Singing a song of hope

In this image from video, students from Wendy Williams’ Sound Foundation Voice Studio and friends from Harvester 56 Theater perform “This is Me.” The videos were recorded separately and then edited together as part of a virtual sing.

This is us.

In a virtual ensemble video produced by Sound Foundations Voice Studio and Harvester 56 Theater, both in Batavia, 13 people came together in a social distance-sing.

“A lot of the kids, at least in that video, are students of mine — and my kids are from all over, I’m a private voice tutor — and their school shows were cancelled. The competitions were cancelled. Everything they’ve been prepared for has been cancelled,” said Wendy Williams, director of Sound Foundations Voice Studio. “Everyone is still in their houses and still doing their lessons with school, but I wanted something to bring them together. They got so excited about that. It was something they could do again. They could share.”

Anybody who wanted to could tape himself or herself singing “This is Me” from “The Greatest Showman,” and Williams stitched it all together into a single video that she posted to YouTube.

All but three people were students of Williams’ studio. The other three were friends of Williams from the Harvester 56 Theater.

However, there is a lot of overlap between the studio and Harvester 56 Theater and almost all of her students at one point in time have performed at Harvester, she said.

The song “This is Me” was chosen because it is a favorite among the theater and music kids. Williams said it is a very hopeful song. A number of kids, she said, marched in the Batavia Pride Parade this past summer to this song as well.

Gathering all the recordings took a week and a half, and about 10 hours to put the clips together. The singers couldn’t hear each other and produced their own tracks, which required Williams and her husband to line them up.

Sound Foundations and Harvester 56 are hoping to make another video as part of an ongoing project to give the kids something to look forward to.

“These are young adults and children of all ages who have had their lives interrupted for whatever reason,” she said. “They use music to get through and to encourage, and they wanted to share that with everyone else too.”

Johnson Newspapers 7.1