Final Goodbye: Students from the Jessye Norman School of the Arts prepare to honor her with a touching tribute

Tuesday, October 8, 2019
News 12 at 11 o'clock

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Students from the Jessye Norman School of the Arts are preparing to honor the international opera singer with a touching tribute.

An Augusta local, Norman died last week at the age of 74. 

The dance and music class will perform at Norman's funeral and benefit concert.

Over the years, through this school, Jessye Norman has made it her mission to show these kids how much they mean to her.

They say now it's their time to show her how much she means to them.

It's a tricky thing to honor someone's life. It's an even trickier thing when that person leaves behind a legacy known across the world.

"I'm proud to be from Augusta. I'm proud to be from where people grow up to be legendary," said Jasmine Yancey, a singer and dancer.

Jessye Norman will be remembered for her ability to take an audience's breath away but to these kids at the Jessye Norman School of the Arts, she's known for providing a future.

"When I first came here, I was very shy and reserved. As I grew as a dancer and as a student here, it's just helped me grow and I've become more of an outgoing person," said Jaelyn Jones, a dancer.

So instead of trying to honor her with words, they want to show her.

"I just like when the music turns on and the beat. It just makes you dance," said Kerras Taylor, a dancer.

They were planning to perform for Jessye Norman in person. She had plans to be here this week.

“Now after their passing, it's just increased and heightened that level of, we have to make this great for her. To put on display what she created here," said Mary Reed, a dance teacher at the Jessye Norman School of arts.

What she created is a school of children pursuing their passion and the hope is her legacy will live on through them.

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