South Meck High School Choir Alumni Celebrate Retired Director - myfoxcarolinas.com

South Meck High School Choir Alumni Celebrate Retired Director

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 For the first time in a long time - 35 years - students in the choral program at South Mecklenburg High School won't be greeted by Marc Setzer.


 Setzer, who began his career with the South Mecklenburg Sabres in 1979 retired at the end of the 2013-2014 school year. His tenure included numerous awards and talented alumni that have gone on to pursue music both professionally and in their everyday lives as amateurs.


 On Saturday Aug. 23, a group of more than 50 of his former students met at a South Charlotte restaurant to celebrate the man who instilled in them a love for choral music and gave them memories that they still carry with them.


Represented in the crowd, were members of the class of 1981 up to the class of 2010. They told stories of Setzer's instruction on how to properly stand and sit while on choir risers and how to enunciate each syllable of a word.


 His students spoke of life lessons learned under his instruction. Lessons including perseverance, practice and how a group of people from diverse backgrounds with varying degrees of talent could come together and create extraordinary moments of music.


 This year, Daniel Wynkoop takes over the choral program and Setzer said he feels grateful to have found him. He recalls when he first let Wynkoop teach his elite class of singers.


 "I told him he could spend 5, 10 or 15 minutes with the class to get to know them," he said with a laugh. "Forty-five minutes later he was still going and they were comfortable with each other."


 At the reception in his honor, Setzer addressed the crowd of students, many of whom he's come to know as friends.

"I want my students to sing for themselves and find (their) own way," Setzer said. "I'd rather not speak to the audience. I want my students to speak for me." 

When asked what his favorite song is, he hesitated to answer but acknowledged a song that became a staple in his spring concerts: "The Lord Bless You and Keep You"

 The crowd urged him to direct the group for one last rendition. He did, and as if the melody and harmonies never left them, the crowd followed and sang.

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