Selma children’s chorus names new directors, seeks young singers
By ADAM DODSON | The Selma Times-Journal
The Selma Children’s Chorus and Orchestra will begin the new year under the leadership of two new directors.
Beth Watters and Michael Robinson have been named the new director and assistant director, respectively.
Watters, a Birmingham native, attended Judson College in Marion for music education before becoming a choir teacher in the Selma community for more than 30 years. She currently serves at Pine Flat Baptist Church. She is also a member of the Selma Choral Society and has worked with countless young singers over the years.
This includes assistant director Robinson, who attended Selma High School before studying music at Alabama State University.
He has sung with the Tallahassee Boys Choir and Selma University Choir and also plays piano and organ. Like Watters, Robinson is a member of the Selma Choral Society.
The Selma Children’s Chorus and Orchestra is relatively new to Selma. The 2017 choir featured around 15-20 boys and girls in grades 4-6. The 2018 choir will be comprised of the same numbers but under the new leadership of Watters and Robinson.
Like the choirs before them, the 2018 choir will meet weekly, with a spring concert scheduled at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church the last Sunday in April.
Board member Jack Alvey, rector at St. Paul’s, believes a children’s choir is an integral part of the community and children’s lives.
“I have noticed excitement in Selma over the children singing,” Alvey said. “The choir can act as a healing remedy for some people in the community. It leads to compassion, intelligence and brings people together.”
Watters and Robinson both work hard to get the word out to interested individuals. Both go to the surrounding schools in order to speak directly to kids. They also maintain a social media presence and rely on word of mouth.
Competition with sports and other activities present an obstacle towards choir participation. However, leaders of churches and community organizations worked together to publicize the choir.
“People in the community realized the children needed a place to sing,” Alvey said. “It was challenging to start something new like this, but the community leaders got together to make it happen.
Signing up for joining the choir is $150 with a $30 registration fee. This money is in turn used to help pay for their operations, which is also supported by churches and individuals. However, the fee is not set in stone, and the choir is willing to work with anyone who feels they cannot afford the registration.
The first session for the 2018 Selma Children’s Chorus and Orchestra is scheduled for Jan. 7 from 4-5 p.m.
Choir events outside of Selma have been discussed but are not currently planned. Alvey has said that if the choir continues to grow, then other venues outside of St. Paul’s or Selma could be possible.
By ADAM DODSON | Staff Writer Four people were injured in three shootings in Selma over the New Year’s holiday... read more