The Oakland Press has published this article about "20 Beautiful Children." We had a great recording session with the kids from DYPAC today - the video and final song are coming SOON!
Local teacher raising money through song for Sandy Hook victims
Saturday, December 22, 2012 7:04 PM EST
By David Komer
For The Oakland Press
TAYLOR — Like many, West Middle School teacher Dave Martin is haunted by the news of the horrific shooting of 20 children and six adults in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14.
The tragic events of that day at Sandy Hook Elementary School and President Barack Obama’s speech to the nation sparked Martin, an accomplished musician, into action. In a short time, he wrote a song — “Beautiful Children” — dedicated to the memory of the lives lost that day and those affected by it.
After people showing an overwhelming response to his song, Martin, 39, decided to record it and hopes to send some aid to those most affected.
Using a “donate to download plan,” Martin is raising funds to send to the Rotary Club of Newtown, which is handling donations.
Martin also is making the sheet music and lyrics public for others around the country to do the same thing in an effort to reach out.
The song is written from a father’s perspective. The first half is from the point of view of answering questions about the children; the second half is imagining the questions asked by the siblings of the victims to their parents.
“I have said all along that the song wrote me,” he said just days after the tragedy. “It came very quickly. Music helps people express emotions that don’t always come easily with words.”
Martin said a friend gave him the idea to make the song available to other communities so they can make their own recordings and help.
Videos of him performing the song are available on his website, shinyheadmusic.com, as is information on the song for others to utilize.
By also posting videos to YouTube and his website and by using social media like his Facebook page, he hopes word travels fast and others feel encouraged to give, or at least try to use his music as a fundraiser of their own.
Yesterday, Martin planned to record part of the song with children Downriver at the Trenton theater. The singers were recruited from the Frosty Follies Christmas Variety Show and they were to perform the second half of the song.
On Friday, he recorded the first half of the song at Winding Road Studio in Trenton, which donated time.
Martin plays guitar and sings. Also performing the song are Doug Scott on piano; Jason Cassel, Truman High School band director on drums and Godfrey Porter on bass.
After performing the song at a show last week at Tongue’s Cafe, he sent the song to his pastor, the Rev. Phillip Reed of Grosse Ile Presbyterian Church, who urged him to play it at church, where it went over to rave reviews.
Martin said parishioners urged him to do something with the song and that’s when the idea for something bigger began to take shape.
As a teacher, the event touched him on an even deeper level, he said.
“Being a teacher and in my position, I know that everyone around me would protect the students at the school like they were my own,” he said.
His biggest hope is that he can empower those who want to reach out, or give comfort to those trying to understand the horrors of that day.
“I want to give kids who might feel helpless in the face of horror, to give them something they can do to help,” he said.
For more information, see shinyheadmusic.com or find Dave Martin on Facebook and YouTube.
Contact Staff Writer David Komer at 1-734-246-0866 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Facebook and @DavidKomer_NH on Twitter.
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