FLALGER COUNTY SCHOOLS – Graduation can be an emotional time for students as the reality of adulthood sets in and the safety net of childhood vanishes. Yearbooks are signed, college acceptance letters arrive, and final performances to proud audiences are given.

Such was the moments on stage at the Fitzgerald Performing Arts Center, lovingly known to most students as the Flagler Auditorium, last Thursday evening as The Formality Singers took to the stage for their end of year performance. Powerful vocals drew appreciative applause as the choral group delivered their best of season show.

But it was the moment when the seniors stepped forward to perform their final song on stage together, that the tears began to flow.

Asked to introduce themselves and say a bit about what’s next for their future, it was in that very moment when the team spirit of The Formality Singers shone brightest. While each future path shared was unique, there was a genuine happiness and appreciation for their fellow choral members as they expressed their hopes and dreams for the future. It represented the best of Flagler Palm Coast High School.

A pediatrician, an HVAC technician, a dental hygienist, music producers, performing arts, fine arts and musical theater, a biologist, a fashion merchandiser, a priest or a police officer, a cyber security expert, and a registered nurse.

“Right now, I’m still deciding what I want to do with my future, but right now I’m keeping faith and hope,” said Olivia Slaughter.

“I have had the privilege of watching this group of seniors, some for all 4 years of high school, grow musically, gain confidence in themselves, and develop supportive relationships through teamwork,” said Flagler Palm Coast High School Choral Director Ester Jackson.

“The Formality Singers Chorus is more than singing, it’s about appreciating the talents of others and working together towards a common goal.”

Jackson took over as the choral director of The Formality Singers after the retirement of Amelia Fulmer, Director of the Fitzgerald Performing Arts Center.

Fulmer was pleased to see the progress made with the program and continued dedication to excellence in the performing arts.

“It’s wonderful for me because this is four years since I was the chorus teacher, so it’s like I remember how this feels and the kids that are seniors this year, their first year was with Ms. Jackson,” said Fulmer. “This is her first full four-year cycle as the teacher.”

“I have to say that I’m very proud of how well the sound. I am so impressed with Mrs. Jackson and what she’s instilled in these kids. You can tell they just love it, love it, love it, and that’s wonderful for that to continue on. It’s just amazing.”

“I also have to say we’ve gotten better at bringing the sound to the choirs over the past few years and we’ve had some good audio technicians that have taught us to do that,” continued Fulmer. “I think that we sound better than a lot of high school choirs because we’re able to get all the nuances of the tenors, the basses and the altos. The choir has to balance itself but I really noticed in the lighting, the way the microphones work, it’s just another thing that makes us so happy that we have this beautiful performing arts center for the students to perform in. It really makes a difference.”

During the performance, the students honored The Formality Singers’ first choral director, Mrs. Alana Fitzgerald with a song.

The Fitzgerald Performing Arts Center will host the Flagler Youth Orchestra on Monday, April 22nd for ‘A Night at the Movies‘ starting at 7 pm, the Flagler Palm Coast High School Starlets on April 25th for ‘The Journey‘ at 7 pm, and the ‘SpongeBob The Musical‘ presented by the Flagler Palm Coast High School Drama Department, May 9-11, 2024.