Dual-Credit Music Student Sarah Floyd Receives Scholarship

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HARTSVILLE, S.C.–  March 28, 2013 – Sarah Floyd, a junior at Hartsville High School who is studying voice at Coker College, has been awarded the Katie Quackenbush scholarship from the Sandlapper Singers.

Floyd was one of the first students to enroll and be accepted in the Partners for Unparalleled Local Scholastic Excellence (PULSE) initiative administered by the TEACH Foundation. This one-of-a-kind public-private partnership was formed to implement a comprehensive scholastic excellence program in Hartsville public schools that expands curriculum opportunities and further improves student achievement through collaborative academic and social development initiatives.

This is Floyd’s second year in the program, where she is studying voice with Coker College assistant professor of music and Coker PULSE ALO coordinator Serena Hill LaRoche.

“Sarah has made great strides in her vocal development,” said Hill LaRoche.  “She takes on new musical challenges with energy and enthusiasm.  That fearless quality will serve her well as she begins to audition and apply to colleges.”

At Hartsville High School, Floyd has been in choir for three years and advanced choir for two years.  She is also a junior full International Baccalaureate (IB) student. This year she received a Superior ranking at the statewide solo and ensemble competition and recently earned a Superior ranking at the statewide National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition, which gave her the opportunity to compete at the five-state regional competition.  She will also perform as the lead in her high school’s production of the musical “Grease,” May 9–11.

“Sarah is a dedicated student and an excellent singer,” said James Beaumier, director of the advanced choir, IB music teacher and fine arts department chair at Hartsville High School.  “She has received excellent training from professor Hill at Coker College through the PULSE program.  We are so very proud of her many successes.  Earning a Superior rating at the state-wide NATS competition is particularly noteworthy because she was competing against the best juniors and seniors in the state, including students from the South Carolina Governor's School for Arts and Humanities in Greenville and Magnet programs in Charleston, Greenville and Columbia.”

The Katie Quackenbush Scholarship encourages high school students to pursue vocal studies.  The students must participate in a competition, and winners are given a financial award to provide lessons with a vocal instructor.  The students must be enrolled in a high school and any award must be used towards vocal development.

In addition to the cash award, Floyd will perform as a guest soloist in an upcoming Sandlapper Singer’s concert.  The Sandlapper Singers, founded by Lillian Quackenbush in 1996 and based in Columbia, S.C., is a group of professional choral singers that aspire to entertain, inspire and provide educational opportunities for young singers.

PULSE is a public-private partnership involving the Darlington County School District, the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics, Coker College, Yale University’s School Development Program and Sonoco. Sonoco is funding the initiative through a $5 million grant that will be paid over five years.

In addition to music, Coker offers courses in art, dance and theater through the ALO program. Participation in the ALO program is open to eligible students at Hartsville and Mayo high schools that live in Hartsville.  Applications for the fall 2013 term, which begins in August, are available now and should be submitted this semester.  To download an application or for more information about specific course offerings, visit www.teachfoundation.org.

For more information about the Katie Quackenbush Scholarship and past recipients, please visit www.sandlappersingers.org.




Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the “Best Colleges” in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.



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