New music charter school set to debut in Charleston County, Fall 2015

New music charter school set to debut in Charleston County, Fall 2015

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Monday, Charleston County School Board members unanimously approved a charter application for the new Allegro Charter School of Music.

Allegro, which will serve Charleston County students in grades 6-9, is not a performing arts school, but teaches academic concepts through music.

Michael Smith, the Allegro Planning Committee Chairman, also serves as the Executive Director for the Charleston Symphony Orchestra.

Smith says students won't need prior music experience to apply.  Instead, the school will hold an application process for interested students, rather than an audition.

"This is not geared toward creating the next profession musician," said Smith.

"Music can be the hook that gets kids into this school, and then helps them with their other academic subjects."

According to Smith, Allegro Charter School of Music is still negotiating a deal for a building in Downtown Charleston.  The school has also secured funding for its first few years, through the Speedwell Foundation, a non-profit group based in Charleston.

Tara Enriquez, a member of Allegro's Planning Committee, signed on to help the school get off the ground, especially after her son showed interest in joining the program.

"With Allegro, he'll have the opportunity to pursue many different instruments," she said.

"That's the one thing I think we need more of is arts and music in school."

Allegro students will spend up to two hours a day focused solely on music.  The remainder of the school day will include the standard middle and high school curriculum, integrating music concepts into each subject.

"This is not music education.  It's education through music," Michael Smith added.

Students interested in applying are encouraged to visit the school website at http://www.allegrocharterschool.org/.

The deadline to apply is December 17, 2014.

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