YSPB Conductor A Face of Black History: CBS12

February 4, 2020
YSPB Conductor A Face of Black History: CBS12

Full article and video:  https://cbs12.com/news/black-history-month/faces-of-black-history-terrion-nelson

 

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — 

Terrion Nelson does more than choreograph voices in her choir at Palm Beach Lakes Community High School.

She fine-tunes lives.

 

"The first thing that I give to all my classes here, whether it's a chorus class or music appreciation class that I teach, is make them think about what they want to do with their lives. What are their goals?"

Nelson is the first black conductor for the Young Singers of the Palm Beaches. A Gospel recording artist, Nelson has been teaching music in Palm Beach County for nearly three decades.

It's a community choir for students in the second grade and up.

 

The choir began 17 years ago. It gives two main performances during the year. One in the spring, and another during the holidays at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts.

"It's just an honor to be a part of a group of young people who love singing and being able to be a part of that joy," said Nelson.

 

Nelson works with the 4th and 5th-grade treble choir. She says the music bug started in her at a young age. She thanks her mother and father for allowing her to pursue her passion. Now she's flipping the script, to help young people coming up behind her.

"I want to give that joy back to the students to let them know how much music can make you happy," said Nelson.

 

The music lessons are also lessons in life.

"I tell them they can do anything that they set their mind to, that nothing comes easy, nobody gives you anything but if you work hard, and you do your best and you give your all to that dream you can make it."

In addition to calling her mother and father heroes in her life, Nelson admired a number of other performers who not only had the gift of singing but a gift of inspiration. Minnie Riperton, Stephanie Mills, Anita Baker, CeCe Winans, and Yolanda Adams are among her heroes, along with her husband who guided her to a music producer early on in her career.

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Photographs by David R. Randell and Danielle M. Zaros