M U S T W A T C H ! A tornado and a global pandemic can’t dim the light that’s shining from MNPS Dodson Elementary. It’s my joy to present “BRIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT,” the BRAND NEW SONG and MUSIC VIDEO that I co-wrote with 360 students as an artist-in-residence.
This footage captures the exciting classroom atmosphere as we crafted the song, showcases student artwork, and shows the hard work and fun that went into this special project. The students were SO excited that this song would eventually be recorded and shared… Let’s shed some light today! Thank you for sharing far and wide!
Read on for full story…
R E S I L I E N C E : On March 2nd, I began a 2-week songwriting residency at Dodson Elementary in Nashville, TN. We set out to create a brand new song with the entire school. The students and I wrote the chorus on day one: “I’ll Be the Bright, Bright Light,” a song about courage, kindness, joy, and strength.
That night, the #NashvilleTornado hit the Dodson community hard. Dozens of families lost their homes or were displaced. School was closed for the remainder of the week. The following week, we picked up where we left off, knowing that we had important work to do: we had to finish this song. Three days later, due to COVID-19, schools were closed indefinitely.
For the past several weeks, I have been coordinating with the music teacher, Tracy Roberts, and working to complete the song that these students poured their hearts into.
**Thank you to the community of special sponsors that made this completed project possible.**
Silhouette of a Soldier Video Created by: Tracy Roberts Writers: Tracy Roberts (Lyrics) & Tony Memmel (Music) Artist: Tony Memmel
Story Behind The Music: Tracy Roberts is a school teacher colleague that I’ve had the joy to work with on multiple successful programs. This summer, she reached out about working together on a different sort of project – a song.
She’d written lyrics about her own military family’s story that she’d worked on for years, and asked if I’d be interested in writing some music for them. Touched by the lyrical content and sincerity, I happily agreed to the project, and this recording is what became of “Silhouette of a Soldier.” This Veteran’s Day we celebrate those who’ve served, and share this song and video about the unique love and bond that exists between soldiers and their families.
**We thank the families who contributed photos to this video.**
One of my favorite new tunes from the kids and family YouTube project I work with: KidSpace Studios! Listen past the 1:35 mark to catch the hip-hop breakdown section of the song! Like and share with YOUR kids and family if you enjoy what you see and hear. New music EVERY TUESDAY!
After traveling to Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Taiwan, we returned to Washington D.C. for a debrief at the U.S. Department of State. We played a concert and shared our reflections on the amazing opportunities we had just experienced.
“You’re so lucky!” “Man, you’re living the dream.” – Two of the most common things I hear from people… and they are right, but that is not all.
Almost all luck and dream living are yielded from hard work. It wasn’t luck that pushed me to stay up way past when the house and neighborhood were asleep with my headphones plugged into a practice amp, practicing scales and chords until my little arm bled, and my fingers were raw.
The best news is BECAUSE it ISN’T luck, this is in you, too. You are capable. You are able. If you have a goal, or a dream, don’t think you’ll never work a day in your life… think you’ll work harder than you could or would in ANY other capacity.
How can I help you today!? DM me, or comment here.
It’s Saturday. The world is breaking for the weekend. Perfect chance to get after it.