Alachua County music teachers sing a moving message to their students

 Just as students are missing their teachers since school shut down more than a month ago in Alachua County and Florida, the teachers have a secret to tell the students.

“We miss making music with them,” said Howard Bishop and Lincoln Middle School Music Teacher Jackie Collins.

So Collins decided to rally the troops and join the voices of area band and choir teachers.

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She managed to get 18 colleagues from Alachua County Schools to collaborate and create a virtual a cappella choir.

Choir teachers from Alachua Elementary, Hidden Oak Elementary, High Springs Community School, Irby Elementary, Lawton Chiles Elementary, Meadowbrook Elementary, Norton Elementary, Williams Elementary, Howard Bishop Middle School, Lincoln Middle School, Buchholz High School, Eastside High School and Gainesville High School combined voices to deliver two songs “Lean On Me” and “Count On Me.”

Even Curriculum Specialist  Diana Rollo joined in. “It was fun to participate in that and I’m so glad people like,” she said.

The two-minute-long performance includes solos, duets and singing in the round.

Listen to it here.

 “A few teachers and I discussed songs with inspirational messages to our students,” Collins said about how she chose the songs. “We were tied between “Lean on Me” and “Count on Me” so I proposed the idea of arranging a medley of both.”

Collins took all of the audio files and edited them in GarageBand first and put the video together in Final Cut Pro,” she said. “It was actually my first time using Final Cut,” she said about the learning experience.

The arrangement took about three hours to complete, she said. 

“I then recorded every part myself to send to the teachers as a guide which took about an hour. I gave the teachers one week to learn their parts and send me the videos. In the end, it took eight days from discussion to final product.”

Adam Petroski, the choir director at GHS performs a solo and Rollo, who is also the former choir director at Eastside High School appears as is the opening soloist.

“A lot of these teachers are band/instrumental music teachers,” Collins said about the talent in the production. “I am proud of them, and all the teachers for being vulnerable enough to sing in this video.”

And as for the message to the students, “We want them to know that we are here every day to help lift some heavy burdens,” Collin said. “We also want them to know how valuable they are in our lives and we miss making music with them.”

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