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Davis working with THS students

Bush, Davis visit choral group


Veteran choral music educators Gene Davis and James Bush visited Tallassee High School recently to work with the men's choir.

Gene Davis taught at Robert E. Lee High School in Montgomery from 1974-2002, and later served as the choral director at Huntingdon College.  

"Mrs. Davis is the reason I became a music educator," said Michael Bird, assistant choral and band director for Tallassee City Schools.  "She planted that seed when I was in high school. One day, out of nowhere, she pulled me aside and said, 'Have you thought about pursuing music education in college?.' Until then, I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do with my life."

Bird said Davis's teaching methods are top-notch.  She moves around the room, changes placement of students, and teaches various physical exercises that improve singing skills.  

"She's a force of nature, that's for sure," Bird said.  "And interestingly, back in 1981, a young Jerry Cunningham did his student teaching internship with Gene Davis at Robert E. Lee," Bird continued. "We owe a great deal of gratitude to Mrs. Davis for her influence on all of us."

THS students were also visited recently by a familiar friend: James Bush.

Bush and Tallassee student John Burgess

Bush once served as the Glee Club director at THS, and later became an assistant principal and finally principal.  He retired as principal of Tallassee Elementary School several years ago, but has remained active in the program.

"I don't know if there's a more beautiful male voice in the world than James Bush's God-given instrument," Bird said. "I could listen to him sing from now until the end of time and never get tired of hearing him."

Bush stopped in to give tips to the young men on how to keep their pitches accurate, even while singing softly. The tendency to sing too loud is common, according to Bird.

"This all started one day at McDonalds. I ran into Mr. Bush and he said, 'Why do you let those boys sing so loudly?'  I thought that the students needed to see Mr. Bush as more than someone who does puppets and balloons; they needed to meet him as a vocal coach. I've invited him to return as often as he likes," Bird concluded.

Tallassee High School hosts its annual Spring Show on April 29 at 2:30 p.m. and April 30 at 7:00 p.m. in the THS Auditorium.  For ticket information, please call administrative assistant Debbie Rogers at 334-283-3689.

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