Farewell, for good, to Grady Avenue, FMS
[Editor’s note: Fayette Middle School is being closed for budget reasons. The school’s last day is May 24.]
In the words of Ms. Laurie Gividen, Friday night was “EPIC!”
The night started with a performance from the championship step team Dynasty. Next was an emotional piano duet of Vickie Anderson and Jeff Durham.
Ms. Anderson, who teaches eighth grade at Fayette Middle School, encouraged all of the students to be willing to step out of their comfort zone as she was doing that night and move forward in life.
The chorus was then joined on stage by Vincent Lott, an anointed gospel singer, songwriter and a former FMS PTO president, for a rendition of “Never Would Have Made It” accompanied by the choral director herself, Laurie Gividen, who had turned over the conductor’s platform to Patricia Banks (seventh-grade student) for the performance.
Next was “Victory,” sung by the FMS Chorus with Moriah Gaither as the soloist. That was followed by a solo student act singing “Fallin’.” After this, Marquail Atcherson shook the stage and brought the crowd to their feet with his amazing dance moves to the sounds of Usher’s “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love.”
After this, was a “cup song” called “Call your Girlfriend” by Brininson Perkins and Brianna Sattinger. These two were followed up by the amazingly awesome MISTER Nathan Kufchak on the cello, who then turned the stage over to Kionna Smith for her dance act, “Bang, Bang, Bang.”
Then Andre Ivins, the only male student vocalist of the night, performed “This Time.” After this, Destiny Truesdale put her fingers to the keys to play “Requiem For A Dream.” As the final act before intermission, Moriah Gaither took the stage with her remarkable performance of “Listen” by Beyoncé.
After intermission, I didn’t get to see any other acts because I was backstage preparing for the finale. The following are opinions I gathered from friends, family, and videos of the second half.
It began with the FMS Select Orchestra performing “Pop Medley.” Next, Martine Bartley took the stage and danced beautifully to “It Don’t Mean a Thing.” Then Gabbie Chinn sang “Talking to the Moon” by Bruno Mars. Next was a “cup song mashup” by “VJAM,” followed by Jada Levy singing “If you don’t want to love me.” Brittany Goddard and Martine Bartley then performed a dance “Mashup.”
After this, FMS Chorus once again took the stage singing “No Air” with a humorous dedication to the Harmon Brothers Bus Company for the lack of air on the bus ride back from New York City.
FMS News @5 with Ms. Wendy Broich and Ms. Carol Saboda then came onstage with a special news bulletin. They informed the students of Ms. Patterson’s change of careers to open a hula academy, Mr. Bell’s attempt to take over the world using giant robots, Detective Isreal’s attempts to thwart his evil plans using his trusted Polaroid camera, Ms. Gividen and Mr. Kufchak’s recent involvement in scientific testing, and many other very interesting developments.
And then the lights went out. Two hands glowed on stage as Nicole Caldwell (my best friend) performed a breathtaking American Sign Language interpretation of “Never Alone” under black lights. I think my mom cried. Nicole’s sister (also named Samantha), who speaks in sign language, watched from the audience cheering her sister on. I just wish I had been allowed out of my hiding room to give her a hug.
After this, the chorus performed the song from our Veteran’s Day program “Soldiers” as a tribute to all who have served. I was able to sing from back stage though nobody could see me or my counterpart for the next act.
Mrs. Patterson (FMS Principal) came on stage to introduce the final student act for FMS. She said that it was a song to sum up our days at Fayette Middle. A story of two people who meet that are very different and yet end up meaning so much to each other that it changes them “For Good.” I took the stage as “Glenda, the Good Witch” with my fellow student, Ashley Dakis as “Elphalba, the Wicked Witch.”
The playbill for the night read the words from our song:
“I’ve heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason, bringing something we must learn and we are led to those who help us most to grow, if we let them and we help them in return. Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true, but I know I’m who I am today because I knew you ...”
“It well may be, that we will never meet again in this lifetime, so let me say before we part, so much of me is made of what I learned from you. You’ll be with me, like a handprint on my heart. And now whatever way our stories end, I know you have rewritten mine by being my friend ...”
A video was then shown of FMS memories followed by the amazing “Sister Sledge” (Ms. Gividen, Mrs. Patterson, Ms. Tallman, Ms. Grabhorn, Ms, Pruzer, and I feel horrible for not knowing the other names) singing and dancing to “We Are Family.” By the end of the song, it had turned into “FMS Family and I’ve got all my students with me.”
Parents, teachers, students, and everyone else in attendance came down in front of the stage and joined in the dancing and singing “We Are Family!”
Black and Gold all the way!
[Samantha Frazier, a FMS seventh-grader, volunteered to write a series of opinion columns for The Citizen about the closing of her school from a student’s viewpoint.]