It's been an eventful year for the young musicians and vocalists of the Lowcountry, whose hard work has won accolades and opportunities from Atlanta to New York City.
Here's a look back at some of their achievements from the past year.
A musical tribute
During the past school year, the West Ashley High School band marched in Charleston's Christmas Parade and performed at a Nov. 13 memorial concert for David Stahl and Maj. Herbert Day at the Dock Street Theatre, West Ashley Band Director Eddie Shealy said.
Stahl, who died in October, had served as music director of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra for 25 years. Day, who died in September, was a retired Citadel music director.
Both Day and Stahl had worked with Shealy in improving the quality of area bands. The West Ashley students dedicated their annual holiday concert to the memory of both men, Shealy said.
Day had worked as a clinician helping the West Ashley High Symphonic Band prepare for its Concert Festival. Stahl was active in advocating for music education in Charleston County schools.
The highlight of the memorial performance was the band's performance of Samuel Hazo's "Whisper of Souls."
Joining with the band during the piece were 18 members of the Charleston community who had played under the direction of Day.
Shealy said another highlight of the past year was the West Ashley High band's Winter Guard taking third place in statewide competition.
Wando High School choral students experienced what many of their peers only dream of when they performed at New York's Carnegie Hall over Easter weekend.
Chorus Director Eric Wilkinson learned in August that the students were invited to perform alone and in a mass group as part of MidAmerica Productions' Ensemble Spotlight Series.
He sent in an audition tape near the end of the past school year because he thought the students were capable of performing at the level worthy of the Carnegie Hall stage and knew the impact it would have on their lives.
Seventy-three students were able to go. Their faces lit up at the sight of the building, Wilkinson said, but the acoustics were more powerful.
"You can hear your own sound, and it rings for the perfect amount of time," he said.
The chorus performed eight songs Easter Sunday, including "Sea Fever" by David Brunner, a composer and professor at the University of Central Florida who attended the performance and met with the students.
Wilkinson said that composers often are not available or even alive. "It was a special moment."
Brunner composed the song for the group using words from John Masefield's poem of the same name. But it was the performance of "Song of Solomon" that brought tears to people's eyes, Associate Choral Director Rennie All said.
Wilkinson originally composed the song for his wife, Emily Wilkinson, and members of the Wando chorus sang the piece at the couple's wedding two years ago. Some members of that same group performed at Carnegie.
The chorus also performed as a larger group singing Claudio Monteverdi's "Gloria," arranged by John Rutter.
"The college-level literature challenged our singers and helped them achieve greater choral musicianship," All said.
It was the chorus' first time singing at Carnegie Hall, but the group has performed in London, Vienna and Prague in previous years. The chorus has 230 singers and five ensemble groups.
Bands of America
Wando's marching band took first place at the South Carolina Class 5A state championships and performed in the Bands of America Super Regional competition in Atlanta, sweeping its division and placing third overall.
In addition, 92 students were selected for the region band.
The jazz band received a superior rating at the Newberry College Jazz Festival, and nine students went on to the South Carolina All-State Jazz Band. The band also performed at the 2011 Disney Honors festival in Orlando, Fla.
Reach Jessica Miller at 937-5921. Reach Edward C. Fennell at 937-5560