Black History Presentation in South Huntington

Whitman freshman dancer Sage Thomas performing.
Whitman freshman dancer Sage Thomas performing.
This member of the Oakwood Chorus, who sang “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” was happy to find family and friends in the audience.
This member of the Oakwood Chorus, who sang “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” was happy to find family and friends in the audience.
The Whitman Jazz Band performed a number by the brilliant instrumentalist and magnificent composer and arranger Jimmy Heath.
The Whitman Jazz Band performed a number by the brilliant instrumentalist and magnificent composer and arranger Jimmy Heath.
Three members of the talented cast of ‘AIDA’ that will be performed at Whitman’s PAC starting on March 31st. Left to right: Ifedayo Balogun, Brandon Scott, and Aderayo Balogun.
Three members of the talented cast of ‘AIDA’ that will be performed at Whitman’s PAC starting on March 31st. Left to right: Ifedayo Balogun, Brandon Scott, and Aderayo Balogun.
The Maplewood Chorus picked a great song from Ella Fitzgerald.
The Maplewood Chorus picked a great song from Ella Fitzgerald.
Members of Whitman’s award-winning choir gave a heartfelt performance from ‘The Color Purple.”
Members of Whitman’s award-winning choir gave a heartfelt performance from ‘The Color Purple.”
Young ladies of all ages are members of the LW Smith Youth Liturgical Dancers, and added a special touch to the beautiful evening.
Young ladies of all ages are members of the LW Smith Youth Liturgical Dancers, and added a special touch to the beautiful evening.
Whitman’s own TSOP Step Team delighted the audience with passion and precision.
Whitman’s own TSOP Step Team delighted the audience with passion and precision.
South Huntington’s Deputy Superintendent Jacqueline Harris (second from right) and Ms. Johnson (right), along with Whitman Principal Murphy (left) thank many who were responsible for making the evening such a big hit.
South Huntington’s Deputy Superintendent Jacqueline Harris (second from right) and Ms. Johnson (right), along with Whitman Principal Murphy (left) thank many who were responsible for making the evening such a big hit.

South Huntington’s Black History Month presentation took center stage just before our mid-winter break for an amazing district-wide celebration.  Sponsored by the African American Heritage Club, advisor Pamela Johnson oversaw a flawless evening that highlighted this year’s theme; “Remembering our Past, Shaping our Future.”

Students, alumni and special guests paid tribute to important contributions in our history with a collection of art works, literature readings, spoken word, dance, and musical performances that kept the packed house wanting more.  After some introductions by Ms. Johnson, Walt Whitman Principal John Murphy introduced special guests in attendance and got the evening going with a performance by the WWHS Drama Club of a signature number, ‘Dance of the Robe’ from their upcoming musical ‘AIDA.’

The Oakwood Chorus, directed by Ms. Pinelli eased into ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” and the WWHS Jazz Band, directed by Mr. Hoffman, got everyone’s feet tapping. Next up was an interpretive dance performed by the incredibly talented Whitman dancer, Sage Thomas. A group of Maplewood students, led by Ms. Melillo, performed a wonderful song by Ella Fitzgerald, “Sing, sing, sing,” and members of Whitman’s award winning chorus sang a song from the play “The Color Purple.”

Commanding center stage was the Silas Wood Jazz Band, directed by Mr. Modelewski, who filled the room with a selection of reminiscent tunes. One of the evenings commanding presentations was Whitman’s own TSOP Step Team, coached by Ms. Johnson. These talented students put on an incredible show for the audience. The evening’s performances also saw dancers from the Faith Missionary Baptist Church, the sextet of singers, ‘Born to Worship,’ and a ‘Spoken Word’ performance by Mr. Jarred Haynes from the Mt. Calvary Holy Church of Huntington.

Concluding the evening’s celebration, South Huntington’s Deputy Superintendent Ms. Jacqueline Harris and Ms. Johnson, thanked those responsible for making this year’s celebration the best ever.  They particularly thanked the talented and dependable members of the Walt Whitman African American Heritage Club who expertly interspersed the various musical and dance performances with historical readings that shared many facts about African American contributions to today’s society.

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