Once again, the spotlight is shining on the Jim Hill High School Choir and its musical department. Jim Hill’s choir has been superior for decades. Years past, it was under the direction of Mr. James Hawkins, taking students to sing at Carnegie Hall and internationally. Currently, Pamela Moody is the high school choir director, and she is blazing trails to the Bahamas for the students to share their gift of song.
Jim Hill was founded in 1912 by James Hill, an outstanding leader who served with distinction as the National Republican Committeeman from Mississippi, hence the name “Jim Hill” High School. This school was established as a secondary institution for African Americans in the Jackson area and has consistently met or exceeded state, national, and international standards in attendance, reading, writing, mathematics, history, and science through research-based driven best practices.
32 students aged 14-18 chose choir as an elective, and all are held to the highest standards. Director Moody strives to instill the school’s mission into her program: to develop responsible and productive citizens who are globally competitive, critical and analytical problem solvers, morally sound, and effective communicators who can transfer knowledge to real-world situations.
“Competing and traveling allow students to see the world,” shared Moody, “But also provides them real-world experiences by learning to be flexible, professional in stressful situations, truly work with others to succeed at something bigger than themselves, and see hard work pays off.”
Many students joined the choir as a simple elective, not realizing it would open many opportunities to sing in front of large crowds, the Mississippi legislature, and travel internationally. Director Moody understands the importance of keeping children active and focused on something.
“Idle hands and minds are the devil’s playground,” Mood reminds us. “When students are kept active, in positive environments, with something to strive for, there’s less chance they stray from their studies.”
And while everyone with the Jim Hill choir has the Bahamas on their minds, Moody reminds them choir can also be their gateway to a great future. “There are real scholarship opportunities in the choir,” says Moody. “Students can pave their way to a higher education with their voices.”
But first, the Bahamas! Students, parents, and staff are geared up and ready to leave out during Spring Break. Moody wants this to be as educational as possible, already lining up chances for the students to try local cuisine and learn a new culture.
“We’ll stop in Nassau, Bahamas, while we’re there and compete while we’re there on the ship. This is their first international trip outside of the country under my leadership. And we are looking forward to many more great things with this group of singers because they’re very talented,” Moody said.