If you think the choir at Tallassee High School (THS) sounds good, you're in agreement with lots of choral judges. The man who deserves some of the credit is choral teacher Jerry Cunningham. His singers perform all over and receive superior ratings.
THS principal Carl Stewart says, "maybe 60% of the students at Tallassee High School are involved in the choral program, that's how important he has been. Even the guys, we have a male chorus and they do an outstanding job. And the only thing he says is, 'if a kid comes in, and if he works hard then he'll find a place for them.'"
Bigger schools across the state have tried to lure Cunningham away. But he graduated from here and turns them down. He says the choral program helps kids with academics. "Music is more closely related to math than anything, so if there were an academic subject you could relate it to (it would be) math. Let's talk about the English part of it. Some of the music we do, particularly the sophisticated literature or the more choral literature, so to speak, I look for text. I look for text by very well known authors. We talk about rise and fall of text. How does that relate to poetry?" says Cunningham.
Cunningham is also the public announcer and voice of the Tallassee Tigers football team. He's also the music director of his church and a former little league coach.