Students show off singing skills in music video

Coronavirus Good News

HOOPESTON, Ill. (WCIA) — Two 6th graders at Hoopeston Middle School dressed up as cowboys and showed off their singing skills for a unique project.

Brayden and Nolan sang “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus in a music video that was filmed by their music teacher, Lucas Smith. “It all happened rather spontaneously,” said Smith. He said sometimes he lets students pick out music for their physical warm-ups prior to their morning rehearsal. He said it lets the children wake up and gets them moving before they sing. He said one day Nolan picked out “Old Town Road,” and he and Brayden started belting it out and it impressed the teacher.

After the kids asked if they could sing the song at an upcoming concert, Smith said they could maybe do it as “a funny encore”or at the next talent show. Smith said it became a running joke for the rest of the semester.

When the schools were shut down because of the pandemic, Smith said he decided to do a virtual spring choir concert since they could not have it in person. Students were instructed to film themselves singing and Smith said he set up a day for the students to get help from him if needed. Nolan told Smith he was “bummed that we couldn’t do Old Town Road because the concert was cancelled.” That’s when Smith had the idea of shooting the short music video with the two boys.

Smith said Nolan got very excited and said, “I could bring in a pony,” which he did. The pony was seen roaming the grounds of one of the grade schools while Nolan and Brayden’s vocals played in the background. There was even a scene of the two boys sharing a bottle of hand sanitizer to mark this unique time in history with the COVID-19 pandemic.

After the video was edited, Smith said the boys’ dream came true…the video was the encore of the virtual choir concert which premiered Thursday night.

Smith said not only was this a fun project for the boys to do, it also incorporated a previous unit the class covered which included music and drama in different mediums like musicals and commercials. He was not sure if that thought came across their minds, but he said he was just proud of their creativity.

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