TIFTON — A South Georgia girl represented the region during the Democratic National Convention.
Fiona Casimiro, a seventh grader at CHESS Academy, represented Georgia as part of the Choir Across America, the singing group that virtually sang the National Anthem opening the Democratic National Convention Aug. 17.
The choir was the brainchild of director Steve Fisher, founder and artistic director of Commonwealth Youthchoirs.
Casimiro, who moved to Tifton from New Jersey, was already involved in the Garden State Girlchoir, where she met Fisher. He tapped her to represent Georgia when he put together the choir, which practiced and performed virtually.
“It was difficult because we didn’t have as much time to practice and get everything right,” she said. “It took so many takes to get notes right and get it to look good for the video. It was also hard because on Zoom you get some lag depending on where you are. You sound different on Zoom instead of in person and everybody being apart; there were so many of us on a Zoom it was hard to get everybody in the shot.”
Casimiro said she was excited to participate.
“Singing has been a part of my life forever,” she said. “My dad has been singing the same bedtime song to me every night of my life, for 11 years. I love to sing, and live to sing. 2020 has been a hard year, and having the chance to sing this patriotic song with other choir singers from around the country was a highlight of not only my summer but my year.”
Fisher said he partnered with the Democratic National Committee to assemble a choir of singers “reflecting the diversity which makes America so unique as a country.
“Choristers of many races, ethnicities, religions, ages, genders and perspectives are represented in this 57-member group,” he said. “All of them have ties to one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the other five U.S. territories.
“Many in this unique ensemble come from CY’s current membership, who were born in another state or lived there previously. Other singers are CY alumni who go to school or reside in another state. Still others in Choir Across America hail from a local choral group in one of the U.S. states or territories. Even the Northern Mariana Islands is represented. What unites all of these choristers is their love of singing.”
CY was originally formed to sing at the 2016 Democratic convention, Fisher said. He wanted to bring together a girls choir and get the coveted National Anthem stage time. While the choir was not able to achieve that goal in 2016, the DNC called approximately two weeks ago.
“They loved the idea of a choir representing every state,” Fisher said. “The only problem was, we only had 10 days to form the nationwide virtual chorus. Somehow, with the incredible efforts of my co-artistic director, Dr. Elizabeth Parker, and our entire staff, we did it.”