By MIKE CHAIKEN
Students and alumni of St. Paul Catholic High School gathered for an afternoon to show the victims and their families of the May 22 bombing attack in Manchester, U.K. that they are thinking of them and they care.
“Our students were deeply saddened by the senseless tragedy that occurred in Manchester”, said St. Paul Performing Arts director Mark Mazzarella in a press release. “We wanted to do something for these families who were suffering. So, we decided to do what we do best. Sing. I immediately contacted our musical director and asked him to write a song that would show our love and support for the families and victims of this devastating tragedy.”
On June 12, “The Children of Manchester” was recorded at Telefunken Studios in South Windsor.
“What we liked about the idea of doing a musical tribute following the incident in Manchester is that it would bring hope and light to those affected,” St. Paul alumnus, and featured vocalist, Jillian Caillouette said.
Dana Wilton, another alumnus and featured singer, said, “Artists always want to make change in even the smallest way possible. When presented with the opportunity to work on a project that could have a huge impact on someone’s life and help them heal after the attack in Manchester, well I was more than willing to help in any way I could.”
“When I was approached by Mr. Mazzarella about the idea of recording a tribute for the victims of the Manchester attacks I was moved by the idea and definitely wanted to be involved,” said Caleigh Lozito, another St. Paul graduate and featured singer on “The Children of Manchester. “I loved the idea of being able to bring any type of comfort to all of those affected by this tragedy through song. Music is a healer in itself, and the lyrics and music of this song have the power to give hope to anyone who listens to it.”
“I want (the children of Manchester) to know that out of any evil comes a good,” said Dana. “There will always be a light in the darkness. And that light could come from someone ‘across the pond’ that you don’t even know. We wanted to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in this awful incident, and show support for the survivors during their recovery.”
“I would like the children of Manchester to feel safe and loved when they hear the song,” said Jillian.
“The song stirs a great sense of love, compassion and peace within me,” said Jillian.
“During this process I was filled with so much empathy. I was thinking back to Newtown constantly. A friend of mine lost her cousin and I remember all the pain that family went through and it was just horrific. I never want a family to feel that kind of sorrow ever again. I guess you could say I was also feeling determined, because I wanted to help ease that sorrow in the best way I could,” said Dana.
“The first time I listened to the song, I remember feeling very emotional. We as a society are so prone to violence based on so many recent events, and because of these hateful acts, so many innocent lives have been taken away. Many of these innocent lives were just children, and to think that they did not get a chance to grow up and see so much of the good that this world has to offer is heartbreaking,” said Caleigh.
“While singing this song I felt determined to make this a song that would bring comfort to anyone affected by this senseless violence. Through the lyrics you can take away that with us all coming together we can be the change that we need to see in the world,” said Caleigh.
“The performance was cathartic for me because it allowed me to open my heart and share my voice with those affected by the tragedy” said Jillian.
“Art is so immensely cathartic,” said Dana “I didn’t do this project for myself, but it did make me feeling proud that I did something that could really help to heal someone else. It helped reassure me that there is a whole lot of good left in the world.”
To see a film produced during the recording of “The Children of Manchester” and to hear the song, go to https://youtu.be/5tGU_OpXp8k