Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Education

Powell choral director helps revive program at Hernando High

BROOKSVILLE — Every morning, David Pletincks drives to Hernando High School to teach a choir class. After the first-period class, he gets into his car and heads back to Powell Middle School, where he teaches choir in third through seventh periods.

This new arrangement for the 2013-14 school year is a joint agreement between Hernando High principal Leechele Booker and Powell principal Jamie Young.

"It worked with my schedule at Powell," Pletincks said, "and (I) was able to use one class period to come over here and get this started."

Hernando High had not had a choral program for several years, he said.

"I'm giving it 100 percent effort to build this program in one year," Pletincks said. "The goal is to establish a full choral program at Hernando High School. Right now there are only two full-time high school choral programs in Hernando County — Weeki Wachee and Springstead."

The Hernando High chorus began the year with 35 students. Already, it has grown to 55.

"I'm very pleased with the progress they've made in the first weeks of school," Pletincks said.

He expected the students to take off from Day 1, "and they've been doing it."

Pletincks started the choir by going to Hernando High last spring to meet with interested students and lay out his vision. He also went to Parrott Middle School, which feeds Hernando High, to meet with chorus teacher Susan Whealton's students.

Few of the new choir's members have significant choral experience. A few are Pletincks' former students.

Freshman Kallie Carlton, 15, was a Pletincks student and an all-state choir member. She was concerned about starting at Hernando High because it had no choral program. But she wanted to go there because her parents and grandparents attended the school. So when she heard that Pletincks was going to be starting a choir, she was thrilled.

"I was really excited, and my mom was," she said.

Sophomore Chloe Kanitz, 15, knew Pletincks from musical theater in elementary school.

"I'm excited to be here," she said.

Junior Hannah Carter, 16, was in the Nature Coast Children's Chorale when she first got to know Pletincks.

Whether they've had previous choral direction with Pletincks or not, the students seem to be committed.

"They're working hard," he said.

The students joined for a variety of reasons.

Seniors Morgan Evans, 17, and Chancie Haigler, 17, said they got involved because they want to have a band and they want to learn good singing techniques.

Sophomore Megann Murillo, 15, is in the choir for a possible career.

"I love singing," she said. "It's my life dream to be a singer, and I've always wanted to be in a choir, so this is a dream come true for me."

Senior Xavier Garcia, 18, joined, he said, because "I wanted to learn how to sing better, and Mr. P helped me a lot with that, and I wanted to be more than a shower-head singer."

For senior Rebecca Morgan, 18, it just makes her happy.

"When I heard about chorus, I was excited, couldn't wait to be in chorus class," she said. "I come to school every day happy with a smile on my face knowing we have chorus class."

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