Choir director Alexander Carr teaches the soprano girls choir group during his second day at Hebron. Carr has already made a comfortable environment and connections with his students. “I’ve only met a handful of them, but I’m interested in finding out more about them,” Carr said.

Sarosh Ismail

A New Legacy

New choir director welcomed after 20 years

August 26, 2019

As he waits for the first period bell to ring, Alexander Carr glanced around to make sure everything is in place. He is apprehensive about meeting the expectations of the students, but excited to start off a brand new year with a new group. Kids begin piling into the room and sitting on the risers, awaiting his directions. The bell rings, signaling the beginning of class and he takes in one last deep breath before addressing them, “Good Morning! I am Mr. Carr, and I am the new head choir director at Hebron.”

After 20 years at Hebron, choir teacher Rachel Forester retired in May. As the 2019-2020 school year starts, Carr has taken Forester’s place as head choir director. 

 For the new school year, Carr wants to continue the legacy that Forester left behind, but in his own style of teaching. 

“I can’t be Ms. Forester, and I’m not going to try to be Ms. Forester, but I do want to value the things she valued,” Carr said. “I really love how she teaches and what she did, which is one of the reasons that I took the job.”

Assistant choir director Nathan Ratliff taught alongside Forester for five and a half years and said he has seen the impact she left on the kids as they go through her class. 

“She left behind a legacy of creating musically-independent students.” Ratliff said. “Her primary goal was for students to have the skills they needed so that she could step back and they would still be successful, which is what every teacher wants to do with their students.”

Although the students are greatly missing the jokes and connections made with Forester, they are excited about Carr taking her place. 

“I know he’s definitely going to be as good as Ms. Forester,” sophomore choir student Geena Ginu said. “Honestly, I can’t wait for his new ideas and all the new things he’s planning on doing.”

Carr has been teaching eight years and pursued his career with encouragement from his high school choir teacher. He said he hopes to be as supportive of his students as his teacher was of him. 

“I had a great teacher in high school,” Carr said. “She was a wonderful, wonderful teacher. [She] made great connections with kids and she said, ‘Alex, you’re good at this. If you’re serious, you should be a teacher.’ So that’s how I got into it.”

Along with the support of the students, Carr also has the full support of Ratliff. Although Carr’s expectations are high, Ratliff has full faith that he will fit the role perfectly as head choir director.

 “He gets to be a new Hawk and know that nothing in this program is going to stand in his way,” Ratliff said. “I just expect him to enjoy it, thrive, get to know the kids and have a great time while being a new teacher at Hebron.”

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