The East Bay Varsity Treble Chorus earned a Superior rating at the District Choral Music Performance Assessments.

The East Bay High School Choral Department is home to five choirs led by choral director Brian NeSmith.

NeSmith, who has worked at East Bay for 25 years, led his choirs to Superior ratings at the District Choral, Solo and Ensemble Music Performance Assessments. The Superior rating is the highest of five grades awarded by judges at the competition.

The Varsity Treble Chorus and Sounds of Time earned Superiors ratings through a unanimous vote in the District Choral Music Performance Assessments. Sounds of Time earned additional Superiors in solo and ensemble competitions.

“Our program was also chosen to perform at the Epcot Candlelight Processional and Massed Choir Program onstage with the Walt Disney World Orchestra, the Voices of Liberty and celebrity narrator Marlee Matlin,” NeSmith added.

The East Bay High School Choral Department showcased its skills in the 10th annual Masterworks Concert. This year’s concert was hosted on April 9 at Sun City United Methodist Church.

The concert was started in 2013, originally with just a harp. Since then, the department has added a string quartet, piano, chamber orchestra and organ.

“The Masterworks Concert is not a new idea at all, but very few high school programs perform larger works with orchestral accompaniment. It is a special and rare opportunity for them,” NeSmith said.

During the concert, local musicians and former Masterworks Chamber Orchestra members performed as well.

One of the biggest challenges with hosting the Masterworks Concert is the cost of production. The department has to hire an orchestra, purchase sheet music and practice tracks for the singers, amounting to over $6,000.

“We have been raising funds all year long, but we still desperately need additional funding to help us keep this concert from losing money. Over the years, we have had sponsoring businesses who have helped us, but this year has been more challenging in that way,” NeSmith said.

Businesses or individuals who would like to sponsor and support the East Bay High School Choral Department can reach out to NeSmith for opportunities. To contact NeSmith, sponsors can call him at 813-469-4020 or email

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Lily Belcher
Lily Belcher is a writer for the Osprey Observer. She started as an intern in the summer of 2020 and has continued to write for the Osprey Observer since completing her internship. Lily is majoring in mass communications at the University of South Florida and is a staff writer for the university’s paper, The Oracle. She enjoys writing about local nonprofit organizations and community role models who have made an impact on her hometown.