The sweet strains of female voices are heard throughout the empty corridors of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church every Tuesday and Thursday.
These are typical days of practice for the Tallahassee Girls Choir of CHOICE.
CHOICE stands for Character, Honesty, Originality, Integrity, Confidence and Excellence and is part of a pledge that the girls know by heart.
The choir has been in existence since June 2002,and consists of 90 girls from all over Tallahassee, Quincy and Monticello.
“A number of people felt there was a need for a girls choir,” said Rosalie Hill, the choir director.
“I just happened to be a person who could make that happen.”When the idea came up Hill set out to make it a reality.
Announcements had been sent out to public schools to recruit the girls, whose age’s range from six to 16. Voice auditions were held to place the girls in either alto or soprano.
Hill’s passion for music is what drives her to get the job done went it comes to the choir.
“Music is my love, so I don’t consider this a job,” Hill said.
“Music is what keeps me going.”
Felisha Williams, 16, loves music too. She has been singing for a number of years in her church choir.
The junior soprano from Rickards High School tries to be a role model for the other girls because she’s the oldest.
She joined the choir to strengthen her voice.
“I can come here, be a part of something so beautiful, and embrace my voice,” she said.
Keyonna Jones, 15, has also been singing in her church choir.
“Singing makes me happy,” she said.
When it comes to her abilities, she’s confident.
“I do it when I have nothing else to do.”
The FAMU DRS freshman also wants to help the younger girls through her involvement with the choir. “I want to be a big sister,” she said.
Being helpful to each other is all part of the plan according to Hill.
She said the choir is about helping the girls to grow emotionally, mentally, musically and socially.
Since their debut concert in November, the choir has been with numerous functions, including singing with the FAMU Concert Choir.
The girls are also set to perform on Children and Parents Day in April,Hill said she wants the girls to sing correctly and gain an appreciation for music.
“Today, they are more influenced musically by radio and TV, and that’s limiting their focus,” she said.
“I want them to have a broader outlook and an appreciation for music across the board.”
Daneesha Davis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.