TIFTON -- A group of 1975 Tift County High School graduates will hold a special performance July 9 to honor a teacher that led them to state awards and recognition shortly after beginning a choral program at the school. The program will be held in conjunction with other activities during the class' 30th reunion.

According to Donna Hellwig Rocker, a member of the TCHS choral programs, the "Ms. Beck Choral Reunion" will be both fun and an event that will pay homage to the teacher that inspired many.

"This is to honor her and thank her for her dedication to music and her students," Rocker said. "This is an accolade for a lady that has done some really good things."

Rehearsal for the performance is scheduled for 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. on July 9 followed by the informal concert at 5:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church.

Beck began as TCHS's choral director in 1972 with a collection of "mismatched, musically undisciplined, but talented, group of teenagers," according to Rocker.

Beck led the A cappella Choir, Girls Chorus and Mixed Ensemble groups. By the time the sophomores of 1972-73 reached their senior year in 1974-75, they were winning state awards and recognition. Rocker said her greatest honor, however, was singing with the choir at Beck's wedding to Alan Milton.

Rocker said the class didn't hold a 25th reunion.

When she and Jimmy Henning, a fellow graduate and member of chorus, talked about the 30th reunion, the idea for the performance was born.

"Instead of 'Trekkies,' Jimmy said we should be called 'Beckies,'" Rocker said.

Rocker said she and "Ms. Beck" have already met and decided what music will be performed at the informal concert. Beck currently teaches at Crisp County High School. Before that, she taught chorus classes in middle schools here. Rocker said anyone of any age who was in one of Beck's programs is invited to sing.

Rocker lives in Macon and encourages anyone interested in participating to call her at 478-405-8552 or e-mail her at beckreunion@bellsouth.net.

To contact city editor Angie Thompson, call 382-4321.

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