“Music is what I do and has become a part of who I am,” says Daytona Beach born, now West Palm Beach native, Terrion F. Nelson. This multifaceted woman is a devoted wife and mother, a high school music teacher and private vocal instructor.
Over the last 31 years, Terrion has been afforded many opportunities and experiences as a music teacher and performing artist. However, the 24 years of teaching music at Egret Lake Elementary School was both rewarding and is a vital part of her growth as an educator. Mrs. Nelson served on various committees including serving as team leader of the Fine Arts Department, with whom she collaborated to write grants and create several school-wide inter-disciplinary units of study to enhance the fine arts program. At the request of the principal, Mrs. Nelson and the art teacher wrote and received as one of three schools, an Arts Integration Pilot Grant and she was instrumental in continuing the arts integration program beyond the three years through strategic planning, fundraising and programming. As a teaching artist, Mrs. Nelson has also presented workshops on the local, state and national levels.
Musically speaking, Mrs. Nelson has been conductor and manager for a county-wide honors choir for Spotlight on Young Musicians and is an adjudicator for BAK Middle School of the Arts auditions. She spends her summers teaching music and directing an annual extravaganza for the Inner-City Youth, Getting There, Inc. summer program. She has been recognized by The Raymond F. Kravis Center for her service as an exceptional educator and honored as Teacher of the Month. Not only does she enjoy teaching students the beauty and joy of music in school and as a private vocal coach, but she is a well-known Gospel recording artist and songwriter. Terrion is often sought after to perform for many events and special occasions all over South Florida and beyond. She is affectionately known as the “Songbird of Palm Beach County”.
The last three years have resulted in major changes and great opportunities for Mrs. Nelson. She was nominated for the 2018 William T. Dwyer Award; became the first African American Conductor for Young Singers of the Palm Beaches and upon entering her 30th year of teaching music in Palm Beach County, was asked to take the Choral Director position at Palm Beach Lakes Community High School. All of which has provided a more extensive platform to share her experiences as a performing artist on a greater scale.
In her new position at Palm Beach Lakes, she is already making strides to put “Lakes on Top”. For the first time, in years, her students participated in the District Honor Choir, Spotlight on Young Musicians and Music Performance Assessments where they received an Excellent rating. Continuing her team spirit, she collaborated with the band and theater departments to present encore performances throughout this year.
Mrs. Nelson considers herself to be so much more than a performing artist, music teacher and choral director. She feels she is in a position to have a positive, life changing effect on the students within and outside of the classroom. In an effort to provide an opportunity for aspiring classical artists, to display their talents to the community, she established an Annual Youth Classical Concert in the honor of long-time community leader and mentor, Mr. Donald Wilson. Two years ago, in remembrance of Mr. Wilson, Mrs. Nelson created a scholarship to provide financial assistance for students aspiring to major in music.
Mrs. Nelson’s love for God and music drives her desire to make an impact on the lives of her students and others in hopes that it will not only foster a continuing legacy, but it will foster a belief in themselves and the discipline to achieve success no matter their dreams and goals. She prays that her influence and what she shares with them will ignite a desire to pay it forward so that it becomes a perpetual cycle of giving, sharing and impartation for generations to come.