Charleston Panther Cub Choir sets sights on Disney for performance
by JOYANNA WEBER, Banner Staff Writer
May 30, 2013 | 987 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Group selected to sing June 3-5
GIRLS IN THE PANTHER CUB CHOIR at Charleston Elementary School rehearse “Lean on Me.” From back left are Laila Smith and Ali Davis; middle row, Madalynn Blair, Briar Rose Blair and Caiden Jenkins; and front row, Sabrina Ceballos, McKenzie Decker and Makayla Jenkins.  Banner photo, JOYANNA WEBER
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Charleston Elementary School’s Panther Cub Choir has been chosen to perform during Walt Disney World’s Magic Music Days at Downtown Disney in Florida.

Thirty-three of the members of the fourth-and-fifth-grade choir will be making the trip with their families.

“I think this is a very exciting opportunity for a very small school in a very small town to be able to go and do this,” choir director Amanda Szidiropulosz said. “For a lot of our kids this is the first time for them going to Disney.”

The choir will be performing six songs from June 3-5.

Students found out about the opportunity in October and have been practicing ever since

“They were over-the-top excited,” Szidiropulosz said.

Kylie Estrada a fifth-grade choir member, said Szidiropulosz chose the songs through which the students could be the most expressive.

Abigail Stewart, a fifth-grader, said the choir practices during recess on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The choir also practices after school.

Kylie said she thinks it’s an “awesome” opportunity.

“I thought it was exciting, to show our little school how good we are,” said Zachary Wisti, a fifth-grader.

The choir will also be showing some Tennessee pride by performing “Rocky Top” as part of its arrangement.

“We get to show Tennessee off to Florida,” Kylie said.

For Zachary and Kylie, it is their first year in choir. For Abigail, it is her second year.

The choir submitted a performance video in hopes of being chosen to participate. Szidiropulosz said she had talked to the music director at Black Fox whose choir had been selected for the opportunity in the past. This choir director helped Szidiropulosz get in touch with Disney.

Students will also have the opportunity to participate in a Disney workshop.

“The students get to go backstage at Disney and they get to do a two-hour workshop with Disney professionals,” Szidiropulosz said. “They are actually going to teach them and chorograph a little number.”

Students have worked not only to learn songs and choreography for the special performance, but also to raise the money to be able to participate.

“It seems like we had a fundraiser every month,” Szidiropulosz said. “Then we did a big fundraiser for the Disney Workshop.”

Students and their families also received a discount to the park since the tickets were being ordered as a school group.