It's tough to say who stole the show Wednesday at Castle Heights Middle School.
It might have been eighth-grader Alexis Sibley, whose stirring rendition of "Amazing Grace" drew roaring applause from the audience of students, teachers and parents.
Maybe it was the eighth-grade boys' choir, which soulfully captured the slave hymn "Hush."
Staff members Selena Brockington, Wanda Canty and Patrice Drakeford had the crowd cheering and clapping along as they sang "Please Mr. Postman," the Marvellettes' single that became the first Motown record to reach number one on pop charts.
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Or was it eighth-grader Aaron Profit, who, electric guitar in hand and wearing dark shades, rocked back and forth while lip-synching Muddy Waters' classic "Mannish Boy" to laughter and applause?
Each performed during the Rock Hill school's Black History Month celebration.
The hour-long production, devised by Assistant Principal Carie Hucks, featured students sharing facts about the black experience, intermingled with poetry readings and musical performances.
"My favorite part was when the boys sang ('Hush')," said Brittany Burris, an eighth-grader who read Alice Walker's poem "Before You Knew You Owned It" during the show.
The idea to perform "Hush" came from eighth-grader Nikki Mills, who said he heard the song in church.
"I thought it would be a good thing to talk about our past," Mills said. "It represents how some slaves got free and how our history is today."
But, to him, that wasn't the show stopper.
"My favorite part," Mills said, "had to be when we had all three teachers up there singing ('Mr. Postman')."
"It showed how our black women today can come together."
Hucks said her goal was to incorporate a variety of elements and make it flow.
In planning the show, she had students discuss what black history means to them. They researched poems and selected several to read.
Judging by the crowd's response, Hucks succeeded.
"I think it tied up nicely," she said.
Earlier that morning, the school hosted another black history concert in which several area musicians took the stage.
Titled "Echoes of Time," the show featured a variety of music, from jazz to gospel.
"The intent was to make it eclectic," said guidance counselor Linda Kennedy, who organized the event.