SUMTER, S.C. (courtesy morris.edu) — Archie Torain, business administration major from Hartsville, S.C. and Alexander Jackson early childhood education major from Sumter, S.C. had an opportunity to perform virtually in the 105 Voices of History HBCU National Choir with the United States Navy Band. Torrain and Jackson, who represented Morris College performed with students from other HBCUs across the United States to sing the national anthem. Please click here to view the virtual performance.
The 105 Voices of History HBCU National Choir sponsored by the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) is an opportunity for students to be able to still perform on a national level and be recognized amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Students were selected to participate based on their musical aptitude, skills, and leadership role. This year, the national anthem was the song of choice to help celebrate the history of when the “Star Spangled Banner” became the national anthem.
“I was given the opportunity to work on a virtual project with 105 Voices of History because Morris College did not have any representation in their last project, and I was chosen to be one of the two to do this for the first time,” said Torain. “It was an amazing experience, and it was an honor getting to perform with such talented people.
Torain sings bass and Jackson sings tenor on Morris College’s choir under the direction of Herbert Johnson, assistant professor of music and director of choirs. “I selected Torain who serves as president of the chorale, and Jackson, student director of the gospel choir, primarily for similar reasons,” said Johnson. “Both students are excellent musicians who participated in the South Carolina All-State Chorus in high school. They both are leaders in my choirs so I knew they would perform well, but also they would be able to gain new skills in the master classes leading up to the virtual performance project. I am always an advocate for my students to perform in new and different learning environments, especially on the national and international levels beyond my tutelage,” continued Johnson.
“This project will benefit me to discipline myself as I travel and do virtual rehearsals in the upcoming future. For instance, I learned that you must discipline yourself as a singer to be able to be great,” said Jackson.
Both students were excited to participate in this project as representation for Morris College.