Concert hits sour note when members pass out

The sound of music echoed in Lee Hall auditorium Wednesday as the Florida A&M University concert choir entertained spectators with a medley of songs.

But, the show ended early when two students passed out on stage during the performance.

While the choir sang, members of the audience were taken by surprise as a member of the choir blacked out, hit a microphone and fell onto the ground. After being examined by the FAMU Police Department, the student was carried off stage.

The choir took a five-minute break, and the show continued. Two minutes into the next song, another member fainted in the choir stand, thus ending the show.

As paramedics examined the two students, members of the choir gathered outside Lee Hall to pray for their fellow members.

There could have been several factors involved with the students passing out, said Brandy Bias, 24, a member of the stage crew and former member of the choir.

“If you stand and you lock your knees, you lose oxygen flowing to your brain,” Bias said.

Other factors might have been the velvet dresses they wore under the heavy lights. Also, there was no intermission, which usually gives the performers a time to cool down due to the hot lights on stage.

After receiving some fresh air and a drink of water, both students were fine.

In spite of the incident, students said the show was still a success.

“I thought it was very nice,” said Elisa Allen, 18, a sophomore pharmacy student from Miami. “They did a good job incorporating different cultures.”

The show was composed of recent choral literature that has been put out by different publishers in the choir industry.

The choir performed songs ranging from classical to spirituals. Soloist Michelle Ferguson enraptured the audience as she sung “I’ve Been in the Storm.”

Antonio Witherspoon, 22, a business education student from Hasting was pleased with the performance.

“The choir did an excellent job,” said Witherspoon, president of the choir. “They did a good job following the director.”

Charlie Toomer, 34, director of choir activities, said he could not have been more satisfied with the 47 students that participated in Wednesday’s performance.

“Our students worked diligently each and everyday for at least two hours a day,” Toomer said. “I received the outcome I expected to receive which was the students giving me their best and they did.”

Spectators did not receive the opportunity to watch the choir perform their final.

Members of the audience and choir were disappointed that the show ended the way that it did but were pleased with the talent that was displayed.

Choir members said they look forward to hosting their annual winter concert, scheduled to be held Dec. 10 at Lee Hall auditorium at 7 p.m.

For more information concerning upcoming choir events, you can reach Charlie Toomer at (850) 599-3079.