Right Now (We Need One Another) Service Project
In the wake of the deadly events of August 11-12, 2017, a group of five Metro Nashville Schools students wanted to show their love and support for the Charlottesville community. With the assistance of Pearl-Cohn Magnet High School music teacher Cedric Caldwell, students recorded a version of entertainer BeBe Winan’s song “Right Now (We Need One Another)” and put together a heartwarming video message that was emailed to teachers at Charlottesville High School.
The song of encouragement was well-received by the school and ultimately caught the attention of Laura Thomas, the school’s orchestra director. Under the direction of Thomas and the CHS choir director Will Cooke, the school’s orchestra and choir learned “Right Now (We Need One Another)” and invited the “Fab Five” of Metro Nashville Schools students to Charlottesville. Recognizing the need for racial reconciliation and healing, Charlottesville City Schools administrators helped bring the Metro Nashville students to Charlottesville.
On Friday, September 15, wearing white T-shirts emblazoned with a heart and the word “C-ville,” the two groups of students came together to perform the song at a school-wide assembly at Charlottesville High School. The following day, the students performed at various locations around the city, including the street where Heather Heyer lost her life. Video footage of the collaboration was expertly assembled by parent volunteer Lori Shinseki, and it was shared with the community via social media. Nine days later, the video of the combined performance was broadcast on jumbotron as part of the Concert For Charlottesville featuring major headlining musicians such as Dave Matthews, Pharrell Williams and Stevie Wonder. The concert, which was held at University of Virginia’s Scott Stadium, was attended by over 50,000 people and live-streamed on such platforms as Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr and HuffPost.
The collaboration created immeasurable positive feeling and healing within our school communities, our local communities, and beyond. It even led to a follow-up gathering to record a second song in support of the Parkland, Florida survivors.
Specific Budget Breakdown
Nashville Expenses Paid by the CHSO:
- Lodging for 11 Nashville students and 5 staff (Omni hotel): $4,852.57
- Lunch Friday (Breadworks): $1,193.25
- Dinner Friday (Plaza Azteca): $476.63
- Audio post-production (James McLaughlin): $200
- Expenses for ’17 grad to return for performance: $430.89
- Total: $7,153.34
- $200 contributions = $6,953.34
Nashville Expenses Donated/Paid by Others:
- Thursday night pizza (Will Cooke paid)
- Friday morning reception (Dr. Atkins paid)
- 125 T-shirts (Blue Ridge Graphics)
- Saturday night dinner (Dr. Atkins paid)
- Film direction (gift-in-kind from Paul Wagner)
- Film direction and editing (gift-in-kind from Lori Shinseki)
- Audio recording (gift-in-kind from James McLaughlin)
- Contributions: $200
New or recurring project?New Project
Challenges/obstacles that were encountered
Funding sources – Charlottesville High School Orchestra is well funded by both the school division and the community at large. Those associated with the organization solicited donations. Parents, teachers, administrators and others contributed.
Expenses from the project were later reimbursed by the Concert for Charlottesville Fund benefiting victims of the events in Charlottesville on August 11-12, 2017, their families, first responders, and organizations dedicated to the promotion of healing within the city of Charlottesville.
Measurement of the success/effectiveness of this project?
- All-school assembly and performance at Charlottesville High School
- Video presented to 50,000 plus at Concert for Charlottesville in Scott Stadium
- Concert was live-streamed and shared widely on social media
- Events were featured several times on the the school divisions’ web sites, including
- We welcome Nashville Students and Staff http://charlottesvilleschools.org/we-welcome-nashville-students-and-staff/
- Concert for Charlottesville Features CHS Video http://charlottesvilleschools.org/concert-for-charlottesville-features-chs-music-video/
- CHS Choir Reunites with Nashville Fab 5 http://charlottesvilleschools.org/chs-choir-reunites-with-nashvilles-fab-5/
- Extensive media coverage in Charlottesville and Nashville
Advice for someone looking to replicate this project in their own community?