UNION, NJ – A Union Excessive Faculty junior acquired the joys of a lifetime when she appeared on the nationally syndicated Kelly Clarkson Present this week.
Thursday’s present featured a section with Tony Award winner Laura Benanti discussing her latest social media request for highschool performers to ship her movies of their performances. Union Excessive Faculty Performing Arts Firm member Khadija Sankoh submitted a musical video and was chosen to seem on the present.
Introducing the section, Kelly Clarkson stated, “within the midst of the pandemic and faculty shut downs, many monumental moments are going to be missed – graduations, checks, proms, sports activities and highschool musicals. Laura Benanti is aware of how devastating it could be to rehearse your coronary heart out solely to have your efficiency cancelled.” Clarkson stated Benanti reached out on social media to ask college students to ship their performances to her. She acquired greater than 6,00Zero movies. Benanti known as the initiative #Sunshinesongs.
“My mother is a voice trainer and after I got here again to my childhood dwelling in New Jersey [during the pandemic], she was saying how disillusioned all of her college students have been that their musicals have been getting cancelled,” stated Benanti. “I considered how a lot my faculty musical meant to me.” Benanti stated she thought if the youngsters knew she was watching their movies maybe it’d assist them really feel a bit bit higher. “So I went on social media and requested them to ship me their movies with the hashtag #Sunshinesongs.” She stated she thought she’d get 20 or 25 movies. “Thus far, there are over 6,000,” she stated. “It’s been unimaginable.”
“Musicals usually are not only for the youngsters performing,” Benanti added. “They’re for communities. It’s a time for communities to return collectively in a manner that’s frankly so fantastically healthful.”
After she was launched on the present, Sankoh stated Union Excessive Faculty’s firm deliberate on placing on a manufacturing of “As soon as on This Island”, which is now postponed. “I’ve at all times wished to carry out on this play since I used to be in elementary faculty,” she stated. “It left me feeling actually upset. I used to be devastated that our present received cancelled per week earlier than it was presupposed to go on.”
About Sankoh’s video submission, Benanti stated, “I cherished the entire performers. What actually caught out for me about Khadija is that her coronary heart comes by way of her voice. I noticed her efficiency shine. Khadija shines.”
When Benanti responded to Sankoh’s video tweet, she stated, “I used to be actually shedding my thoughts. It didn’t even appear actual. I used to be working round my home, I used to be screaming. It was simply superb.
Sankoh’s video will probably be featured in a free #SunshineConcerts collection, starting Saturday, Might 2 at 6:00 p.m., which will probably be stay streamed to 1000’s of senior dwelling communities and a whole lot of kids’s hospitals.
The occasion will probably be hosted stay by Benanti, that includes performances from different #Sunshinesongs artists with stay interviews with seniors and performers. “My hope is individuals who watch are impressed and cheer and it brings a bit sunshine to their day,” stated Benanti.
Watch all the section here.