Thomas "Terry" Slater, also known as the Music Man, has taught music in Lee County for 32 years. Now, he's moving to Sumter County, and his former students think it's only right to put on a show in his honor.New Zion AME Church in Bishopville will …
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Thomas "Terry" Slater, also known as the Music Man, has taught music in Lee County for 32 years. Now, he's moving to Sumter County, and his former students think it's only right to put on a show in his honor.
New Zion AME Church in Bishopville will hold a legacy concert for Slater on Sunday, Aug. 5, at 6 p.m. Anyone interested is welcome to attend.
Some of Slater's former students credit him with teaching them many things they know about music and for teaching them some important life lessons.
"Mr. Slater taught me some essential skills such as networking," former student Pearlie Weaver-Robinson said. "He also taught me that music is universal and showed me how to sight read music."
Weaver-Robinson also learned that music can be a vital part of our everyday lives.
"I've learned that the foundation for biblical texts can be related to music," Weaver-Robinson said. "Music is about real life."
Slater has also taught his students to lead by example.
"I think he's taught all of us to be teachers," former student Daphney Addison Scarborough said. "My goal is, especially where children are concerned, is to give them what I didn't have, what I wish I had as a kid; so, I try to be that person for those other individuals that are coming up because I see so much of me in other children throughout the community."
Slater looks forward to starting something new but also enjoys reflecting on his past.
"I've enjoyed my 32 years in Lee County," Slater said. "I'm moving on to something different now, but it's so good to know that the kids remembered and were able to do a tribute to me; that's what makes it all worthwhile."
Slater is looking forward to seeing his former students perform as he has in the past.
"Nothing is more thrilling than to see these kids up on the stage performing, and you get that euphoric feeling when you know everything has just come together and see the look on their face when they're performing," Slater said. "That's just one of the greatest feelings in the world."
New Zion AME Church is at 78 Elliott Highway in Bishopville.
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