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The Aquilian

    Sophomore works with music department to promote unity and brotherhood

    Members of the Berklee College of Music come together to sing a song that promotes love and kindness.

    Gonzaga’s brotherhood means a lot to all the people who are a part of it, and keeping it alive in the middle of a pandemic has proved to be challenging. Thankfully, some students have been working hard to find new and creative ways to help promote the school’s sense of fraternity. 

    Benji Garland, sophomore, saw a video done by the Berklee School of Music in Boston where a student coordinated a project with faculty to get together and sing “What the World Needs Now Is Love” by Jackie DeShannon and thought that something like this could be done for the Gonzaga community. 

    “I think it will be uplifting for people to see our community come together in this way,” Garland said.  “Music is really a powerful tool of unity.” 

    In order to make this happen, Garland contacted Mr. Jeremy Young, fine arts teacher, and anyone else who would be able to send in a recording. Garland planned to do this by having multiple people send in recordings and have it all edited together to make it a collection of people singing “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers simultaneously. 

    “I communicated with people through the Musical Artists of Gonzaga Club this year, and that is where I got in touch with some singers, but I also got in touch with people through Mr. Young and his choral classes,” Garland said. 

    Mr. Jeremy Young shows how ready he is for this project with a thumbs-ups. (Photo from Mr. Jeremy Young)

    Mr. Young believes that this song will be a powerful reminder of the positivity that is shared around campus every day. 

    “The song is so positive; it will reflect how people are feeling and create goodwill,” Mr. Young said. 

    As for future projects similar to this, Garland said that he would love to do something like this when he is able, and Mr. Young said that he is already working with Mr. Viola and the Guitar Club. 

    Both Garland and Mr. Young truly believe music to be an uplifting tool that can help people through these rough times. 

    “The arts are integral to human life, and this is an expression of that need for new ways of communicating what it means to be a man for others,” Mr. Young said. “Think about it: Lean On Me… Just Call On Me, Brother… When You Need A Hand… We All Need Somebody To Lean On.”

    Once finished, the video will be sent out to the Gonzaga community on Canvas, and email will also be sent with a link where viewers can donate to the McKenna Center.

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