Florence High expands fine arts to include professional music recording

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) - There’s music filling the hallways inside of Florence High School.

Monday morning, future recording artists cut the ribbon on what some say is the first professional recording studio to be inside a high school anywhere in the country.

The sound of rock and roll is normally frowned upon inside a school building, but a jam session happening inside room 61 was part of a celebration.  For three years, instructors and administrators have worked towards building a professional recording studio like no other.

“We’re fostering these students at a high school level, actually at a middle school level, we’re teaching guitar in the middle schools now,” explained Gary Nichols, a professional recording artist and instructor at Florence High School. “So, to be teaching music as a way to make a living as opposed to a hobby, I think is going to make a big difference in the future.”

One of those future stars might just be Christian Mabry. He said the music bug got him about a year ago. He’s one of several students who have transferred from other school systems to take part in the fine arts program in Florence.

“I used to not like waking up at five o’clock and going to school, but now I look forward to it,” Mabry said. “On Mondays and Tuesdays I’m in here for four hours just singing and playing guitar, you couldn’t get better.”

And by reaching the students early, they might just find tomorrow’s big talent.

The Florence High School recording studio was paid for by mostly donations made to the program by private individuals.

Program leaders say they have not been able to find another school with these same capabilities in the country.

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