, Taylor will travel to Minneapolis to perform in the American Choral Director’s Association National Honor Choir. The event is three days of concerts and performances, and Tripp will be one of 75 basses singing in the middle and junior high school mixed honor choir.

Taylor’s honor choir teacher, Lynn Perkins, saw that auditions were being accepted for the national choir and thought he would make a good candidate.

“I knew that I would need to find opportunities to challenge him a little bit,” said Perkins, “And to give him that extra opportunity, because gifted and talented kids just need those kinds of things. … You take a gifted kid who’s very talented and then just let them blossom and learn so many neat things.”

Taylor, however, wasn’t too sure.

“I didn’t think I was going to make it,” he said. “I didn’t think my audition was very good. … There were some low notes that I messed up on, because I was tired from singing the same song over and over again.”

Approximately two months later, Taylor was proven wrong when he was accepted into the choir.

“I was very surprised,” he said. “I was excited, because it’s the first time I really get to travel very far, but I was super, super surprised for the next few weeks.”

In her 25 years of teaching at Southside, Perkins said she has had students participate in the Southern division of the honors choir, but Taylor is the first accepted into the national honors choir.

For now, Taylor is busy learning the musical selection of the concert and continuing to raise funds. More than $5,000 is needed for the trip that will include Taylor, his mother, Laura Taylor, Perkins and his former elementary school choir teacher, Chrissy Welch.

Grants from the Florence Regional Arts Alliance as well as donations from a benefit concert have helped the group nearly reach the goal. Perkins says the support the community has shown so far in Taylor’s endeavor has been phenomenal.

In the future, Taylor hopes to attend the South Carolina’s Governor’s School for Arts and Humanities in Greenville for his junior and senior year of high school. He’s unsure what his plans will be after that but wants to continue to pursue a career in music.

“I feel like I’m pretty good at it, and I don’t want to lose that,” Taylor said. “It just makes it more special that I’m pretty good, so I just want to keep doing it as much as I can, making the best of my abilities.”