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Vol. 66, No. 2
:Girculation 2,200
Elizabeth City, NC
March 21, 2002
ompass
Elizabeth City State University’s award-winning student newspaper.
THE ELIZABETH CITY STATE UNIVERSITY CHOIR
HEADS WEST
(T|
The University Choir under the direction of Mr. Billy C, Hines during the Evelyn A. Johnson Choral Festival
-Photo Courtesy of Keisha Williams
Antonio Barrow
Assistant Editor
thegreatchefOI @ yahoo.com
You have heard them singing
during the Freshman Candlelighting
Ceremony. You have heard them singing
during the Founder’s Day Programs and
the graduation ceremonies. They have
performed live in the Fine Arts Audito
rium during their annual Christmas
Concerts. Now, a very important event
has come around for the Elizabeth City
State University Concert Choir. It is time
for their annual Spring Tour. The Univer
sity Choir’s tour started on Sunday,
March 10 and lasted until Saturday,
March 16.
The University Choir, under the
direction of Mr. Billy C. Hines, has been
traveling around the United States,
visiting places such as New York,
Florida, Delaware, and Indiana. This
year, the choir performed westward in
Eden, North Carolina; Nashville, Tennes
see; Anderson, Indiana; and Cleveland,
Ohio. They did not only performed, but
they also visited EMI Studios in
Brentwood, Tennessee and the National
Afro American Museum in Wilberforce,
Ohio.
The choir normally practices five
days a week from 4:00 to 5:20 in the
evening. Because they have been
preparing for the tour and their upcom
ing Spring concert, extra practice time
has been neccessary. Choir members
and Hines expressed their feelings
about the westward tour and their
experiences with the University Choir a
few days before their departure.
Mr. Billy C. Hines, Professor of
Music and Director of the University
Choir, is in charge of arranging and
scheduling the choir’s performances. He
believes that the choir is ready for this
year’s tour.
“We’re just as prepared as we
always have been,” he said.
The choir not only goes on tour
each year to sing, but they go to repre
sent the University
“We go to represent the University
in ways that no other group on this
campus is able to represent the Univer
sity,” Hines said.
According to Hines, the choir is the
leading ambassadors for this University
One of the things that they do during the
tours is visit high schools to recruit
students to come to the University.
“We reaffirm it’s mission through
music. Music is our tool to communicate
to people that Elizabeth City State
University is a fine institution of higher
learning and that we intend for talented,
skilled young people to come here to
this University,” said Hines.
Khima Toxey, a senior Psychology
major, was a little sentimental as she
thought about her last tour with the
University choir.
“I am very much looking forward to
tour this year,” she said.
Toxey has been in the choir since
her freshman year. She said that it has
been a rewarding experience. Although
she will be graduating this May, she said
that she will miss being a part of the
University choir.
“I am definitely going to miss the
choir when I graduate in May,” she said.
“My experience with the choir has
helped to shape and mold me into the
confident individual that I am.”
Toxey went on to discuss some of
the advantages that the choir has
provided her with.
“The choir has provided me with
traveling opportunities that I would not '
have had otherwise. Tour is also a time
for the choir to become closer and get
to know each other a little better,” Toxey
said. “I have made friends and associ
ates that I never would have met had I
not been in the choir. I say this because
I am a commuter student, and I would
not have nearly as many close friends
that I now have.”
Toxey has always appreciated Mr.
Billy C. Hines, who is the director of the
University choir.
As one of the Univerisity choir’s
veterans, Toxey, said that she thinks of
Mr. Hines as “an inspiration and father-
figure” to the choir members. Toxey’s
view of Mr. Hines relates well to his
expression of helping his students.
Crystal Foust, a junior Business
Administration and Accounting major,
expressed her feelings about the tour as
well.
“I expect a great tour, because in
the past, we have worked hard all year
long to prepare for it, and we have
worked diligently this year,” she said.
“Spring tour gives us the opportu
nity to network. Every year, we are
required to submit a resume to Profes
sor Hines, which is used to compose a
book of resumes, that is presented to
interested employers in the states that
we visit,” Foust said.
Damiyon Sledge, a sophomore
Biology/Pre-Medicine major said that he
sees the choir as an “elite group repre
senting ECSU to its fullest potential
through singing.”
“We have a responsibility to give
our best performances night in and night
out because most places we go, people
don’t really know that we can sing,”
Sledge said.
While many people may think that
the University Choir only sing and
recruit students. That is not their only
purpose.
“It’s not just a tour for singing, but it
also gives you first hand steps as adults
entehng their area of study through
networking with professional people,”
Sledge added.
Being in the University Choir has ■
many advantages that some people
overlook. But one that seems most
important to them was the fellowship
with one another and an opportunity to
travel.
“It’s a great experience to have as a
student. It allows you to go to different
places and meet new people,” said
Sledge. “You learn how to interact more
as a singing group and you establish a
comfort zone with many different mem
bers of the choir.”
“It’s my challenge to try and give
them a realistic focus, realistic notion of
what life is really all about and how to
equip them to be able to go out and
make a living and live independently on
their own,” Hines said.
University Choir as a group believes
in helping the University by recruiting
students as they travel, trying to network
with professionals, and fellowshiping as
a family.
But as for the choir’s way of helping
the University by recruiting students, Mr.
Hines expressed his desire for “more
monetary support, both in terms of
scholarships and budgeting.”
“To be able to do the kind of job that
the University deserves from us, we
need support, we need funding, and we
try to encourage alumni to support us as
well,” he said.
Hines would like to encourage
alumni to help the University Choir by
sponsoring some of the choir’s pro
grams, making or delivering flyers to
announce their events, helping to recruit
students to come to the University or join
the choir, and invite the choir to sing at
various church functions! If you would
like to assist the University Choir, contact
Mr. Billy C. Hines at (252) 335-3359.
The Elizabeth City State University
Concert Choir will be performing at
their annual Spring Concert on
April 21,2002 at 7:30 p.m.
Let us go and support the Elizabeth
City State University Concert Choir.
V J
    

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