3 local teens take past year experiences and express them through song

It's Good News

SAUNDERSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — In the past year, high schoolers have had to miss proms, graduations, and the typical experiences all teenagers go through, including theater.

A group of performers say they found a sense of normalcy by working together to take the emotions they each felt during the pandemic, and create a song.

The harmony is sung in five parts with each word carefully chosen by the three teenagers as they searched their soul for what this past year has been like for them.

Theater has been instrumental to Sadie Swanson, Thomas Fitzgerald, and Molly Wren for most of their lives.

“Such like a large percentage of us deal with mental illness, bullying, trauma, and it’s already so difficult and then when there’s quarantine and you can’t see friends, and school’s online, people dying, it’s definitely the opposite of helpful,” Swanson said.

Through the Rhode Island Youth Theater, they had the opportunity to write an original song they called “Guide Me Home” as part of a project called “The Ghost Light Project.” It was then edited by a 17-year-old intern, Alexander Davis.

“I tried not to feel as much because it ended up being too painful at times,” Wren said. “Reopening that lock for me, reopening those emotions, was such a coping mechanism and feels healthier now.”

The group did it all with the help of mentors. Helena Widmann is a professional dinger and voice coach and provided songwriting prompts.

“The Ghost Light, among many things, is for practical use,” Widmann said. “It’s to light the stage for safety purposes, and we were able to do this with this project, we were able to hold the light amidst the darkness and in a safe way, virtually.”

Nikita Zabinski, a professional pianist, helped with the accompaniment and editing.

“This is as close to a live performance as you can get. Because everybody is singing their part in one take,” Zabinski said. “It’s not as though we’re recording and, ‘Oh, let’s sing the chorus this many times.'”

This also meant that each performer had to send in their individual part so they could all be edited together.

“Some of those recordings were taken like months before some of the other ones. It’s all completely separate stuff and there’s no music in them,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s weird to thing, but when they all come together, it’s like they’re singing in the choir.”

The writers and performers hope that this song will bring you hope.

Watch the full performance below:

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