I have been to a lot of musical productions in my day and have performed in front of thousands myself, but… what I saw tonight at little ol’ Aycock Middle School was among the finest things I have ever seen.

I’m not just talking about the premier performance of the Drum Line (more on that later), but just the quality of what director Jimmy Cheek gets out of the little brains of mush that innocently sign up for his class in August (probably to get out of home ec or something).

Interspersed among the many Christmas (no mention of Jesus) and other popular songs the chorus sang were 6, 7, and 8th grade soloist and others (including Cheek’s former, now college, students) with choral backup that made tears come to my eyes. 

The highlight of the evening was the song “Mom” with soloist Braxton Thomas.  Braxton is a multi-talented well-rounded and wonderful guy who has been lovingly reared by his amazing grandmother, Barbara Clyburn.  (Braxton’s mother died).  During the middle of the song Braxton was so overcome with emotion that he bent over double sobbing.  He was helped out of the auditorium by some friends while the audience gave him a deafening and tearful standing ovation for even attempting to sing a song that so obviously would have been impossible to complete by any human with Braxton’s history.

To describe all of the emotions that the Aycock program brought out in the rapt audience would take more screen space than the average reader would stand for, but suffice it to say that the next time I suggest that you go to an Aycock choral concert with Jimmy Cheek in charge, put it on your calendar in front of anything else that might be available for you to do that night. 

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