HARTSVILLE, S.C. — The last week in June would have been the crowning moment for one lucky South Carolina title holder had not the coronavirus pandemic occurred.
The Miss South Carolina Competition, planned for the week of June 23-27, was canceled in May because of the virus.
Sarah Floyd, Miss Hartsville, will have to wait until June 2021 for another chance at the Miss South Carolina title, but that hasn’t slowed down her plans to make a difference in people’s lives through music.
“My social impact initiative (formerly known as a platform) is Music Matters, Floyd said. “I chose Music Matters because music changed my life. I became confident and found my voice through music.
“During my year of service I knew I wanted to focus on promoting music education and the life-long importance of music in our community.”
Floyd said music is a way to cope during hard times, and bring joy to others.
“Before you talk, you sing,” Floyd said. “We as humans are natural music makers. Music, especially explored at a younger age, helps with hand-eye coordination, cognitive thinking, and help develops their auditory sensory input. Students also become more confident while involved in music. Whether they are performing or mastering a piece in practice, they grow confident in their musical abilities.”
Floyd said speaking to organizations and students did not seem like enough to her.
“I wanted to create something that would last far and beyond my year as Miss Hartsville,” she said. “I attended an etiquette dinner hosted by the Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics last October. After talking with the students, I realized they wanted and needed an informal way to make music together. One night, I was looking on Facebook Marketplace, I found a piano for sale, and I decided that encouraging people through music would be best by making it accessible to everyone in our community. So then the piano project was born. We placed one piano at GSSM in November, and their art class was able to paint it in January.”
During the week that would have been filled with rehearsals, competition and memory building in Columbia at the Miss South Carolina Scholarship Pageant Floyd used that time “re-home and redecorate” a second piano to be placed at the EdVenture Museum in Hartsville with the help of her Miss South Carolina princesses Virginia Anne Chapman, Maggie Coggiola, Emma Jackson and Lily Kate Hagwood.
“Working with the Miss Hartsville Scholarship Board, we decided that the next best place for a piano would be the EdVenture Museum,” Floyd said. “This is a place where children and families of all ages come to learn as they play. We were so fortunate to come in contact with the pastor at The Gathering Place Church of the Nazarene who willingly donated our second piano.”
At the beginning of June, Floyd said, Carolina Moving Solutions helped move the piano into the EdVenture Museum. She partnered with the Amy Howard at Home Paint Company, who supplied all their needs to redecorate the piano.
“The Miss Hartsville Board and I decided to make the re-decoration an ‘educational’ tool for students to learn about musical symbols,” Floyd said. “We have designed the piano like ‘I spy’ for children to be able to learn and decipher the different symbols. Each of my Princesses (in the Miss South Carolina organization) was able to come help paint in their chosen color or be there through FaceTime to be a part of the process.”
Floyd’s Miss South Carolina princesses are Virginia Anne Chapman, Maggie Coggiola, Emma Jackson and Lily Kate Hagwood.
Floyd said that due to COVID-19, The Miss South Carolina Competition has been rescheduled for June of 2021, and she will always member this project because it was completed during the original Miss South Carolina week.
“I am so blessed to have so many people who have been willing to help me during this endeavor,” she said.
Retha Kelly-Horne, museum experience manager and educator at EdVenture-Hartsville, said, “EdVenture Hartsville is honored to be a recipient location for the Music Matters initiative. The piano is a welcome addition to our interactive learning exhibits, and we anticipate lots of excited usage from our museum guests while museum staff safely cleans and disinfects between uses. The beautiful decorative paint job invites children to not only come and play, but allows for great learning opportunities, incorporating educational aspects of music, math, observation, manipulation and motor development. We look forward to lots of beautiful interaction with this program.”
Floyd has participated in the Miss South Carolina twice before as Miss Darlington in 2018, where she was top 10 and won a preliminary talent award and as Miss Columbia in 2019, where she was third runner-up in the state competition, overall talent award winner and a preliminary award winner.
Floyd is the daughter of Tony and Terry Floyd, formerly of Hartsville. She graduated from the University of South Carolina in May with a master's of arts in teaching music education. She will be moving to Georgetown later in the summer. She has accepted a job at Waccamaw Middle School in Pawleys Island.
“I’m so excited because my love for music was established during my middle school years,” Floyd said. “I hope to inspire my students the way Mrs. Roberts at Hartsville Middle School inspired me ... with music.”