BRISTOL â€“ There are no big name stars singing on â€śThe Children of Manchester,â€ť a tribute to the victims and families of the terrorist bombing in Manchester, England.
Rather, the voices are those of performers from St. Paul Catholic High School. They wanted to record an original song for those affected by May 22 bombing, which killed 23 adults and children and injured many others after an Ariana Grande concert.
â€śOur students were deeply saddened by the senseless tragedy that occurred in Manchester,â€ť said director Mark Mazzarella, who teaches drama at St. Paul.
â€śWe wanted to do something for these families who were suffering,â€ť Mazzarella said. â€śSo we decided to do what we do best: sing. I immediately contacted our musical director and asked him to write a song that would show our love and support for the families and victims of this devastating tragedy.â€ť
The music and lyrics are by Sean Pallatroni.
Current members and alumni of St. Paul Performing Arts recorded the emotional tribute on June 12 at Telefunken Studios, in South Windsor.
Emmett Drake served as instrumental coordinator; Yash Nair played the violin, and Jonah Kershen played the cello. Soloists on the recording are Jillian Caillouette, Caleigh Lozito and Dana Wilton.
The introduction to the video states: â€śWe hope this song will bring comfort to those families affected and let them know that across an ocean, after all that has happened since, we are still thinking of them and are offering our love and support. Keeping you close in heart and prayer. The students of St. Paul Catholic High School, Bristol, Conn.â€ť
Over the image of a burning candle, as somber piano chords play, the lyrics begin with â€śOut somewhere, out in the darkness a light is there, it shines through the night of a thousand stars, that turn on the paths they always known. And in the air, in all this madness, a single prayer starts to take wing and is calling and guiding by one light alone the children of Manchester home.â€ť
â€śOur hope is this song will bring comfort and peace to those families and all who listen to its poignant lyrics and prayerful melody,â€ť according to a statement from the school. â€śMany students volunteered their time to this project by playing cello and violin, singing and playing piano. A handful of St. Paul Catholic musical directors, past and present were on hand to aid their talents with this special project too.â€ť
â€śDuring the recording, each student had a photo of a bombing victim pasted to their music sheet â€“ a very powerful way of remembering why they were singing,â€ť the statement said.
Mazzarella captured the recording session in a four minute, 53 second video, which will be featured on various social media platforms, according to the school. The participants hope it will also be broadcast in Manchester, England very soon.
To hear â€śThe Children of Manchesterâ€ť or to see the video, visit http://spchs.com/tribute-to-manchester-england-bombing-victim/.
Susan Corica can be reached at 860-973-1802 or firstname.lastname@example.org.