Poster Orange County Public Schools choral performance
Orange County Public Schools perform "Beautiful City" from the musical 'Godspell' for Orlando victims.
Courtesy Orange County Public Schools
Choral Stream

Orange County Public Schools choir perform moving tribute to Orlando victims

Out of the ruins and rubble
     Out of the smoke—
Out of our night of struggle
     Can we see a ray of hope?

I spent my first five years as a choral educator in the Orlando Public School District. One of the things I loved about that city and the district was the strong sense of unity and community I found among all the schools there. I will ALWAYS be grateful for that rare connectedness.

The teachers and students singing in this video gave up a precious summer's day to sing for their slain and injured neighbors. Their performance of Godspell's "Beautiful City" gives me the ray of hope that they sing about so beautifully. After watching the video, I felt like it was their way of saying, "You know what, we celebrate AND embrace this diversity." That is what The City Beautiful — Orlando's nickname — is all about.

When I talked with Scott Evans, Orange County Public Schools' Senior Administrator of Visual and Performing Arts, about this tribute, he said, "We heal so many more when we can deliver our song to the masses. This entire process was totally collaborative and the teachers were amazing with the way that they jumped in and made this all happen. This is truly a special place."

May this help heal the hearts of all those suffering in my former city, especially members of the LGBTQ community, and the hearts of all those grieving around the U.S. and the world. Click the image below to play video.

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