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Words inspire NFM chorus in final concert

By Staff | May 13, 2016

Love, fight, heart, hero, faith – these are words that inspire.

They were the main theme last week when the North Fort Myers High School Choral Department presented “A Knight of Inspiration,” in the auditorium.

The school’s choirs teamed up to bring songs of inspiration, from classics such as “Wind Beneath my Wings” to more contemporary songs from Phil Collins and the motion picture “Brave.”

The show kicked off with the entire choir performing “Peze Kafe” a traditional up-tempo Haitian folksong featuring a party atmosphere that got everybody dancing, including the choir.

The men’s choir continued the lighthearted mood with “Hakuna Matata” from the Lion King, which featured solos from Wyatt Madonna, Robert Rosso and Joey Worley.

Between each song, members of the choir went to the microphone and recited readings, with the meanings of those words in relation to the song about to be sung.

“The goal was to have some inspiration,” said Gwen Gregg, choral director. “Every student wrote at least three things about the songs they sang. I just chose five or six from each song to be read.”

The show also featured a song performed in sign language by Amanda Ellegood and Rachel Salerno, with the Cavalieri Rossi mixed choir performing a verse in sign language, in complete silence.

Le Belle Filles Women’ Choir performed “Weep No More” and “Breakaway, while the North High Chorus performed “Touch the Sky” and “The Wind Beneath my Wings,” with Carling Witt as guest conductor.

The seniors came in for the senior song “You’ll Be in My Heart” by Phil Collins before all the choirs returned for “Music of My Heart,” featuring the Rossi seniors performing quick solos.

The show concluded with the traditional farewell “Old Irish Blessing,” where all the alumni returned to the stage to sing one more time.

Class of 2014 graduate Noel Aparte, who starred in two North musicals, was also in the choir. She said it was a thrill returning for Gregg, one of her mentors.

“It was so much fun. I think this was the most alumni to come out,” Aparte said. “I was scared I would forget the words, but it brought back a lot of memories. Miss Gregg means so much to me now as she did when I was here.”

It was an emotional time for the seniors.

David Luciemable was among those who embraced those they would perform with one last time.

“I have been part of the choir for three years and it’s been a privilege. I have never met so many talented people,” Luciemable said. “We didn’t have a choir in middle school and once I got here I took the chance and I’m going to miss it.”

Latae Floyd said her last performance was enjoyable, as none of the seniors messed up the senior song. Still, it was sad.

“I couldn’t have asked for anything better. It’s been a fun experience. I’ve loved working for Miss Gregg, it’s been great,” Floyd said. “When I first came here, I came for the choral department and Miss Gregg. She’s helped me expand my range and I can’t thank her enough.”